April 22, 2014

Editorial: Small steps for a better Earth

Being green isn’t so hard.

Today is Earth Day, which got its start in 1970 at the height of the hippie era. It’s hard to believe that 44 years later, people still have to be reminded to care about their environment.

It doesn’t take all that much effort for each person to contribute to easing the human imprint on the world.

Here are some simple ideas that can make a big difference:

• Bring reusable bags to the grocery store to package your purchases. Some stores even give you a small credit.

• If you do put your groceries in plastic bags, be sure the bags are returned to the store on a future visit for recycling.

• Don’t buy food products that are packaged in plastic. You can buy your Nutter Butters in a cardboard box, which can be recycled, instead of that little plastic tub.

• Walk, bike or carpool to work when weather, timing and safety considerations allow.

• When you buy fruit and vegetables, don’t put them in a store-provided plastic bag unless you need to. When you purchase a clump of bananas, they can go from the shelf to your cart to your reusable bag without being enclosed in a plastic bag. That might not apply to products like grapes that can roll away.

• Say no thanks to that plastic straw at a restaurant.

• When you buy fast food, just take one or two napkins, not a handful.

• When you order takeout to bring home, let the restaurant know you don’t need napkins and plastic utensils.

• Recycle everything you can at home. All trash haulers provide recyclable containers; use them.

• Try to reduce paper waste at work. Do you really need to print everything you are now printing? Would emails work as well as paper messages? Can you reuse paper as notepads?

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