Tip of the Month
Memorial Day is a day to honor the sacrifices of our nation's veterans. It is also an "unofficial first day of summer" and a three-day weekend of grilling, picnics and camping. Both types of celebrations can put strain on our environment.
Gravesite decorations such as flags and pinwheels may be thrown away by cemetery employees after several days. Check with the cemetery to see if you can plant a small live plant at a gravesite instead. Fresh-cut flowers are also a good option, as they can decompose and improve the soil.
Green your grilling routine by using wood-based charcoal and composting the ashes. When you're done, close the grill and shutter the vent to kill the fire quickly so you can reuse the charcoal next time. Look for organic grill cleaners, meats, veggie burgers and vegetables. Be sure to clean up after your campsite, and try to use reusable and/or recyclable materials when possible.
9 Recycling Tips to Use at Home
Bottle your own water. Instead of buying new bottles each time you want a drink, save old bottles and refill them from the tap for the convenience of bottled water without the waste.
Save glass jars and bottles and use them for storage.
Keep a few extra plastic bags folded up in your purse or glove compartment in case you find yourself at a store without a reusable tote.
Reuse cardboard boxes, gift boxes, gift bags and paper bags for storage, gift-wrapping or wrapping parcels to send in the mail.
Shred paper or newspaper and use the shredded piles in place of foam peanuts as packaging material.
Cut in half paper printed on only one side. Staple it together to make notepads.
Use old coffee cans as flowerpots for houseplants. Yogurt cups and other small plastic containers work well for starting seeds in the spring.
Compost. Many of the items that you recycle, such as paper and cardboard, can go into a compost pile, where they break down into a garden soil amendment rich in organic matter and nutrients.
You can also use cardboard to cover bare garden soil over the winter, preventing erosion.
Wash and reuse sturdy plastic cups and tableware.