Today’s article deals with environmental issues as well as recycling. I will offer some suggestions on becoming a better steward of the land, air, and water, and a friend of the environment.
Many of us use refillable coffee mugs when we are away from home. This really cuts back on the number of Styrofoam cups going to the landfill. Now, to avoid all those plastic water bottles that so many of us carry with us much of the time, consider purchasing a reusable water bottle. They are not expensive, are more sturdy, and will supply you with some of the best water you could ever wish for. It is quite possible that water from a drinking fountain or from your kitchen sink is as good as, if not better than, bottled water…..and a whole lot cheaper.
It has been estimated that more than 40% of food produced for human consumption is discarded. I would like to think that here in Fillmore County, that number is much smaller. Prepare only the amount you need for the initial meal and perhaps one or two meals of leftovers. Also don’t buy large quantities of perishable items unless you can use them before they spoil.
There is a better place than the garbage container for most of your table scraps, peelings, egg shells, coffee grounds, tea bags, and an occasional container of some unidentifiable left over that has been lurking on the top shelf, way in the back corner of your refrigerator. If you are not composting, please consider this option to dispose of a majority of that food waste. It is not difficult, you will have much less landfill garbage, it doesn’t smell bad if done correctly, and you will end up with an excellent soil additive for your potted plants, flowers and vegetable gardens, or your lawn.
Your plants may also enjoy water from a rain barrel much better than water from a faucet. You can make your own rain barrel, or order a complete unit from the Fillmore Soil and Water Conservation District office, (507) 765-3878, Ext. 3, here in Preston. Rain barrel water is relatively free of chemicals, but is not meant for human consumption due to the bird droppings and asphalt grit that have a habit of finding their way into the barrel.
Abandon your burn barrel. This is one family tradition that should certainly be ended. Burning your garbage is not only dangerous, the chemicals released into the atmosphere by burning most plastics and even some newspaper are not environmentally friendly. If you remove recyclables and compostables from your garbage, you will be surprised at the small amount left over to be landfilled. Bring your recyclables to the Recycling Center and your garbage to the Resource Recovery Center every week or two…. and feed your compost pile generously.
Dispose of unwanted medicines correctly. Do NOT flush them down the toilet. I have previously written a couple articles on this topic. All you need is a detergent bottle, a little water, and some dirt or kitty litter. If you have any questions or comments concerning this article, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.