Na´ve but not discouraged: Think green Mountain Home!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

In a world where global warming looms over the heads of many, it's important to do what we can to help.

Join groups throughout the nation in America Recycles Day, celebrated annually on Nov. 15.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the recycling rate has more than tripled over the last 30 years to the current rate of 34 percent.

According to the EPA's most recent data, recycling and reuse activities in the United States created 757,000 jobs and produced $36 billion in wages in a single year.

Recycling produces a number of benefits.

It reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators, it conserves natural resources such as timber, water and minerals, and it increases economic security by tapping a domestic source of materials.

Recycling also prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials, it saves energy, supports American manufacturing and conserves valuable resources as well as creating jobs throughout the United States.

The EPA encourages communities to engage in eCycling by recycling used computers, smartphones and other electronics.

Used computers and tablets can be donated to local schools, which not only can benefit the students and faculty but keeps electronics out of the waste stream for a longer period of time.

Smartphones contain precious raw materials, and thus need to be recycled carefully.

If not donating or reselling a smartphone, recycle it at a specific electronics recycling location or at a take-back program.

The metal can be used in automotive parts or jewelry, the plastic can be repurposed into garden furniture and the batteries can be reused in other batteries.

Communities can also start community projects, most of which take place around Earth Day, April 22.

These projects can range from starting a community garden using compost material to a donation picnic where instead of charging a few dollars, the price of admission is a donation of gently used toys and clothes.

With Christmas coming up, many will be utilizing permits to cut down a tree.

When doing so, utilize the "pack it in, pack it out" method: be sure to take back everything you bring in so places will be clean and undisturbed.

Before taking long road trips to visit family, be smart when it comes to car maintenance.

When changing car oil, collect and store used oil in a sturdy plastic container and take it to a recycling center; dumping oil down storm drains or on the ground can contaminate groundwater.

Take used or damaged car batteries to auto stores that stock or repair lead-acid batteries for safe disposal.

Return used car tires to retailers or wholesalers that recycle or retread them since tires are banned from most landfills.

When shopping for Christmas or birthday gifts, think green before you shop.

Use reusable totes and look for items with minimal packaging and/or made with recycled content.

Wrap gifts in recycled or reused wrapping paper or give gifts that don't require much packaging, such as concert tickets or gift certificates.

If playing the role of host/hostess during the holidays, set the table with cloth napkins and reusable dishes, glasses and silverware.

Save and reuse any party hats, decorations or favors.

After holiday festivities, put leftovers in recyclable containers and share them with family, friends, or others.

Donate untouched leftovers from parties to a local food bank or homeless shelter.

When participating in America Recycles Day, show it on social media by using the hashtags #BeRecycled or #AmericaRecyclesDay. Go to www.americarecyclesday.org to take the pledge to keep your community green.

Think green Mountain Home!

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