Happy New Year!
It’s the time of year when many of us are making plans and resolving to be better and do better in various ways in the coming months. As you think about possible resolutions for 2024, consider some of these ideas that will reduce waste, save money, and build family and community relationships.
Resolve to go greener this year
- Focus on family fun: Plan ahead for family time by swapping board games, jigsaw puzzles, magazines, movies, and books with friends and neighbors. That way, everyone gets some fresh fun. You might also look for items to borrow from the local library, find items at neighborhood swaps, or purchase used items at a secondhand store.
- Extend the life of your electronics: We rely on electronic devices to keep us connected and help us do many everyday tasks. Take care of them to keep them working smoothly by properly charging the batteries, deleting unnecessary files and apps, uploading photos to the cloud or a hard drive, and using a screen protector and case. Frequently clearing the cache and removing temporary files can improve performance.
- Invest in rechargeables: Many electronic devices have a built-in battery that you recharge again and again. Why not do the same with all those household batteries powering remote controls, toys, and games? Invest in rechargeable batteries and a charging unit to replace single-use alkaline batteries. You’ll spend a little more upfront but have less waste and fewer trips to the store or online shop for replacements. Check with your local solid waste authority to learn how spent rechargable batteries ( those that can’t be recharged) should be handled in your community.
- Support local merchants: The past few years have been hard on local retail stores. Local merchants offer products that you need and want. They are close to home. They provide jobs in your community. And they support many local events and activities. Also, when you shop in your community, you don’t carry home a lot of boxes and packaging waste that you need to recycle or dispose. When it’s time to shop, visit them first — whether in their stores or on their websites.
- Shop smartly online: It’s very easy to make impulse purchases with just a few clicks. Instead, shop online as you would at a physical store by setting a shopping time and using a list. Whenever possible, choose the option to “ship items together” to reduce traffic, packaging waste, and vehicle emissions.
- Remember to recycle: Your empty cardboard shipping and cereal boxes need to be broken down and recycled. Manufacturers need more of this material to make new boxes, as well as tissue products like toilet paper. And don’t forget to recycle your plastic bottles and jugs, glass bottles and jars, and metal cans. Be sure to check with your solid waste authority for the materials that can be recycled in your community programs.
- Donate with care: As you prepare to get rid of old items, be sure to ask yourself whether anyone else might genuinely want and use them. Donate the good stuff –– items that are working and aren’t broken, damaged, or torn. Give away “treasures” and put the “trash” into the garbage bin.
- Shop secondhand: Don’t stop with donating! Shop at reuse and secondhand stores for items that you need. This supports the work of local charitable organizations and keeps items in use for as long as possible.
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