New Year’s Resolution: Go green!
Metro’s Betty Shelley shared simple steps for saving money and helping the environment by reducing, reusing and recycling in the new year.
After the holidays
** Save bows, containers, and wrapping paper for reuse next year.
• ** Recycle boxes, packing peanuts and paper – including holiday catalogues, magazines and tissue paper – that you can't reuse.
• ** Turn last year’s holiday cards into gift tags for the next celebration.
** Recycle the tree, wreath and swag with your curbside yard debris, or let a community group collect the items for a fundraiser.
• ** Recycle old incandescent lights, and switch to energy-saving LEDs; Metro and some businesses accept holiday lights for recycling.
Around the house
• ** Turn garbage into gardener’s gold by composting kitchen scraps and yard waste.
• ** Consider downsizing your garbage can or switching from weekly collection to a monthly schedule.
• ** Create safer, nontoxic cleaners using common, inexpensive household ingredients.
• ** Choose tap water over bottled products. It’s just as good and – at less than a penny per gallon – it’s a great bargain.
• ** Use permanent dishes, cloth napkins, kitchen towels and reusable rags instead of disposable paper products.
On the go
** Ditch disposables and unnecessary packaging, instead using your own shopping bag, coffee cup or water bottle. Many grocery stores and coffee shops offer a small discount for bringing your own bag or cup.
** Choose products with more recycled content – paper with a higher percentage of post-consumer materials, for example – and less or no packaging. If the product comes with packaging, first ensure the wrapping or container includes recycled content and can be recycled.
** Buy products in bulk. Bulk purchases generally end up costing less. Plus, bulk-buying helps prevent waste by allowing you to select the exact quantities desired.
** Reduce multiple trips to the store by stocking up on essential items; driving less reduces congestion and pollution.
** Bike or walk to school, work and neighborhood stores when possible, saving money and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
• Want more ideas for going green? Download Metro’s free Reduce, Reuse, Recycle booklet at Oregon Metro or call Metro’s recycling hotline at 503-234-3000.