Around this time of year most of us make New Year’s Resolutions: reduce stress, lose weight, quit smoking, spend more time with family. These are all worthy goals and could take quite a bit of effort to accomplish. However, there are also some easy resolutions we can make to improve the environment. Small efforts can make our world a better place for all of us. Pick a few to try.
- Take some reusable grocery bags when you shop.
- Return used plastic grocery bags to the store.
- If you do throw away a grocery bag, cut the handles to prevent animal injury and those ugly “urban flowers” that hang in the trees for years.
- Cut all the links in plastic beverage holders to save animals from getting tangled.
- Use baking soda to clean hard surfaces instead of toxic chemicals like Ajax or Comet.
- Clean the toilet with a mixture of vinegar and borax instead of bleach.
- Avoid soaps and hand cleaners containing antibiotics.
- Cut down or eliminate fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. (This will save you money and effort.)
- Pick up litter when you can even if it is not yours.
- Teach your children the importance of not littering.
- Pick up the dog’s business.
- Refuse to buy your children turtles, gold fish or other reptiles. The kids will be bored in a few weeks and you are stuck taking care of them. Never throw any of these animals (especially the greenery) into a waterway. They are a huge problem in our lakes and streams. Call Cleveland Metroparks, 440-473-3370, for information on what to do with them.
- Drop fishing line pieces into a container with a lid before throwing away.
- Plant some bee and butterfly friendly flowers. (They can even grow in pots).
Helping to clean up the environment does not need to be complicated. By resolving to try a few changes, we can all make a difference. Happy New Year from the planet and all its creatures!
Blog Author: Kelly Butauski, FOEC Member, City of Euclid resident, & Cleveland Metroparks Certified Watershed Steward, firstname.lastname@example.org and @kellybutauski