Happy New Year! A new year offers a new opportunity to start new traditions in your home. Try making a New Year’s resolution that includes being more environmentally friendly, like recycling or composting, or take steps for energy efficiency and safety.
If you don’t currently recycle but want to start, take baby steps. Start with something basic and common, like your cardboard and paper, and develop a system to recycle it. Ask your hauler for a recycle container, or use your own plastic tub to drop the items off yourself. Place this container in your home so it is easily accessible. Your garbage container will see a dramatic decrease!
Once this becomes easy, add another material, like aluminum. Later add plastic; then glass. Your hauler can pick these items up at the curb, or you can drop them off at your convenience at the Boone County Recycling Center located at 11th & Division Streets in Boone. The drop off center is open 24/7.
Reducing your carbon footprint is good for the environment and for your bank account too! There are many ways to do this: drive less; ride your bike or walk; unplug electronics when not being used; change filters; replace incandescent light bulbs with CFLs or LEDs; shut off lights; take showers instead of baths and limit your time; use ceiling fans and make sure they are turning the correct direction; clean the coils on your refrigerator; use reusable bags when getting groceries; if eating at sandwich shops, don’t have them put the sandwich in their plastic bag; don’t use straws for your drinks; don’t buy bottled water, but do buy a water bottle and fill it up with free water many, many times.
This is a good time to start safety practices in your home like testing smoke detectors, planning escape routes, checking for hazards, and testing for radon. Boone County residents can get a free radon test kit by contacting the Boone County Sanitarian at 515-433-4964. You will receive instructions on how to use the test kit and also what your results mean.
Get out and about in your city and county. Adopt a county road to pick up litter or even just do it around your neighborhood. Many area schools are regularly cleaning their playgrounds. If you go on daily walks take a litter sack with you and pick up garbage along the way. Be careful what you pick up and report any suspicious materials.
There are many ways to improve your home, your safety, your county, and your environment. Get involved and make an effort to make a difference. Have a great 2015!