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Spring Cleanup – top Ways to Help the Environment

Vermont is the only U.S. state that celebrates Green Up Day on the first Saturday of May. However, other states are welcome to join the celebration. Residents can walk through their streets and neighborhoods to pick up the winter’s trash and recyclables.

There are an estimated 50 billion pieces of recyclables littering the roads and waterways of the U.S. Join us. Join in.

Take Out the Garbage When You See It

Bring a small bag with you when you walk your dog or go for a stroll with friends. You can pick up any trash you find. Ask the police how to dispose of items such as needles. In general, it is best to place them in a small bottle with a lid and store them there. The police can then take them to be disposed of properly. They’ll tell you how to properly dispose of them if they don’t.

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The most littered items are cardboard, bottles, cans, and food packaging

These five items were the most responsible for the largest increases in roadside trash, waterway waste, and recyclables over a ten-year period.

  • Cardboard
  • Cans and bottles of beer
  • Food packaging film
  • Sports drinks
  • Water Bottles

All of them can be recycled, and some even bring some money. You can earn money by picking up bottles and cans along the roadside if you live in an area where you have to pay a deposit. You can bring them to a redemption center, or if your grocery store has a return area for bottles, you can take them there. This will allow you to get some cash, and it will ensure that items thrown away on the road are recycled properly.

In 2022 the executive director for Sure We Can stated that some New Yorkers make a living picking up bottles and cans along the roadside. One family made up to $1,000 per day by doing this.

If you do not want to return bottles or cans, you should check to see if any local schools or organizations are running a bottle collection. You can donate your bottles and cans to a local youth group, a homeless shelter, or another non-profit.

Volunteer with a Waterway Cleaning Crew

Are there any organizations or businesses in your area that do waterway cleanups? Sign up to help. You’ll typically wear waders with a grabber. As you wade through a river or stream, you and your partner pick up recyclables and trash. The bag is held open by one person while the other uses a grabber or gloves to pick up the items.

This is usually done in shallow rivers and streams. You can either clean the deeper areas or stick to the shoreline and collect trash along the edges and banks.

Each year, Oregon hosts one of the biggest river cleanup programs. Each year, hundreds of volunteers clean up sections of the Clackamas River Basin. They have collected between one and three tons of recyclables and trash.

Keep your recycling bin covered

If it is windy, cover your bin when you recycle. If possible, place your bin as close as possible to the truck’s arrival. Ask the hauler to allow you to secure the lid with a heavy rock or bungee cord if it is allowed. This will prevent the lid from opening and causing lighter recyclables to blow out into the street or stream.

Limit the amount of trash and recycling you generate

Consider how much waste and recycling you generate when you purchase items. Invest in refillable bottles instead of buying single-use bottles. If you are concerned about the quality of your water at home, school, or work, consider investing in a reusable water bottle with a built-in filter.

Bring a cloth bag or mesh produce bag with you to the store when buying fruit and vegetables. Once you have placed the items in your fridge, you can wash and reuse them on your next shopping trip.

Recycle plastic film and food packaging.

Save the plastic wrap that comes with household products, food, drinks, or other items that are wrapped in plastic. Please place it in a transparent plastic bag. Plastic mailers, bubble wraps, air pillows, and plastic shopping bags can all be recycled.

Bring the bag back to the store when it is complete. Most grocery stores and discount retailers offer plastic film recycling. You can find green bins for plastic film recycling at the entrances and bottle return areas.

Reuse and upcycle what you can

One rung of a wooden step ladder has snapped. It should be thrown away. You have also been considering plant stands to grow fresh herbs. Use your creativity instead of throwing out the ladder and buying something new. The ladder’s half is still in great shape.

Remove the broken rung, and drill holes big enough to attach clay plant pots. Fill them with potting dirt and grow your herb on the ladder. Lean your ladder against a wall or the side of a house where you can get some sunlight for the plants.

This is just one example of how to reuse an item that has been damaged. Old tires can be turned into raised flower beds by painting them in bright colors, filling them with potting mix, and then adding flower seeds or plants. A cable spool that has been sanded and stained can be turned into a patio dining table.

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Jane S. King

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