This Saint Patrick’s Day, Don’t Just Wear Green, Go Green!!
Working in a spring garden.

What better time of year to “go green” than on the greenest holiday of the year?? But what does going green really mean? Going green means making lifestyle changes designed to help you live in a more eco-friendly way. It means becoming more environmentally aware and changing your behavior and lifestyle to reduce the amount of pollution and waste you generate. Easy, right? Then why does it seem so hard sometimes?

Common Obstacles to Going Green

When it comes to switching to an eco-friendly lifestyle, change can be hard! But why? Here are common reasons most people hesitate making the change, and some simple solutions.

Cost– This is the biggest one! When times are tight, families try to cut pennies any place they can. Eco-friendly alternatives can be more expensive than their mainstream counterparts. This may be due to having a higher quality of materials, not being mass produced, or not yet having enough competition to drive the prices down. It can “feel” like going green costs a lot more green!

Solution– Most of the time, you will find that if you look at “cost per use” versus “initial cost”, a lot of environmentally friendly items are similar or cheaper in cost than their single use counterparts. Using an aluminum water bottle 20 times is actually cheaper than buying 20 bottles of water in single use plastic bottles! And when it comes to cleaners, there are in fact many DIY alternatives that are actually cheaper than their store-bought equivalent and more eco-friendly too.

Time and Convenience– Let’s face it. Today’s families are busier than ever! School events, sports, club activities: we run from commitment to commitment and sometimes scarcely have time to breath it seems! Grabbing single use bags and water bottles and tossing them in the trash are EASY. And making a trip to the local recycling center costs gas and time.

Solution– Learning to take a little time to get into a new habit can save you money in the long run, and you can feel good about helping the environment.  And the more demand there is for recycling options, the more options there will be!

Lack of education or knowledge of proper recycling practices– Some people want to recycle, but simple don’t know how! And rules concerning what you can and cannot recycle change often and vary from place to place. For example, Styrofoam IS recyclable. However, very few areas actually recycle it because it takes a large amount of materials, and produces very little financial return. And plastic bags should never go in the bins or your tote, but are still recyclable if returned to the local grocery store. Most of them have collection points at the front of the store.

Solution– Educate yourself! One of your best sources of information can be your local Solid Waste Management District, or in Howard County, the Recycling District. We have a lot of the answers to questions concerning what options are available to you in our county, and if we don’t know, we can find out! You can also check with your local trash disposal to see what options they offer. And watch for free classes presented by the Recycling District in your local community that cover a number of “how to” topics. Any questions? Give us a call @765-456-2274.

Change can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be. And going green is easier than it sounds, any time of the year. Just make one small change at a time, and soon you will be on your way to healthy new habits that will have a lasting impact on our community and our planet!

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