SACRAMENTO – As communities throughout California and around the nation celebrate Earth Day, the Department of Conservation has a few suggestions about small adjustments that can make a big difference for the environment.
If individuals make an effort to keep our environment clean now, we will protect natural resources and increase the availability of valuable raw materials for the future. By following a few simple suggestions, we begin to make conscious decisions that will have positive results for the environment.
A wide variety of beverage containers can be redeemed for cash under California’s beverage container recycling program. Even containers that are not included in the program are recyclable. If you don’t recycle, take time to find out how. Call your city or county recycling program or visit www.bottlesandcans.com.
2. Buy Products Made From Recycled Materials
Recycling is important and so is buying products made from recycled materials. Look for the recycling symbol (or "made from post-consumer material") on a wide range of products. In addition, there is a growing array of new products made from recycled beverage containers, ranging from backyard planter boxes to fleece vests.
3. Get out of the car one day a week
Carpool, use public transportation or bicycle. Using alternative transportation a day or two a week can prove manageable, and getting out from behind the wheel can be relaxing. Plus, riding a bike fulfills the annual resolution to exercise more.
4. Enjoy the great outdoors: visit a local, state or national park
Take some time to appreciate California’s world-class natural areas. Get to know some of the parks in your area and beyond. Ask about volunteer opportunities or special nature programs geared toward kids.
5. Go local: volunteer in your community
Volunteer to help improve your hometown environment. Sign up for the local clean-up day, tree-planting effort or community garden. Take your kids to a neighborhood creek restoration effort to show them what an ecosystem is all about. Volunteer at a local park. Adopt your own space and turn it green.
6. Conserve energy
Cut your monthly energy bills 30 percent by replacing old equipment in your home with state-of-the-art Energy Star products. Get going on those energy-efficient home improvements you’ve been putting off all year. Turn off lights when you leave a room and keep the thermostat at 78 degrees or higher in the summer. For more tips on conserving energy, visit www.flexyourpower.org.