Summer is here and kids are out of school, so let the travel and outdoor activities begin!
But slow down just a minute here and consider these tips to help your family ‘act green’ during all the summer fun!
1. Keep a litter bag (or if your family generates a lot of trash, use a small garbage bag) in your car whether you are traveling locally or on the road.
2. If you really want to go the distance and get a green star, keep a small bag for also collecting any recyclables.
3. Please, do not toss your trash out the car window and please make sure your children do not either. Although, I find that kids are now often the ones reminding their parents to not litter.
4. Also as you are driving, walking or boating, make sure that you secure your trash and also other items so they do get blown out of your vehicle and become litter on our roads.
5. On the road, reduce the amount of plastic water bottles by making sure each family member has a reusable drink container and uses it. The U.S. generated almost 7 million tons of plastics as non-durable goods, such as plates and cups in 2012. Only 9 percent of the 14 million tons of total plastic waste was recycled. Same thing goes for snacks. You can buy snacks in bulk and pack for trips and activities instead of buying individual snack items. You will reduce the amount of trash generated and probably save a lot of money too. Think of it as retro travel. That is the way all of us baby boomers grew up traveling as kids because there were no fast food joints
6. Beer drinkers of the world — and especially those in Liberty County — it is time to realize that your truck is NOT a trash can so when you toss your empty beer cans and beer cartons in the back, the litter fairies do not take care of them, they end up on the road. You Bud Lite drinkers know who you are.
7. When entertaining at home, reduce the amount of garbage by just thinking ahead. When you are grilling at home or camping in the wilderness, you really do not have to use paper plates. Real plates work fine and at home are easily washed up in the dishwasher. That is what God created dishwashers for.
8. I hate this one. Eat more vegetables. Livestock accounts for 14.5 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. Cattle-raising alone actually contributes 65 percent of the livestock sector’s emissions. Our meat addiction has some environmental impact. Of course, we love our BBQs, but consider eating more fresh vegetables and salads during the summer when all these good veggies are getting ripe.
9. At ball games and pool activities, make sure everyone in your family knows that if you generate trash, it goes in a trash can and should never be dumped on the ground or in the stadium or arena. Why did people ever start doing that?
10. If you are traveling consider taking a road trip on public transportation, like my favorite a train. Every kid needs to ride on a train at some point and just think how many fewer cars would be on the road and how much gas might be saved. A train ride is like an adventure in motion.
11. If you are traveling, book an environmentally friendly hotel and get real. Do you change your sheets and towels every day at home? Then save water and fuel by not expecting it in a hotel.
With just a little forethought your summer activities can be filled with fun and gentle on the environment, too. Have a great summer!
If you would like to find out about volunteering with keep Liberty Beautiful or find out more ways to ‘live green’, simply contact us at Keep Liberty Beautiful at 880 4888 or email@example.com or check out www.keeplibertybeautiful.org.