Green Your Routine

Hey Fusers!  Earth Day is a great time to evaluate your daily routine.  But remember, going green is not all about going big or going home.  You can take small, easy steps to make changes that really add up.  Last week at the FUSE Words from the Wise lunch panel we heard from Chelly Townsend of the DECC, Laura Mullen of Bent Paddle, and AJ Axtell of WLSSD about changes they’ve made at home and at work.  Chelly and Laura talked about using energy efficient lighting and other reduction efforts in beer making and event hosting that have resulted in fantastic cost savings.  AJ gave us the low down swapping out all the disposable junk that clutters up our lives for the sturdier, reusable options.  Quick fixes like toting your own coffee mug or water bottle and remembering those pesky reusable bags when you head to the store can save you green – both from the environment and from your wallet.

If you’re having trouble deciding where to start, you might want to get up close and personal with your trash bin.  Okay, not too close, but give it a once over.  Is it full of tin foil, plastic wrap, Styrofoam, disposable plates and cups, or food scraps?  Now’s a great time to try to eliminate these items from your arsenal.  Choose reusable containers whenever you can.  If none of your lids match the containers you have, donate or recycle your stash and start with a new batch that you can commit to using.  Food scraps weighing you down?  Set up a composter and start recycling those fruit and veggie scraps.  Don’t like digging in the dirt or don’t have any dirt to dig in?  WLSSD offers food waste drop sites for area residents.  Anything that is or was edible can be dropped off for WLSSD to compost for you!
If you’re already an avid recycler and composter, think about the next step.  Focus on buying local by purchasing a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share.  You can help support a local farmer and get weekly deliveries of fresh fruits and veggies!  Since you won’t be in the store as much, see if you can take it one step further and set a goal to buy everything local for a week or a month. It’s tricky, but it’s worth it!  And while you’re at it, try to avoid buying things with excessive packaging like molded Styrofoam and plastic.  You’ll be amazed at how much garbage you Don’t have on garbage day!
Good luck Fusers!  And remember, every day is Earth Day!
AJ Axtell, Fuse Leadership Council
Environmental Program Coordinator with the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District