10 simple actions to care for our planet

File photo of groceries loaded in plastic bags.
File photo of groceries loaded in plastic bags. (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

When a community works together to make the planet a better place, we all benefit. Here are some suggestions for people who want to help keep the Earth healthy.

  1. Unplug. Energy vampires are devices left plugged in when you’re not using them and can cost you between $100–$200 each year.
  2. Recycle correctly. Contamination is recycling’s biggest problem. Know what to throw out and ensure your recyclables are empty, clean, dry and not bagged.
  3. Strike a match. Lighters are not biodegradable and often end up in the landfill.
  4. Buy reusable bags. Purchase half a dozen reusable bags to use every time you go to the store. An investment of a few dollars will save thousands of plastic bags in the long term.
  5. Bring your own mug. Daily coffee shop visitors generate about 23 pounds each of waste in disposable cups each year.
  6. Replace light bulbs. LED light bulbs use just 10% of the energy incandescent bulbs do. When you replace, be sure to recycle them appropriately.
  7. Use rechargeable batteries. Generate less waste with reusable batteries.
  8. Bundle shipments. One-third of the waste in landfills is packing materials. Request multiple items be packaged together for shipping.
  9. Use recycled paper. The EPA says buying recycled paper helps close the recycling loop.
  10. Buy used. Search thrift stores and listservs for gently used items. Save 70-90% on books, clothing and home decor when you buy secondhand versus new.

DOWNLOAD: One-sheet of these tips to post or share | VISIT: RecyclingSimplified.com or RepublicServices.com/EarthDay for more tips and information.