Simple steps to help the environment from home
Being more environmentally friendly in your daily life doesn’t have to be difficult. If you’re looking for simple ways to be green from home, read the list below for tips on how to make your life a bit greener. You’ll also find links to local resources from community organizations that provide a service related to each tip. From stopping junk mail to finding the nearest farmer’s markets, the following list has the green resources you need!
1. Empower yourself and get rid of unwanted junk mail.
Rid your mailbox of unwanted advertisements, catalogs and credit card solicitations, and help reduce the amount of paper wasted. Create a free account at kkcb.catalogchoice.org and choose which types of junk mail you no longer want to receive.
2. Visit Habitat Restore to donate or purchase used building materials and supplies.
Help keep valuable building materials out of the landfills and affordable for reuse. Find a Habitat Restore location near you by visiting restorekc.org.
3. Obtain an ATA bus pass.
Limiting the number of vehicles on the road helps reduce the emissions of harmful air pollution and greenhouse gases. Do your part by getting a pass to ride the KC Metro to and from work, and for other travel needs. For more information, visit kcata.org.
4. Buy produce from local farmers markets.
Buying local food helps reduce your carbon footprint. The City Market gives residents access to over 140 vendors, and is located in scenic downtown KC. Others farmers markets are located in Brookside, Zona Rosa and Minor Park. For a comprehensive list of markets in the metro area, visit kcfoodcircle.org/farmers-markets/.
5. Dispose of household hazardous waste at the Kansas City Regional HHW Center.
The most familiar household hazardous waste (HHW) products are household cleaners, lawn and garden products, automotive fluids and paint-related products. If not disposed of properly, these products can do serious harm to the environment.
6. Use clothes lines to dry wet clothes instead of a dryer.
Not only does using a clothes line help the environment, but it also saves you money on your electric bill. A clothes dryer is typically the second biggest electricity using appliance, costing approximately $85 a year to operate.
7. Recycle glass containers and electronics at drop off sites.
The solution to finding a convenient place to recycle glass is simple. Visit RippleglassKC.com and enter your zip code to find a bin near you.
Recycling electronics through Surplus Exchange in the West Bottoms is similarly straightforward; visit their website for more information on their hours and processes for accepting expired electronics.
8. Buy produce from local farmers markets.
Buying local food helps reduce your carbon footprint. The City Market gives residents access to over 140 vendors, and is located in scenic downtown KC. Others farmers markets are located in Brookside, Zona Rosa and Minor Park.
9. Avoid parking and idling vehicle engines for more than two minutes in any 60 minute period.
Litmiting idling helps the environment and protects public health. It will also reduce your fuel usage and costs!
10. Use a commercial car wash instead of soaping up at home.
Soap from washing your car can pollute local streams, creeks and lakes. The dirty water flows from your driveway into storm drains, and does not undergo treatment before entering waterways. Most commercial car washes recycle water, and the dirty water they do produce goes into the sewer system where it will be treated.
Visit Recyclespot.org, your online spot for recycling tips and information.
Visit the Five Green Things section from Bridging the Gap for additional tips.