I have been concerned about the care of our environment
since I was a little girl. When I was about 10 years old, I learned that Styrofoam
does not degrade and the use of this product is dangerous to the future of
Earth. I was so alarmed that I petitioned TCBY to stop using Styrofoam products
because it was damaging our community. This obviously didn’t work!
My concern for the environment and for future generations’
enjoyment of our world is still a passion of mine. Taking care of our environment can be
something that is very easy to do with a little attention to your daily
Here are a few tips from my personal life so that you too can help
save the planet:
This is one of the easiest habits you can form, and Memphis is about to make it
even easier. The city is in the process of providing new large cans for household
recycling and they are accepting more materials. I keep an extra trashcan
in my kitchen for recycled materials to make it easier.
using paper materials
Disposable items, like paper towels, plates and
napkins, only further fill up our landfills. Opt for reusable items, like traditional
ceramic or glass plates that you can wash over and over again and cloth materials
that can be laundered in place of napkins and paper towels.
When you throw a piece of trash out of the window, it ends up
washing down the street and landing in the gutter. It then flows into a creek
or stream, polluting our waterways and the slopes around them.
4. Pick up
your pet’s waste
While this may seem harmless, pet excretion can contaminate our
stormwater, which may lead to contamination of our creeks and streams. I carry a plastic bag and pick up my dog’s
waste so that I can throw it in the garbage.
your oils and greases
When you put oils and greases from cooking down your
sink, it can result in a clogged sanitary sewer pipe. These clogs lead to overflows in our sewer
system. You should let the oils or grease cool and then throw them away in your
6. Walk or
bike instead of driving
Protect our ozone layer by using clean forms of
transportation if you can.
Not only are these products safer for the
environment, but they also help protect you and your family’s health as well.
8. Don’t use
Some insects are good for your yard, like the bee population! Pesticides
and fertilizers also run off into our water sources, which is dangerous for our
health, as well as for plant and animal life.
Organizations like Memphis River Warriors host cleanup projects for McKellar
Lake and are always looking for volunteer assistance. You’ll be surprised and
amazed at how much garbage can be removed from common spaces.
It’s pretty easy to make a difference with these tips. If you’re interested in finding more ways to
make a difference, check out this USA.gov site which talks about energy efficiency and waste disposal.
Larkin Myers is the
vice president of Tioga Environmental Consultants, specializing in
environmental engineering and assessment, quality control, site development and
redevelopment, and regulatory compliance projects.