As fall turns into winter, askHRgreen.org turns its thoughts to hearth, home, and how to make the approaching season easy on the environment. To follow are some helpful reminders to sustain you from Thanksgiving through the New Year and beyond!
Make a good first impression. With company coming, you’ll want to have a tidy yard so be sure to collect and/or bag your leaves and have them ready for municipal pick up. Leaves that are raked or blown into the street can ultimately end up in the storm drain, causing street flooding. Once the leaves enter the storm drain and begin to decay, they release nutrients that contribute to excess algae growth in waterways.
Keep a fat-free drain. Holiday cooking can leave behind a big fat mess. Make sure to keep leftover foods out of the kitchen drain and garbage disposal to avoid a back-up in your sink. For proper disposal, throw food scraps in the trash or compost them, and use a paper towel to wipe your dirty dishes before washing. As for standing grease or cooking oil, pour it in a heat-safe can, pop it in the freezer to harden, and toss the can out with the trash.
Recycle more, trash less. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the amount of household garbage in the United States can increase by 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. We’re not just talking trash here; a lot of what ends up in the garbage can be recycled. Check your city/county website to find out what’s recyclable in your community. Then fill your recycling container to the brim or set aside a box to take these items to a drop-off recycling center near you.