Minimizing environmental impact by taking steps to reduce waste

Photo credit: J.D. Duggan
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Step 1. Instead of preparing meals and leaving yourself with tons of excess leftovers that end up sitting in the back of your refrigerator until they go bad: consider portions when cooking and seek sources for meal-prepping during the week. Photo credit: J.D. Duggan
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2. Rather than tossing organics into the trash, look into creating a compost system in your home or apartment building. Most food scraps as well as leaves and yard trimmings are compostable. Photo credit: J.D. Duggan
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3. Replace plastic bottles, cups, bags, and containers with reusable alternatives. Bring them with you! Many shops also offer discounts if you bring your own containers and bags. Photo credit: J.D. Duggan
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2. Rather than tossing organics into the trash, look into creating a compost system in your home or apartment building. Most food scraps as well as leaves and yard trimmings are compostable. Photo credit: J.D. Duggan
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5. As an alternative to simply discarding used or damaged items, consider donating, or utilizing online resale sites. Along with this, repair rather than replace items when possible. When you must replace, search resale and thrift stores for a less expensive - and less wasteful - option. Photo credit: J.D. Duggan

If you’d like to get involved and learn more about zero waste and sustainability movements, there’s a myriad of ways to do so. Contacting your county’s waste management companies, speaking to teachers or individuals involved with organizations that work hands-on with environmental issues, taking an environmental science class, doing your own personal research online, and attending local events are great ways to get a start. Another beneficial resource is the textbook Principles of Environmental Science: Inquiry and Application that is used in Environmental Science courses at MCTC.

Cathy Geist, a Biology and Environmental Science Professor at MCTC and Advisor to 3-Legged Frog Environmental Club offers zealous advice for beginners: “Don’t think that it doesn’t pertain to you, don’t think that there’s nothing you can do about it, because there is! We all have things we can do [to lessen our waste], so you must not get discouraged.” Take your first step, and continue to become more aware of your personal impact. Be kind to yourself in the process, and find support from the people around you.

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