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Summer is finally here, which more time in the backyard, in the home, and more quality time with the entire family. While you’re outside spring cleaning, getting your garden ready, or just staying out of the heat in your abode, it’s the perfect time to get the whole family involved in simple and fun green practices. Of course, Western Elite is here to help you and your family make going green as easy as possible! From yard care and composting to major landscape projects, we’re here to help you with great tips and, of course, our roll-off dumpsters to take care of your excess green waste.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Of course, getting your kids outside is one of the best parts of summer vacation. And although a child’s summer is full of fun, it can also be a fantastic time to establish new sustainable habits. For instance, it’s from a young age that kids hear the phrase “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” in schools and, hopefully, at home. But learning and participating are too different things. What better way to have fun while teaching by example, whether in the yard, through habitual acts in your home, or through family activities.

Reduce

The first step toward lessening our carbon footprint is to reduce the amount of one-time-use materials we consume. This includes products such as plastics, paper towels, and rubber. When we’re conscious about what type of packaging our favorite products use, we start to realize how often we’re throwing away single-use waste that is going to a landfill. Switching to multi-use and recyclable items can be a tough transition initially, but the payoff is worth it! You’ll not only make a difference for the planet, but for your wallet as well. It’s also important to think about our daily carbon footprint, and actively work to reduce it. Of course, if you’re staying home in these trying times, you’re already reducing it somewhat.

Tips to reduce as a family:

  • If you’ve ordered a family meal from a service like Grubhub or Doordash, make sure to ask for no one-use utensils or paper napkins.
  • Growing vegetables in a home garden? Now’s the perfect time to experiment with fully vegetarian meals. Even cutting meat out of one meal a week for your entire family can reduce your food carbon footprint significantly.
  • It’s crafting time! Instead of using plastic wrap to cover up those leftovers, try your hand at making beeswax or soy wax food storage wraps. Thankfully, there are a ton of different DIY instruction manuals available online.

Reuse

Kids set a great example of how to reuse items and get more life out of them. Their imagination helps them see the potential of something that you might otherwise send to a landfill. Take a cue from kids’ creativity and put items to use again in your home or yard. Consider “shopping” around your own home when it comes time to redecorate a space or finish a project. You might be surprised to see what you already have on hand that can be put to good use. Something else to consider is allowing others to reuse items for which you no longer have use; donating gently used items like clothing or furniture is a great way to give them a new life to those items while keeping them from heading to the landfill for a little longer. 

Tips to reuse as a family:

  • Thinking about getting rid of an old cabinet, hutch, or cube storage bin? Turn it into a plant nursery station instead! Although furniture may no longer work in your home, think about reimagining that piece of furniture in a different space for a different purpose. Give your furniture a fresh coat of paint, take any existing doors off, and use the piece to store everything from extra soil and seeds to potted plants.
  • Have an in-home item swap! Although we may not be able to meet up with a large group of friends for a clothing swap, you can still have the same experience at home. Encourage your kids or anyone else you may be social distancing with to collect the toys, books, or clothing they’re no longer interested in keeping (i.e. the items they never seem to use that might be donated anyway) and come together for an in-home “swap meet”. Let your family peruse the items, exchanging what they no longer want for that toy they’ve been eyeing from their siblings.

Recycle

Recycling habits start in the home. So now that it’s summer and we’re home more often, it’s the ideal time to review those recycling rules. We suggest making a print out of your local neighborhoods “okay to recycle” lists that can be found on most neighborhood websites, and hang it above your trash and recycle bins. The visual will help family members make the right choice. And of course, recycling in your backyard is another fantastic way to get the entire family involved in simple recycling projects that are fun and educational.

Tips for recycling as a family:

 

  • Start a compost garden with our handy guide! This will teach your family how to use everyday scrap goods for a cool purpose within your home or backyard.
  • Plant a garden and use your compost to help it grow. Nothing is more fun than letting your little ones help grow flowers, fruits, and vegetables that will later blossom in front of their eyes or be used in their meals.
  • Have green outdoor waste? Show your family how to properly dispose of it. It’s not enough to throw green garden waste in your usual dumpster, just as it’s not useful to through recyclable items in your trash bin. Give us a call and we’ll help you find the best rental dumpster, big or small, to help you sustainably rid yourself of green waste.