Knight Ridder Newspapers
As communities throughout California and around the nation celebrated Earth Day this week, the California Department of Conservation has a few suggestions about small adjustments that can make a big difference for the environment.
-Recycle. A wide variety of beverage containers can be redeemed for cash under California's beverage container recycling program. Even containers that are not included in the program are recyclable. If you don't recycle, take time to find out how. Call your city or county recycling program or visit www.bottlesandcans.com.
-Buy products made from recycled materials. Recycling is important and so is buying products made from recycled materials. Look for the recycling symbol (or "made from post-consumer material") on a wide range of products. In addition, there is a growing array of new products made from recycled beverage containers, ranging from backyard planter boxes to fleece vests.
-Get out of the car one day a week. Carpool, use public transportation or bicycle. Using alternative transportation a day or two a week can prove manageable, and getting out from behind the wheel can be relaxing. Plus, riding a bike fulfills the annual resolution to exercise more.
-Enjoy the great outdoors: visit a local, state or national park - Take some time to appreciate California's world-class natural areas. Get to know some of the parks in your area and beyond. Ask about volunteer opportunities or special nature programs geared toward kids.
-Go local: volunteer in your community. Volunteer to help improve your hometown environment. Sign up for the local clean-up day, tree-planting effort or community garden. Take your kids to a neighborhood creek restoration effort to show them what an ecosystem is all about. Volunteer at a local park. Adopt your own space and turn it green.
-Conserve energy. Turn off lights when you leave a room and keep the thermostat at 78 degrees or higher in the summer. For more tips on conserving energy, visit www.flexyourpower.ca.gov.
For more information on beverage recycling, visit www.bottlesandcans.com, or call 1-800-RECYCLE.
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© 2002, The Monterey County Herald (Monterey, Calif.).
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