We’re exploring the surface of Jupiter, instantly communicating with people around the world, and chasing pixel-based critters on tiny pieces of plastic – but despite all of these incredible scientific advancements, we’re still creating a great deal of waste in our homes. Until new solutions are available, however, there are things we can do the mitigate the impact of our waste on habitat and the wildlife that lives around us.
Reduce. Whether it’s the plastic rings around a six-pack, the dome lid on frozen drinks and snacks, or even shrink wrap, finding a way to reduce these items prior to throwing them out can have a meaningful impact for animals. Cutting apart plastic items and pinching closed cans can prevent many critters from accessing them in the hopes of finding a treat – and getting injured or stuck. And when you DO reduce these items, make sure they’re in a sealed container so animals can’t access them.
Reuse. Grocery bags made from recycled grocery bags, coffee cups that look like paper coffee cups but can be reused hundreds of times, and water bottles made from recycled water bottles are some of the fun ways (if you’re into irony) that you can reuse commonly disposable items. In fact, many businesses now offer discounts if you bring your own containers!
Recycle. Recycling programs make life a lot easier – but we still need to remember to rinse out containers (which can be a wildlife attractant), properly sort items, and, if your community offers one, take part in compost or other waste diversion programs.
We can have meaningful impacts on wildlife and their habitats – and sometimes, it’s easier than we think.