Greener Davis: Environmental conservation in five steps

Greener Davis logo

By Jennifer Gilbert

Crossposed from the Davis Enterprise From page A4

April 21, 2017

Five ways you can reduce waste

1. Choose to reuse: Look for reusable alternatives for single-use products. Use towel and cloth napkins instead of paper. Use washable containers instead of zippered plastic bags. Bring your bags when you shop and bring your coffee mug to the café.

2. Recycle junk mail: Junk mail is recyclable! Shred any mail with personal information and then recycle it. Stop junk mail before it starts — visit StopJunkMail.org for a free kit to stop unnecessary and unwanted mail.

3. Practice grasscycling: Save time, energy and money. Use the mulch mowing feature on your lawnmower and stop bagging your lawn clippings. Mulch mowing cuts the grass into tiny pieces so that they compost onsite, reducing the need for fertilizer, improving the soil and helping your lawn conserve water.

4. Convert your kitchen trash bin: Turn your kitchen trash bin into an organics collection bin and place a tiny trash can next to it. Most of the waste coming out of your kitchen is either recyclable or compostable.

5. Aim for zero: Challenge your household to see how much you can reduce your waste. By separating out wastes for recycling and composting, you should be able to divert 75 percent of your waste from the trash!

Jennifer Gilbert

Jennifer Gilbert has been Conservation Coordinator for the City of Davis for over a decade. Courtesy photo.

Five ways you can protect water quality

1. No fats, oils or grease down the drain: Avoid clogged pipes — save fats, oils and grease for recycling or place in the trash.

2. Keep food waste out of the sink: Scrape food scraps off dishes and place them in your food-scrap pail.

3. Don’t flush garbage: Nothing should be flushed down the toilet other than human wastes and toilet paper. “Flushable” or “disposable” products such as wipes, diapers or feminine protection should never be disposed of in sinks or toilets. They belong in the trash.

4. Dispose of hazardous waste properly: Household chemicals should never be disposed of in the sink or toilet. Visit Earth911.com for local disposal options.

5. Dispose of medicines properly: Unused medicines should never be poured down the sink or toilet. Visit Earth911.com for local disposal options.

Five ways you can conserve water

1. Reduce and reuse: While you wait for your shower to heat up, or when rinsing fruits and veggies, place a bucket under the tap to collect the running water. Reuse this water to water plants or flush the toilet.

2. Keep it short: Aim to limit showers to five minutes or less. For added water savings, try turning the tap off while you wash your hair.

3. Let the dish soap do the work: Soak pots and pans with water and dish soap instead of rinsing to remove stuck-on food.

4. Fill it up: Run full loads when washing either dishes or clothes.

5. A glass a day: Limit the number of dishes you have to wash. Designate one drinking glass per day.

Five ways you can prevent pollution

1. Can your waste: Make sure all your trash, recyclables and organic wastes end up in the proper waste containers.

2. Wash your car the green way: Wash your cars at carwash facilities where the waste water goes to the Davis’ waste water treatment plant.

3. Choose professionals: If possible, have car maintenance done at a licensed auto repair and maintenance shop.

4. Clean up after your pets: Pick up your pet‘s waste, put it in a plastic bag (biodegradable is best!) and place it in a trash receptacle.

5. Limit plastics: Reduce the use of plastics, especially single-use plastics. Look for glass or metal reusable or recyclable alternatives.

Five ways you can protect wildlife

1. Encourage less-toxic options: Encourage your property to use less toxic methods for controlling pests. Rodenticides can harm non- target wildlife like hawks and owls.

2. Practice less-toxic options: Control ants with boric acid-based baits. Keep counter tops clean and store sugary and fatty foods in sealed containers or in the refrigerator.

3. Feed pets indoors: Pet food is for pets, not wildlife. Feed pets indoors to reduce wildlife encounters.

4. Keep pets indoors: Keep small pets indoors at night to keep them safe from coyotes. Keeping pet cats indoors during the day also protects local birds from predation.

5. Close the trash can lid: Ensure the community trash bin lid is closed after depositing trash to prevent wildlife from rummaging.

Upcoming events:

National Mayor’s Conservation Challenge

Join the city of Davis and do your part to conserve water and other natural resources by participating in the Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge. The challenge, held every April, encourages cities across the nation to see who can be the most water-wise. Residents are asked to take a series of informative online pledges to conserve water, energy and other natural resources. Take the pledge at MyWaterPledge.com.

For more information, visit GreenerDavis.org, email PWWeb@CityofDavis.org or call the city’s Public Works Department at 530-757-5686. Follow on Facebook and Twitter: @GreenerDavis.

— For more information, contact Jennifer Gilbert and Dawn Calciano, city of Davis conservation coordinators, at 530-757-5686, or email jgilbert@cityofdavis.org or dcalciano@cityofdavis.org.

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