When I ask young kids (not my own; they’ve been preached to too many times!) how they would save the Earth, they respond with, “Don’t put trash on the ground.” As I’ve been providing green tips and ideas on Reno Moms Blog over the last few months, I’ve neglected mentioning what really is the simplest step to going green. Out of the mouths of babes, it’s true: keeping trash off the ground really is a great way to go green.
Here are some facts to get us started: each American throws away approximately seven pounds of trash every day. In Washoe County, we send the equivalent of 700 elephants to the Lockwood Landfill every day. 700 elephants! I mean, think about that. It’s insane. And the number one thing we throw away? It’s food. (Source: Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful Waste Warriors.) In fact, if food waste were to become its own country, it would only be behind the US and China for producing greenhouse gasses. YIKES!!!
I’ve blogged about vermicomposting, which, along with composting, is a great way to drive those numbers down for what ends up in our landfill. As for the rest of the landfill, I could blog about the importance of recycling (did you know an aluminum can only takes six weeks to go from your recycling bin to a store shelf?), or great ways to reuse items with fun craft projects for kids (follow my Pinterest board if you need some ideas)…but I think maybe the simplest message for today’s blog is: “Don’t put trash on the ground.”
I’d like to encourage you to take that advice one step further by removing trash that’s already on the ground. And an awesome opportunity to lead by example is coming up next weekend! On Saturday, September 28th, Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful needs our help with the Truckee River Cleanup Day. Go green, perform some community service as a family, illustrate the importance of giving back to your community, and start the dialog about saving the Earth.
The Truckee River – where our drinking water comes from – is littered with cans, bottles, and picnic leftovers. Not only do we need to preserve our drinking water, we want to ensure our community is clean: plastic bags, empty water bottles, and other trash definitely deter new business, tourism, and potential residents. Let’s join forces and help ensure the place our children call home is one that’s healthy, thriving, and picture-perfect.
Consider joining our community in river cleanup, weed removal, and drain-stenciling projects (what kid wouldn’t love being told they have to paint the curb?!) along the Truckee River from Verdi to Lockwood. There are many family-friendly locations to choose from, including:
• McCarran Ranch Trailhead
• Reno Sparks Indian Colony Tribal Health Center
• Lockwood Park
• Storm Drain Stenciling (Holy Cross Lutheran and Starbucks on Kietzke)
You’ll need to register online and print out a parent permission form for any kids under 18. Your family can help clean up wrappers and bottle caps; you can also sort out soda cans and water bottles for recycling. There will also be scavenger hunts at each site with small prizes for participants where families get to help identify the most commonly thrown away items; your kiddos could be part of a very important investigation!
The event is from 8:30 a.m. to noon; there will also be a celebratory/appreciation barbecue at Rock Park in Sparks beginning at 12:00. Please register soon, as site locations fill up fast.
If you’ve been meaning to do something green and in your local community, show your children firsthand where to start by giving three hours on a Saturday. It will make a huge difference!