As the weather warms up, more people are spending time outside – a great way to get to know their communities while also enjoying nature.
While we are outside, we can show our appreciation for nature’s beauty and resources by keeping our communities clean. Showing love to nature in your community helps develop an appreciation for the world around you. It also feels good to know you are doing what you can to help protect natural resources in your community.
Want to do your part? Here are some ways to give back to nature this summer:
Organize a Community Cleanup: Cleanups are a fun way to get outdoors and serve your community. Litter anywhere looks bad, and picking up trash in your neighborhood helps keep your surroundings clean while also lifting property values and giving you a sense of ownership of the area where you live. Get your neighbors and friends together and go the extra mile by cleaning up your community.
Dispose of Waste Properly: Putting waste in its proper place is an important way to prevent contaminants and pollution from entering the environment. Find out what should be recycled and what goes into the regular curbside trash where you live. Richland County offers the Waste Wizard, an easy-to-use online tool that shows where many individual items belong. You can check it out on Richland County’s website or download the Solid Waste & Recycling app.
Recycle Plastic Bottles: Here is an easy step you can take to help properly dispose of waste. Not only is recycling plastic bottles good for the environment, it’s great for the economy because recycling creates jobs – and well-paying ones, at that! Recycling companies that get a good supply of bottles to recycle will continue to invest in and expand their businesses in South Carolina. Visit YourBottleMeansJobs.com for more information.
Take a Reusable Bag to the Grocery Store: Plastic bags are the No. 1 recycling contaminant and a major pollutant for land and water. A simple way to help your community and protect nature is to grab a reusable bag before you go grocery shopping. This way, you can skip the extra plastic – and maybe save a little money, too, as some stores charge for plastic bags.
Help Protect Waterways: Only rain down the storm drain! When it rains, anything on the ground is washed into the nearest creek or stream, and these smaller bodies of water drain into our lakes and rivers. You can help by keeping storm drains clear of trash and yard debris, which can prevent water from draining properly. Another way to protect waterways: picking up pet waste and throwing it in the garbage. Learn more about Richland County’s pet waste initiative by visiting the Trash the Poop website.