5 ways to live greener every day

You can make a difference when it comes to protecting the environment. Here are 5 few ways you can live a little greener every day.

Buy and eat local

By buying produce locally, you can help preserve the environment and support the community by investing your food dollar closer to home. LocalHarvest is a clearinghouse for locally grown food — from farms, to Farmers Markets and more. Here are just a few of the restaurants that take pride in using fresh, local ingredients: The Winds Cafe, Olive an urban dive Rue Dumaine, Meadowlark, Hawthorn Grill, Lily’s Bistro, Butter Cafe, Ginger & Spice, Basil’s on Market, Zetland Street, Trolley Stop and Coldwater Cafe. And shop at the 2nd Street Market in Dayton for fresh, local ingredients year-round.

Recycle smarter

Recycling is easy. For many, all you need to do is take advantage of curbside pickup. Depending on where you live, you may have to put forth a little more research and effort. The Montgomery County Solid Waste District offers a guide to recycling: what can be picked up, and what days the items are picked up.

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Change your habits

Here are some simple steps that can make a big difference, as recommended by the Miami County Park District, which promotes greener living. When in the bathroom, turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth, shaving or washing your face or hands. Turn the tap on low. Drink tap water out of a reusable water bottle and invest in a home filtration system. Soak the dishes right after use for easy and waste-free cleanup to avoid scrubbing them under running water. When doing laundry, make a concerted effort to match the level of the laundry to the water level. Try to only wash full loads to save energy as well. Dry loads of laundry back-to-back to minimize the need for reheating after cooling. Mulch plants and trees to help keep excess water from evaporating as fast and assist you in water conservation. Find and fix leaks, as one small drip per minute is almost 53 gallons of water wasted per year. Switch to a low-flow showerhead.

Create a rain barrel

Making your own rain barrel is a fun and exciting way to conserve natural resources. Take a class to learn how. The Miami County Park District is partnering with Miami County Soil and Water for this program to offer a class on Wednesday, April 22, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Lost Creek Reserve, 2385 E. State Route 41 east of Troy. Cost for class is $40 (includes rain barrel). Class is limited to 25 participants. Must register for the program by calling Miami County Soil and Water at (937) 335-7645 or emailing info@miamiswcd.org. If you can’t make it, Five Rivers MetroParks offers direction on how to make a rain barrel and how to install a rain barrel.

Help keep river clean

River clean-ups are one way volunteers can do something tangible for local streams. River clean-ups also help maintain the flood protection system by removing debris and trash that caretakers would have to remove.

Local groups join forces annually to coordinate a clean-up of the entire 170 miles of the Great Miami River. The Great Miami River Cleanup is a volunteer event focused on removing trash and restoring the health of the Great Miami River. It’s a day for communities to demonstrate their desire for clean water and healthy rivers. This year’s dates have yet to be scheduled but typically take place in summer and fall.

Sources: LocalHarvest, Five Rivers MetroParks, Miami County Park District, Montgomery County Solid Waste District

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