Grey Bears is your local nonprofit recycler with two drop-off centers. We’re also here to support you in living more sustainably all year long. Here are seven simple ways.
1. In with the old, out with the new
According to the EPA, since 1960 the amount of daily waste generated by a single person has nearly doubled from 2.7 to 4.6 pounds. In 2012, Americans recycled 34.5% of that waste, preventing the release of 168 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air—equivalent to taking 33 million cars off the road for a year. Reduce, reuse and recycle in that order. Keep everyday reusable items with you – shopping bags, coffee mug, water bottles, utensils etc. Buy used instead of new and stay up-to-date on what’s recyclable.
2. Burn Calories, Not Fossil Fuels
Use active modes of transportation like walking or biking where possible for neighborhood errands. Stay informed on the Rail Trail, and rather than driving use Santa Cruz Metro to get you where you need to go.
3. Reduce Water Use
The Santa Cruz City Council has declared a Stage 3 Water Shortage Emergency. All customers are urgently asked to make every effort to conserve water and abide by current regulations and restrictions. From collecting water from your sink and shower in buckets for your garden, to installing rain barrels or gray water systems, we can reduce our water footprint by another 25 percent.
4. Eat Locally and Seasonally
Use all of the food in your Grey Bears bag, shop at your local farmers’ market, and buy from grocers and bakers in your neighborhood who support local farmers, businesses and nonprofits. Eat leftovers.
5. Take an Eco-Sabbath
Energy use is the #1 cause of greenhouse gas emissions. And it’s expensive. The average American household spends more on home energy bills and gasoline for cars than health care or property taxes. Consider taking a home urban camping trip by turning off lights, televisions, computers, cell phones and other gadgets. It helps us discover and appreciate life’s bare necessities.
Grey Bears can provide you with a supply of worms to get your started on home food scrap composting. Grey Bears vermiculture expert, Paul McGillicuddy, is on campus every Friday from 10-11am or email him for more information. Composting with worms helps improve improve soil nutrients and reduce climate change.
7. Give Back
By giving back, we slow down and appreciate what we have. Let’s challenge ourselves today to be more charitable in all ways.