April Waste Reduction Tips

Ah Spring, glorious Spring!  In April all is growing and greening.  This month we celebrate Earth Day and Easter — and finding more ways to leave less waste behind.

Easter

There are lots of ways to make your Easter baskets more sustainable!

  • Before you dye, choose locally sourced eggs.  Ballard Farmers’ Market has lots of eggs from farms that let their hens live happy, healthy lives, spending their days outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine, scratching in the dirt, eating natural diets and hanging out with roosters. Those farms include Growing ThingsSea BreezeSkagit River Ranch and Stokesberry, among others.
  • Preventing food waste is important, but what do you do with a couple of dozen eggs after you’ve dyed them?  Here are some ideas for using up all those hard-boiled eggs.
  • If you’re not into real eggs, there are also plastic Easter eggs that are compostable, and ceramic Easter eggs that are dyeable!
  • And ditch the store-bought dye!  Here are some instructions from Real Simple for homemade Easter egg dye.
  • Avoid plastic grass — it can’t go into the recycling bins.  If you already have some, you can reuse it (for years to come!).  If you’re planning to buy new grass this year, try shredded tissue paper instead.
  • Pay attention to packaging — check out the bulk candy sections before purchasing candy wrapped in foil, packaged in plastic.  The candy may not be as brightly colored, but it’s just as delicious!
  • Make a locally sourced Easter meal.  Plan it in advance, then visit the Ballard Farmers Market on Sunday morning to put together a meal from local growers.  Yum!
  • Not celebrating Easter?  Here are 5 ways to make your Passover Seder more sustainable.

From dying your eggs, to re-thinking the candy and picking out the baskets, get your green on this year for Easter and take a few steps toward a more sustainable holiday!

EarthDay

EarthDay and the time leading up to is great for learning and for volunteering with a local group for environmental clean up.  Check these out:

Celebrate EarthDay in your own backyard.  Thank you to Sustainable Boise for these ideas:

  • Start grasscycling at home. Use a mulching mower or compost your grass clippings. Save time and money and reduce the amount of turf you have to mow, fertilize and water.
  • Use leaf mulch or wood chips to prevent weed growth, retain moisture, regulate soil temperature, and add nutrients back to the soil.
  • Use manual tools to save fuel and protect air quality.
  • Raise the cutting height of your lawn mower to keep grass roots shaded and cooler, reducing weed growth, browning, and the need for watering.
  • Cut the bottoms off plastic milk jugs or use small paper bags to protect young seedlings from frost, wind and heavy rain. Remember to recycle the bags and jugs when the seedlings have grown.
  • Introduce ladybugs to eat aphids, plant marigolds to ward off beetles, and look for quick-sprouting plants to block weed growth. Many plants and insects can serve as non-toxic, natural deterrents to weeds and garden pests.

Local Recyling Opportunities

TerraCycle recycles lots of “un-recyclable” items.