Print Take stock of what you do to lessen footprint on planet
Written by Trista Steers MacVittie   
Thursday, 19 April 2012 00:00

While preparing our Green publication, which comes out next week, I’ve learned about practices local businesses employ to lessen their footprint on the planet and thought about what I and others can do individually.

Larson Newspapers Managing Editor Trista Steers MacVittieWith Earth Day also coming up Sunday, April 22, it seemed like an appropriate time to consider my efforts.

I first took stock of myself and my practices, because I’m a firm believer in practicing what I preach.

I started recycling as a little girl. We would save cans and donate them to a dialysis center in honor of my Grandma Alice who underwent the procedure regularly before she died.

While I wasn’t necessarily thinking about reuse and keeping cans out of the Lander Dump in Wyoming, it was a small start to my environmental awareness.

Recycling represents the largest portion of what I’ve done in the past with regard to sustainability.

My college town’s trash service offered a blue bag program where all a person had to do to recycle was put recyclable items in a blue bag and put it out with the trash. That was easy enough.

Today, my husband picks what he calls trash out of our recycle bin telling me it doesn’t make the cut. I tell him I was hoping it wouldn’t end up in a landfill.

Since he is right — many items I wish I could recycle I cannot — I keep the thought in the back of my mind when I’m shopping.

Rather than buying single-serve yogurt, I purchase a large tub. I also fill my cart with mostly fruits and vegetables to minimize packaging waste, and I take my reusable shopping bags along. I also never drink bottled water unless I’m extremely desperate. I always bring my own water bottle.

Last year we took a stab at reducing our dependence on APS and installed solar panels. In one year, not only did we see our bill drop to only taxes and fees for a large portion of the year, but we also became more conscious of our use.

There are more practices I could incorporate into my lifestyle, and some I already have and didn’t have room to mention. I strive to leave the planet in the best shape possible for those who come after me, a reachable goal if we all agree to do so.