Many seniors remember when milk came in glass bottles that were washed and reused and paper was the standard in grocery store bags. Whether you like to delve into the nostalgia of yesteryear or prefer the convenience of modern consumer culture, you don't have to be super connected to the news to realize that the planet could use some better care.
According to National Geographic, in 2015, the oceans held more than 5.25 trillion pieces of trash. A lot of it was plastic micro pieces floating below the surface. Unfortunately, it's not a picture that has become prettier over time.
And while one senior — or even an entire assisted living community of residents — can't take on the burden of cleaning an entire ocean (or even a lake), there are things seniors can do right from their assisted living apartments to help ensure a cleaner environment. Here are a few easy ways seniors at Broadmoor Court can help the environment.
Single-use items account for a large amount of waste that fills landfills and may eventually find its way into the ocean or other natural environments. Examples of single-use items include plastic or paper cups, plates and utensils, straws, plastic grocery bags and even paper.
Seniors can make a stand for the environment by choosing reusable items over single-use ones. Carry your own travel coffee or tea mug for refills in common areas within the assisted living community, and use washable plates and straws in your apartment rather than throw-away options.
If you're interested in more ways you can replace common single-use items with reusable ones, check out companies such as Grove Collective. In many ways, these new "eco-friendly" products return to days you may remember, when nothing was thrown away if it could be used again.
Participate in recycling programs whenever possible. You may not be able to recycle everything from your assisted living apartment, but ask about recycling options within the community. And when you're out and about in town, pay attention to colored recycle bins when you're ready to throw anything away.
On the flip side, consider buying recycled items when shopping. You can buy paper, clothing and many other items that are made from recycled goods.
Trash isn't always paper or plastic. Garbage trucks and landfills hold their fair share of clothing, house goods and other items. Whether you're clearing out years of clutter in preparation for downsizing or just deciding to change up the decor in your assisted living apartment, think before you trash something. Ask yourself:
Is the item still in good condition and working?
Would someone you know appreciate the item or find a good use for it?
Could someone you don't know use the item?
If you can answer yes to any of these questions, then gift the item or donate it to a local charity instead. Examples of locations that take donated items include women's and men's shelters, recovery houses, churches, the Salvation Army and Goodwill.