Three Ways Your Family Can Be More Sustainable in 2020


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If sustainability isn’t part of your family routine, then the new year is a great time to start. Round up your kids and take these three baby steps together to recycle, reduce, and reuse your stuff:

Recycle those plastics!

The local waste management experts at Rumpke know a thing or two about recycling (we got a close look at their St. Bernard sorting facility last winter). But did you know that they don’t recycle #4 and #5 plastics? That means from Dayton to Lexington, our grocery bags, bubble wrap, produce bags, dry cleaning bags, bread bags, zip bags, and yogurt containers are going straight into the landfill. Yikes.

But Kroger is working to reverse that impact as part of their Zero Hunger, Zero Waste program. You can now drop off these items and more at your local Kroger (look for the bins by the carts); the store works with end users to recycle the plastics into composite decking material. Set out a separate plastics recycling container today and start collecting. You’ll be shocked at how much accumulates.

Compost those food scraps!

Millions of tons of food waste go into the landfill each year. While there, it releases harmful greenhouse gasses that contribute to our warming planet. But if you compost your food scraps, you can help offset this trend while creating handy nutrient-rich soil for your own garden. Here’s how to get started today. Grossed out by the prospect? Start with coffee grounds and egg shells and go from there.

Don’t throw away perfectly good stuff!

There are many thrift store options in the area for donation, including multiple Goodwill and St. Vincent DePaul locations. But none is quite so simple as Vietnam Vets of America. You literally make an appointment online, bag and label your stuff (“For VVA”), stick in on your porch, and wait for the VVA fairy to take it away. It’s the fastest, easiest way to clean out your closets while also benefiting U.S. vets (and keeping waste out of landfills). It’s a win-win-win.

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