13 Green-Living Myths, Shattered


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Shrink your “waste” line.

You’ve heard it before, but it still rings true. Practicing the three Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) is still the best way to cut back on household waste. Dump these trashy waste-reduction myths today:

MYTH 12: Most discarded material is useless garbage.   

FACT: “There is much value in such materials, which can be used to manufacture new products and generate local energy,” says Suzanne Jones, assistant chief, refuse division, of the Honolulu Department of Environmental Services. “The key is to sort these materials into appropriate stream so they can be recycled rather than deposited in the landfill.”
 

MYTH 13: We’re eating out tonight, so I’ll have to throw my green ideals out with the takeout container.

FACT: It’s possible to eat out consciously. If you can, choose a place like Tiki’s Grill & Bar that offers biodegradable take-home packaging and bags made from recycled materials. And instead of excess food going to waste, Tiki’s donates their reusable banquet foods to Aloha Harvest, a nonprofit serving the hungry in Hawaii.  Ronnie Nasuti, of Tiki’s Grill & Bar, keeps recycling bins right under his home kitchen counter.
 

Simple Opala Solutions

You don’t have to spend to save. Here are three cost-effective ways to go green at home.

1. “Remember your first R: Reduce,” says Natalie McKinney, Director of Program Development at Kokua Hawaii Foundation. “Think before you buy something new: Is there something I can reuse first?”

2. “One way to recycle your food waste is to start your own worm bin,” says McKinney. Workshops are available through Kokua Worms (kokuaworms.com) and The Green House Hawaii (thegreenhousehawaii.com).

3. “Choose locally produced and minimally packaged products that have the least environmental impact,” says McKinney. “And always take your reusable cloth bags for shopping.”
 


Photo: Thinkstockphotos.com

Don’t forget about the water!

“To help ensure a sustainable future, it’s important for everyone to be mindful of our water use,” says Ernest Y. W. Lau, P.E., manager and chief engineer at the Honolulu Board of Water Supply.

1. It’s easier than you think. Check for leaks around the home, take shorter showers, and don’t let the faucet run while in the bathroom or the kitchen.

2. Fixtures make a big difference. “A low-flow toilet can save up to five gallons or more with every flush,” says Lau. “A new showerhead can save up to five gallons every minute. An aerator on your kitchen faucet can save up to five gallons daily.”

3. Water your lawn efficiently, before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m., to promote maximum water absorption.

For more on what to do with all your opala, visit opala.org.

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