Green Living: Ways to reduce, reuse and recycle waste at home

As Earth Day approaches, a local organization gives advice on ways you can do your part for the planet, by adjusting daily tasks
As Earth Day approaches, a local organization gives advice on composting, recycling and conscious buying.
Published: Apr. 20, 2020 at 7:40 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — With group activities canceled and social distancing being enforced, Mankato Area Zero Waste talks about ways to do your part for Earth Day at home by composting and reducing your plastic usage.

“Separate out your compostable items such as things like Kleenex, napkins, paper towels, lots of food scraps, then you are reducing your trash and also it’s very important for the environment because it can be made into compost at the compost facilities,” said Mankato Area Zero Waste Co-Chair Jane Dow.

Dow says compost is a valuable organic food for growing plants.

The process also diverts those items from entering a landfill, where organic material trapped produces the greenhouse gas methane, that has been linked to warming the planet.

Locally, compostable items can be dropped off free of charge at sites in Mankato, North Mankato and Lake Crystal.

In addition, they suggest re-evaluating your plastic use when shopping.

“I think that’s a good outcome of this pandemic experience, is being more thoughtful. We certainly slowed down enough that maybe this is a time to look at our daily routines and style of living and do a little re-evaluating and seeing what our options are,” said Mankato Area Zero Waste Co-Chair Betty Winkworth.

Winkworth suggests buying bamboo items or reusable items as opposed to plastic, opting for paper at checkouts, or using reusable or compostable bags for your groceries.

For recycling tips, Blue Earth County offers a Waste Wizard tool online.

“It will tell you how to dispose of them whether that’s something that can be recycled or thrown away," said Winkworth.

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