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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, December 14, 2006
Amber Wells, Thurston County Solid Waste, 754-3355 ext. 7669

Green resolutions for 2007

OLYMPIA – New Year's Eve is just around the corner, so now is the perfect time to consider simple resolutions that can greatly benefit our environment. Here are tips from Thurston County Solid Waste and the California Department of Conservation.

1. Recycle: Choose to recycle wherever you are. On the road? Look for roadside bins, or save recyclables for when you get home. At the office? Start a recycling campaign, or put a bin next to your trash can for beverage containers and paper. If you're new to recycling and not in the habit, start today, and encourage others to do the same. Call your local recycling program coordinator or visit www.co.thurston.wa.us/wwm to find out how.

2. Remember the other important "Rs"- reduce and reuse: Help lessen waste by buying items that have little or no packaging, or buying in bulk. Also, find ways to reuse items – margarine tubs, for example, can be used to store tacks or nails.

3. Buy products made from recycled materials: Resolve to purchase at least one recycled-content product on a regular basis, such as paper towels or computer paper. Look for the recycling symbol (or "made from post-consumer material") on a wide range of products.

4. Reduce e-waste: The United States generates more electronics-waste than any other nation, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Instead of automatically upgrading to the latest models, consider using your current models longer or fixing broken items. Computers, TVs, laptops and monitors can be recycled for a fee at the Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center , 2418 Hogum Bay Road N.E. in Lacey. A broader range of items, like DVD players, stereos, and telephones can be recycled at Thurston County 's Community Recycle Days in May.

5. Make your home toxic-free: Reduce the number of unnecessary toxic chemicals in your home. Paints, solvents and other toxic chemicals can be disposed of safely at Thurston County 's HazoHouse, 2418 Hogum Bay Road N.E. in Lacey. HazoHouse is open Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Great non-toxic household cleaners can be found at many stores. Cut down, or eliminate, pesticides and fertilizers in your garden and you'll reduce the chance that chemicals will get washed into our waterways.     

6. Learn to compost: Convert yard clippings and kitchen scraps into nature's fertilizer. Your garden will love you for it. See Thurston County 's Web site, www.co.thurston.wa.us/wwm, for more information on workshops and discounted compost bins.
7. Fix drips and recycle motor oil: Motor oil is a leading cause of pollution in our waterways. When it rains, water runs over the ground and picks up oil, antifreeze, and other pollutants and carries them to our rivers, streams and Puget Sound . Resolve to fix leaks from your car and recycle used motor oil at HazoHouse. Even better, help stop water and air pollution by riding a bike or taking a bus.

8. Conserve energy: Cut your monthly energy bills 30 percent by replacing old equipment in your home with state-of-the-art Energy Star products. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs or install a digital thermostat to conserve even more energy. Turn off lights when you leave a room and use water wisely by installing low-flow fixtures. Of course, recycling is also a great way to conserve our nation's energy supplies.  

County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3