Things You Can do to Make a Difference

Of course, you can’t do everything but each of us can do something to help take care of the environment. The best way to get started is to identify something small that you are willing to change or adjust. Once you see how easy it is to make a difference, you can move on to bigger changes. Each little thing adds up to make a big difference!

  • One of the easiest ways to help keep the earth and our water clean is to reduce or cut back on single use plastics.
    These include straws, plastic silverware, plastic water bottles, plastic lunch baggies and more. Many of your daily actions can be slightly altered to help reduce your impact on the planet. To reduce your impact on the planet you can opt for reusable containers when packing your lunch, a reusable water bottle that you can simply refill, use a paper straw instead of a plastic one, etc. Remember, plastics take hundreds of years to degrade in the environment. When a water bottle eventually breaks down, it turns into “microplastics” which are very tiny pieces of plastic that end up in our waterways and are then accidentally consumed by aquatic wildlife and fish. This is harmful to animals as they are mistaking the plastic for food and not getting any nutritional value from it. Plastic is made up of oil and other chemicals that are harmful to their health if consumed. If using something made of plastic, reuse that product if possible. If it cannot be reused, then recycle it! Remember, reduce, reuse and then recycle (in that order).
  • Clean up litter on beaches, rivers, lakes and in the city.
    Trash on the ground will eventually make its way into a local waterway. One of the most helpful things you can do is pick up trash when you see it and throw it away or recycle it. Visit “News” page on main menu for stewardship events that can you volunteer at.
  • Remember, your toilet is not a trash can.
    Never flush non-degradable products, like baby wipes or plastic tampon applicators. They can throw a huge wrench into the sewage treatment process and wind up littering beaches and water (Who wants to walk along a beach and step in their own garbage?).

Think before you flush. Flushing sanitary products down the toilet can cause blockages and can end up polluting our marine environment. Thousands of used sanitary products are flushed down the toilet every day. 2/3 of all drain blockages contains sanitary waste. The wastewater system is not designed to deal with large amounts of sanitary waste. Smaller items that are flushed, such as cotton buds, can escape through filters at the treatment plant and reach our rivers and beaches. Sewage related litter causes harm to the environment and can pollute our water supply and coastline. Fresh and Clean Think Before You Flush ad campaign infographic

Think before you flush. Our sewers are designed to dispose of only toilet paper and human waste. The following items prevent the flow of waste and could cause blockages in your home: 1. Wet wipes. 2. Sanitary items. 3. Paper towels. 4. Rags. 5. Q-tips/cotton balls 6. Diapers. 7. Dental floss. 8. Medicine. 9. Band-aids. 10. Cigarettes. 11. Needles. Miami Dade Think Before You Flush ad campaign infographic


Greening Your Home or School

Greening your home can be as easy as recycling, using green cleaners (safe to put down the drain), reducing the heat and air conditioning temperature settings to use less energy, or unplugging unused appliances when they are not in use.

Greening of schools is a popular movement now. There are green school initiatives and websites dedicated to creating green schools on the internet.

Greening schools can start with recycling paper. This is usually the easiest to start with.

Some schools have moved beyond this point and now recycle juice pouches, plastics, motor oil and other liquids, from the kitchen and bus garages. Ask your teacher if your school does these things.

Many cleaners that are used in schools are hazardous. Changing cleaning products to more natural products that are less toxic and not as harmful to the environment will help to protect the groundwater in your community and all of the students and teachers in your school.

The best way to initiate a plan is to have the students, teachers, school staff and parents all come up with the plan together.

  • A plan that will work for your community is going to be received and carried out.
  • Check with the recycling or trash collection companies in your community to start.
  • Surf the net to see what other schools are doing.
  • Teaching everyone to take care of the Earth is important for the future.
  • Get inspired and get involved!