I absolutely love the city we've chosen to set roots in, and I find new reasons to love it every day. People here are very aware of their impact on the environment and try to find innovative ways to minimize any damage and get creative with their recycling. Here's 5 things I've learned in the short time I've lived here that make me appreciate my city and its efforts even more:
1. During a trim at a local salon I noticed a stylist was sweeping up hair clippings from the floor and stuffing them into bags. I thought it odd that she wouldn't just sweep them into a dustpan and dispose of them so out of curiosity I asked what she was doing. Turns out hair clippings can be recycled into absorbent mats that are used to soak up oil during spills, and this salon sends their clippings each week to support the cause. Who knew?!
2. One of the malls here is expanding and needed to clear out some land that was filled with brush and overgrown weeds. Normally one would rent some type of machinery for a project like this, but the developers decided to hire goats instead. Goats like to eat weeds anyway, and they will consume even more invasive plants like kudzu and bamboo. They're also better for the environment and leave behind free fertilizer!
3. There's an abundance of farmer's markets here and I haven't yet heard of a single locally-owned restaurant that doesn't get their food from these farms. It's great to see this because it stimulates the local economy, the food tastes better, and it reduces global warming by eliminating the need for transporting crops from hundreds of miles away.
4. Almost everything is considered reusable here. Even flowers donated from weddings, funerals, and other events are repurposed into arrangements by a local non-profit for patients in hospice care and nursing homes to enjoy. Such a better option than throwing them away!
5. Most cities have recycling services, that's nothing new. Here, though, they've found a way to recycle items that typically aren't accepted by local recycling companies. Number 5 plastics like butter and yogurt containers are usually not on the list of recyclables these companies are willing to accept, but there is an organization that uses the material from these containers to make toothbrushes. The city caught wind of this and have now set up various drop-off locations around the area so that these plastics can be shipped off rather than take up space in the landfill.