I don’t know about you, but winter was an especially tough one for me this year. By the time that final April snowstorm rolled around, the air-so-cold-it-hurts-your-face and short, dark days had really taken its toll.
But that all seems like a distant memory now. The days are longer, the weather is warmer, and the moods are brighter. Summertime is a favorite season for a lot of Vermonters, and no wonder! It’s beautiful, the weather is great, and there’s so much to do.
We’ve put together some of our favorite summertime activities for the eco-conscious Vermonter:
Start your own compost pile
As of July 1, 2020, everyone in Vermont will be required by law to keep their food scraps out of the trash. Food waste currently makes up about 26% of the stuff we put in our household trash here in Chittenden County. In 2016, Chittenden County households collectively trashed an estimated 161 pounds of food per person. Not only is all of that food taking up space in our landfill and contributing to methane emissions, but it’s also a valuable resource that’s being wasted.
So, what are you to do with food scraps? Composting them in your own backyard is the easiest, cheapest, and most beneficial option for your gardens, yard and the environment in general. If you need some help getting started, check out our backyard composting workshops held at Green Mountain Compost. Backyard composting isn’t an option for everyone, though, which is why we offer drop-off options and haulers are increasingly offering curbside pickup.
Grow your own garden
Eating your veggies is a lot easier when they are steps away from your kitchen. Fresh, homegrown fruits and vegetables taste better and save gas on trips to the grocery store. Plus, studies have found that gardening provides us with a number of mind and body benefits.
And once you start making your own compost, you’ll be able to improve your soil and watch your garden flourish. It’s a great way to close the loop at home: Grow food, turn the scraps into compost, and put it to work growing more food!
Swap your car ride with a bike ride
Vermont launched its first ever bike-share system, Greenride Bikeshare, this past April. Burlington, Winooski, and South Burlington host 15 hubs where anyone can rent a bike for a quick trip, or to use as part of their monthly or annual membership. Within the coming year, Greenride plans to add more bikes in about 50 different hubs by expanding to Colchester, Williston, Shelburne and Essex.
Not only is bicycling instead of driving great for your overall fitness level, it also helps reduce congestion, fuel use and air pollution. Take advantage of the convenience of this new biking system this summer, while the weather is still great!
Go jogging plogging!
Plogging is the new eco-friendly fitness craze from Sweden where people bring along bags to pick up litter as they run. It’s an easy, feel-good way to make a direct impact in your neighborhood. There’s even an app that lets you track your plogging success! Just remember to recycle right after your plog – recyclables should be rinsed clean and dry, and meet all other format and size requirements. If the item doesn’t fit the specs, it should go in the trash.
Become a CSWD Waste Warrior
Have you ever noticed those friendly faces near collection containers around events at Chittenden County? They answer questions about which items go into each bin, and help share their knowledge and enthusiasm for recycling – and composting – right. Added bonus: Waste Warriors receive free admission to events where they volunteer, including the Vermont Brewers Festival, summer concerts at Shelburne Museum, and a lot more. Learn more about the Waste Warrior program.