How about following the four R’s in 2024? You may have heard “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” But, what’s the fourth one?


This is a very important “R” that is sometimes overlooked. There are things some of us just don’t need, so refuse them. When getting drinks or at a party this holiday season, you could refuse the single use plastic straw with a “no straw, please!” While doing your holiday shopping you can refuse the single use plastic bag. Maybe your school or work party have little giveaways, that truly you don’t need. There are many things in our life we can refuse and once you start, it gets easier and easier.


This is another important “R” to follow. I like to think of this one as reducing my carbon footprint. How? Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Lower the heat a little when you leave the house.  Commute via bike, or carpool. There are many ways for us to reduce our carbon footprint, and just like with refuse the more you do it the easier it gets.


This could be taken a few directions. Making some reusable swaps, like reusable bags, water bottles, or straws. Or reusing things you already have. Maybe you forgot your reusable bag and had to get a single use plastic bag. Give it another use, perhaps as a trash can liner. Remembering reusable items may be hard but with practice, just like everything else, it gets easier.


This is our final “R.” Unfortunately the recycling market right now is rather small. Therefore, when it comes to plastics, only bottles and jugs can be recycled in your curbside recycling. Paper, aluminum, and glass, as of this posting, are the same as always.