”Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” — William Wordsworth, 1798
Jan Jacobson, of Haywood County, is the first to respond to our request for readers’ actions to mitigate climate change. Ms. Jacobson has made numerous, easy changes, she writes, “to lessen my impact on our planet.” Her response below includes lists of what to do and information on buying.
Please send us your own climate-mitigating solutions for an upcoming column to MJCinWNC@gmail.com Subject line: My climate project.
In the bathroom
Bar soap, bar shampoo, bar hair conditioner, deodorant in glass containers, and dental tabs instead of toothpaste. As always, buying locally is best. To see the range of options, check these U.S. sources: Eco Roots has zero-waste everything for personal grooming, from shampoo to dental floss to razors: ecoroots.us/collections/gifts-ideas-for-bath-body.
“Meow Meow Tweet,” meowmeowtweet.com. No shipping fee for orders over $40.
The Earthling Company has low-waste skin care, soaps, shampoos, conditioners at theearthlingco.com/pages/about-the-earthling-com.
I buy toilet paper, tissue, paper towels from Who Gives a Crap. They make products from 100% recycled paper in recycled paper packaging: us.whogivesacrap.org.
My laundry detergent is from DROPPS. Pods are packaged in cardboard. Locally, you can buy cardboard/paper-packaged dishwasher detergent on the natural/organic shelves of supermarket kitchen-laundry aisles.
Kitchen and shopping
Cloth bags for groceries/produce (no-brainer!). Buy nothing that comes in plastic ‘netting’ — clementine oranges, potatoes, onions, etc. Take your own reusable, washable mesh bags for each type of food.
I use only diluted Dr. Bonner’s soaps and reuse a spray-type bottle. Same with white vinegar and water. Do not purchase any cleaning products in spray-type or pump-type bottles.
My stainless garbage can with insert eliminates plastic garbage bags. I haven’t used plastic garbage bags since January 2020. To absorb moist food, line with biodegradable newspaper. Better yet, invest in a composter if you have a yard. See how-to videos by First United Methodist Church Waynesville at youtube.com/watch?v=oCwv2_hENtE&list=PLhx3F3Va161SEgxWJP62SBaje0xJrVmie&index=3.
Food and drink
I buy wine from the U.S. instead of buying wines shipped from European or other countries.
Hearing aid batteries and all others can be recycled. I collect my discards into a jar. When it’s full, I take it to a county convenience center.
Haywood County recycling: “There are no tipping fees on regular household waste hauled into our Materials Recovery Facility [off Jones Cove Road on Recycle Road]. No tipping fees are charged for tires or appliances.” Open Monday to Saturday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. See haywoodcountync.gov/314/Materials-Recovery-Facility.
Lists of other items to recycle: haywoodcountync.gov/322/Recycling-in-Haywood-County.
Note: Staples office supplies also takes used batteries, electronic devices and most larger electronics including fax machines and even coffee brewers. For the complete list, go to staples.com/sbd/cre/marketing/sustainability-center/recycling-services/electronics/?icid=RecyclingServices:middlecontent:2:electronicsrecycling:20170901.
Clothing and other fabrics
My daughter lives in a part of New York where they have a fabric recycling area, so I take fabric (T-shirts, old linen, etc.) to her and she drops it off for me. And she belongs to a “We Buy Nothing” group; if someone is done using something, they post a notice on their Facebook page and give it away. This is for people who don’t want to buy more stuff and who want to avoid throwing more stuff in the trash.
See WNC Climate Action Coalition for other Triple-win articles and more at WNCClimateAction.com.
Editor Mary Jane Curry is co-founder of WNC Climate Action Coalition and a Climate Reality Leader. She can be reached at MJCinWNC@gmail.com.