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Last year, Sarah Hazzard, a Columbus working mom, toured the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill and was impressed with SWACO’s focus on diverting waste away from the landfill.
Each resident in Franklin County generates on average 4 to 5 pounds of waste every day, which, if not reused or recycled, composted or diverted, makes it way to the landfill.
Every year, more than a million tons of waste is disposed of safely at the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill (FCSL).
“Growing up, we were taught reduce, reuse, and recycle. But somehow today, we forget about the first two,” stated Hazzard.
“We need to remember to start by reducing and reusing – if we do, we can have a much greater impact on fossil fuels and climate change in our time,” stated Hazzard.
Back to school inventory
Having recently sent her children back to school, she knows first hand the pressure that exists to buy all new items.
To get around that, she and her family started months ago by taking an inventory of all the items they already had, and determined what could be used for another year, i.e. backpacks, lunchboxes, and water bottles.
Thrift store finds
She shopped at thrift stores and consignment shops for cost savings buys and most importantly, to reuse clothing and supplies that were already available.
Recycled and less is more
When shopping for school supplies, she looked for recycled content paper and only purchased what was needed…the bottom line, she says, is to buy less.
“As parents, we have an investment in our children’s future. The actions we take today are going to affect them later,” explained Hazzard.
Take the time, it’s worth it
“We are all busy and rushed, and for many it is difficult to find the balance to be able to take the additional time to do what’s right and good for the environment,” said Hazzard.
Buy, sell and trade groups are also popular with parents like Sarah. She says they can be a good resource for recycling and reusing items right in the neighborhood.
Sarah sets a great example for her children. The family walks or bikes to school when they can. “It is a great way to get an extra boost of energy in the morning as the kids start their day,” said Hazzard.