Report after report in the media has detailed the need for citizens to start living more environmentally friendly lifestyles. Major lifestyle changes aside, here are a few simple little ways you can take advantage of local resources to get a little more green in your life!
1. Calculate the energy you can save by doing things like unplugging your microwave when not in use, using energy efficient light bulbs, or installing a top-loading washing machine. Online tools such as Stony Brook University's energy savings calculator can help.
2. Leave the car at home and try mass transit for local trips. Suffolk County Transit's S76 bus runs along Route 25A from Port Jefferson Station to the Stony Brook Village Center. The area is also served by the S60 bus, which goes to Smith Haven Mall, and the S71, which has stops at Stony Brook University Medical Center and in South Setauket.
3. Know what to recycle and when it gets picked up. The Town of Brookhaven's Waste Management website features a searchable database of types of trash and recyclables, and describes what should be done with them. The site also offers PDF downloads of local recycling schedules.
4. Take advantage of a safe disposal box for unused prescription pills located at the Suffolk County Police Department's Sixth Precinct. Details for disposal can be found on the Town of Brookhaven's website. The Food and Drug Administration encourages safe disposal of unused drugs because traces of drugs have been found in surface water and drinking water supplies.
5. Grab some reusable shopping bags for just 50 cents at Walmart or 99 cents at other area supermarkets, and then visit King Kullen to put all those plastic bags sitting around your house into their plastic bag recycling bins. A recent report on plastic bag usage by a local nonprofit group says Americans use on average between 300 and 700 disposable plastic bags each year.
6. Are you a student or staff/faculty member at Stony Brook University? Utilize the many recycling bins for clothing, plastic, and cardboard across campus, and discard non-working computers/electronics through the Office of Sustainability to participate in Recyclemania.
Have your own local tips for green living you'd like to share? Log in to Patch and post them below!