As we say goodbye to 2022, you might have already considered resolutions for the New Year. The New Year reminds us to not just reflect on the accomplishments of the last year, but also to look ahead and create healthy habits. Of course, we could all visit the gym more or use social media less, but I ask you to stop and consider adopting a resolution that will benefit not just yourself, but your community.
Luckily, the city of Santa Clarita offers numerous opportunities to make resolutions that promote sustainable habits that benefit our local environment. Whether it’s becoming a Recycle Hero and putting waste in its proper place, participating in one of our green events or programs, or even using less around the house, there is always an opportunity to make your New Year’s resolution a green one!
Recycling continues to be a critical part of sustainable living here in Santa Clarita, and knowing how to recycle correctly remains just as important. Our Recycle Hero campaign continues to educate and encourage residents to adopt best recycling practices, and also ties in to our other waste-related programs. This includes our year-round household hazardous waste and e-waste collection events, where residents can safely dispose of waste that is not suitable for regular curbside recycling or trash bins.
The city also recently began our seasonal Holiday Tree Recycling program, where Santa Clarita residents can place their Christmas trees curbside for pickup on their regular trash collection day through Jan. 14. You can learn more about this program, our Recycle Hero campaign and upcoming green events near you by visiting GreenSantaClarita.com.
While the holiday season is nearly over, there will surely be plenty of opportunities to celebrate during the New Year, and with that comes the opportunity to implement sustainable living around the house. This includes avoiding the use of disposable dinnerware like Styrofoam plates, plastic cups and plastic silverware. Avoiding these types of objects reduces waste and can save you money on purchasing unnecessary supplies. You can even ask guests to bring reusable containers if there are leftovers to take home.
Using less also extends to decorating. Consider investing in reusable banners or signs, sending out digital invitations instead of paper ones and using biodegradable confetti — how cool is that? Even smaller changes like these can make a big difference in the amount of materials you use and ultimately impacts our environment less.
Cars on the road emitting carbon dioxide contributes to unhealthy greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, so less cars on the road really makes a difference. That’s why we encourage you to walk, bike, ride public transit or even carpool to run errands or grab groceries. Speaking of food, the city also offers two year-round farmers’ markets in Canyon Country and Old Town Newhall, so you can purchase farm-fresh produce and avoid unnecessary travel — for you and your food!
I hope that after reading this, you have new ideas to implement sustainable practices around your home and in your life. While change is coming as it relates to our residential waste hauler and how we recycle organics, adopting a green resolution can better prepare you for when change comes knocking. I hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful New Year’s celebration and pick up a green resolution or two along the way. Happy New Year, Santa Clarita!
Mayor Pro Tem Smyth is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected].