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Easy, Earth-friendly tips

Spring has sprung. It’s a transitional time of year to relish the unpredictable weather that may offer sunshine, downpours, hail and even snow in a 24-hour period. Knowing that we are moving toward more light and warmth influences my ability to experience these fluctuations with delight. Watching bulbs, bushes and trees present their fragrant and colorful flowers are a tease of what is to come.

Today I offer some seasonal tips for low-hanging-fruit opportunities to waste not.

For example, April is the perfect month to peruse your shelves for things to dispose of at Jackson County’s only hazardous materials event of the year. Gather cleaning supplies, pesticides, pool chemicals, thinners and batteries, and take them to the hazardous waste collection event Saturday, May 4, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Rogue Disposal Transfer Station in White City. The collection day for businesses is Friday, May 3. A complete list of accepted items can be found at jcrecycle.org.

One tip that avoids the need to attend this event is to buy only what you will actually use, and try to use alternatives to toxic materials. If it means spending more for the smaller amount you will actually use, it’s still the better deal because it avoids the waste and the need for disposal. Buying in larger quantities that become “trash” is no bargain.

Another sure sign that spring has sprung is the return of our growers markets. Supporting local growers provides a chance to create a personal connection with your food, the ability to purchase an unpackaged amount (you pick) of vegetables and fruit and create zero waste when you bring your own produce bags. It’s also a place for reuse, because some vendors accept nursery plastics and egg cartons. More info at rvgrowersmarket.com.

What do you do with all the rubber bands from newspapers? You could save them into a bouncing ball and drop off at the Medford Mail Tribune office, 111 N. Fir St., Medford (corner of Fir and Sixth), Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and they will be reused. The plastic sleeves are too difficult for carriers to reuse, but Rosebud Media suggests saving them up for Southern Oregon Humane Society. They accept clean and dry plastic sleeves. You can also share them with friends for their four-legged poop pick-ups. There is an option that eliminates rubber bands and plastic sleeves — the Wastenot choice is to request installation of a plastic tube that attaches near the mailbox.

Because prescription drugs flushed down the toilet or put in your trash threaten our water quality, please take spent prescription drugs to the Ashland or Talent police stations for safe disposal.

The Recycle Center on Water Street offers a glass bin marked “metal lids only.” These items contaminate the mixed recycling (commingle) collection. More extensive metal collection is still accepted at the transfer station.

Hopefully these ideas offer useful reminders and new information of some of the choices for seasonal and daily opportunities to waste not.

Make waste prevention habit.

Every darn day is Earth Day

Every night is Earth night.

Every hour. Each moment.

The choices we make can make a positive difference.

Choose with awareness that does no harm.

Everything is connected here on Earth.

“The time has come to resist the impulse to control, to command, to force, to oppress, and to begin quite humbly to follow the guidance of the larger community on which all life depends. Our fulfillment is not in our isolated human grandeur, but in our intimacy with the larger Earth community, for this is also the larger dimension of our being.” — Thomas Berry