Going green might sound like a trend for young people, but working to conserve the environment is actually something people of all ages — and in all locations — can do. That includes residents of the Park Regency Loveland assisted living community in Loveland, CO.
Whether you’re already a resident or you’re considering a move into an assisted living apartment in the near future, here are some ways you can work to protect the environment.
1. Engage in recycling.
When you think of recycling, you might immediately see images of stacks of papers or aluminum cans in separated bins. And this can be an important form of recycling for communities and organizations to engage in. Separating out paper, plastic and glass to be recycled keeps a great deal of trash out of landfills and other areas while supporting reuse of many resources.
If you’re able to separate your trash or the assisted living community offers recycling options, participating in this effort is a great way to make an impact on the environment without doing much more than you already are.
But recycling isn’t limited to daily trash items. The City of Loveland recycling center takes many items that can be repurposed in numerous ways, including:
- Large appliances, such as dishwashers, microwaves and refrigerators
- Small appliances, such as humidifiers, hair dryers and stereos
- Televisions and computers
- Hardbound books
- Sinks and toilets
- Automotive batteries
Fees do apply for some items, such as televisions or refrigerators, but this can be a responsible, eco-friendly way to get rid of items that might otherwise harm the environment or pile up in a landfill for many decades. Seniors who are working to downsize before moving into an assisted living community might consider this option.
2. Limit single-use plastics and other package waste where possible.
Once you downsize, you can support the environment while limiting clutter in your own home by investing in sustainable personal products. These products are designed to limit single-use packaging and package waste.
An example is toothpaste capsules. These are made by a number of brands, including Bite, and they’re small tablets of toothpaste that come in a reusable glass jar. You simply put a tablet in your mouth, bite down on it and start brushing with a wet toothbrush to activate it. Refills for the original glass jars or bottles typically come in eco-friendly packaging, which cuts down on the plastic tubes that are thrown away after you’re done with them.
Other common options for sustainable products include shampoo and conditioner bars that don’t require any plastic bottles to hold them, fabric “paper towels” that can be washed and reused and cloth shopping bags you can use in lieu of plastic or paper ones.
It might sound like a new concept, but seniors have likely had sustainable initiatives in their lives for many years. For example, do you have a favorite decorative liquid soap dispenser? If you’re buying a large container of soap to fill it, you’re avoiding smaller plastic bottles and cutting down on waste.
3. Support green brands and products.
Another way to go green is to shop with brands that are going green. The products may not always be reusable, but perhaps the company invests profits into the environment or supports teams that are doing conservation work.
You can usually find out what a brand is doing for the environment on its website, but some brands known for eco-friendly processes or environmental support include Sony, Adidas, Johnson & Johnson, Nestle, Ikea, Starbucks and Kellogg’s.
4. Work with others in the community.
Get a group of assisted living residents together and work as a team to support the environment. This could be something as simple as pitching in to help clear trash along the road surrounding the community or planting in the garden within the assisted living grounds. If you’re a group of crafters, you might create items to be sold and donate the profits to a conservation organization. And if you’re able, you might ask the assisted living staff to arrange a trip to a local conservation area, such as the Morey Wildlife Reserve, so you can learn more about the environment.
5. Sponsor eco-friendly initiatives.
Finally, you can also sponsor the eco-friendly initiatives of others. Look for organizations that you feel comfortable supporting and that align with your own mission and values. Some options might include:
- The Environmental Defense Fund, which has a wide-ranging conservation mission, including work with ecosystems, oceans and climate.
- The Nature Conservancy, which works with scientists around the world on climate change, invasive species and conservation of habitats.
- American Rivers, which is a river restoration organization.
- The Sierra Club Foundation, which works to provide education and resources so people can learn how to protect the environment for themselves.
Your efforts for the environment don’t have to be huge or stressful. There are more than 50 million seniors in the United States, and the number is predicted to be 95 million by 2060. If every older adult chose one simple thing to do to support the environment, it would make an enormous impact on the future.
Posted on Thu, September 3, 2020
by Shawn Deane