Green Begins With You

Meg has a J.D. in Urban, Land Use and Environmental Law. She focuses on maintaining the balance of community and environmental health, healthy lifestyles, and encouraging sustainable living.

There are so many different ways to be “green” nowadays. Being green can mean anything from reducing the miles you drive in your car every day to growing your own food. For many people, recycling is the first big step into reducing waste and helping the environment.

Most people are familiar with the phrase, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” The idea is that reducing waste is the most important step. Reusing items also helps reduce waste but still allows for consumption. And then comes recycling. If you are unable to avoid consuming products that will cause waste, it is important to consume products that are recyclable (or at least the packaging is recyclable). While recycling still has a higher carbon footprint that reducing or reusing, it at least prevents waste from entering our already overflowing landfills and allows us to reuse those materials in another form.


Recycling is easy. In most places, it’s ridiculously easy. Many refuse companies like Deffenbaugh, Unicycler, etc. offer curbside pick-up of both trash and recycling. In Petaluma (and other parts of California), our waste management service also provides a green waste bin for compost and yard waste. Between recycling and compost, we rarely have more than a single bag of trash in the week. Often times, we don’t even put out the trash bin every week because there’s hardly anything to put out.

Green bins can be found all over the place. In parks, airports, office buildings. Where do you see green bins? We’d love to know!

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