The phrase "going green" has become more and more common the last few years as Americans increase their knowledge of and efforts toward helping our environment. The most familiar methods of going green include things such as recycling, walking or biking instead of driving a car, etc. One of the current goals of the City of Toccoa is to help educate citizens on easy ways to "go green" and help both our local and global environment.
Each of us can take simple steps to improve our environment, and the City of Toccoa hopes residents will be mindful of how each of our actions affect our surroundings.
This section of our website lists some of the easy ways to "go green" and provides links to in-depth information.
Friendly Neighbors: Carpooling and using public transportation reduces emissions, saves gas (and money), not to mention you can get to know the locals! Find a carpool near you.
Hybrids Pay: Buying a hybrid or a lean-burn diesel vehicle can lead to a tax break of $250-$3,400. (This refund is dependent on the amount of gas saved by the engine and the overall weight of the vehicle.)
Free Stuff: FreeCycle is not a charity or a business. It's a way for perfectly good used items to find a new home (other than the landfill). Instead of throwing out things like furniture, dishes, bikes, and electronics, people in a reuse group give these items away for free to other people in their community who can use them. Find a local reuse group.
Recycle Smart: Go to earth911.org to find community-specific resources, with a focus on recycling. Check out the home page to find out where you can recycle your computer, your cell phone, and even used motor oil. More Information
Support Local Farmers: Typical grocery store produce travels nearly 1,500 miles before it ends up on your plate. All this traveling burns fuel and results in lots of carbon emissions (pollution). Buying from local farmers means you're not only getting the freshest food possible, you're saving energy. More Information
Cut Your Fridge Waste: Probably the most effective way to keep your food costs down is to simply eat what you bought. make your dinner tonight out of whatever you already have on hand. You may be surprised with the unexpected meal you can devise. If you do this a few times a week, you'll keep your refrigerator clean, your food bills down and best of all, keep that food (and it's containers) out of the garbage.
Go Veggie at Least Once A Week: Most deforestation in the world is due to fields cleared for livestock grazing. Methane from cattle is a huge global warming contributer. Cutting down on meat consumption can make a huge impact. There are plenty of non-meat recipes that make for great meals that everyone in the family can enjoy with some simple some planning.
Teach Kids About Going Green: Here are a few children's websites with great "green" info:
Green Birthday Parties: Invitations can announce the green-theme party. If gifts are involved, suggest that guests wrap them in reused newspaper (like the comic section) Use reusable plastic plates and utensils or those made from recycled materials. For decorations, try small plants, flowers, or even nice smelling, fresh herbs. After the party, give a plant to the guests to take home, for them to plant and enjoy.
Natural Gas: Natural gas, the world's cleanest fossil fuel, is a highly efficient form of energy. It is made mostly of methane; the simple chemical composition of natural gas is a molecule of one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms (CH4). When the methane compund is burned completely, the products of combustion are mainly carbon dioxide and water vapor. More Information
Adopt A Pet from A Shelter: Adopt one of the 70,000 puppies and kittens born every day in the United States. Love knows no pedigree. Check our Local Shelter to find your perfect match. More Information
Spay or Neuter Your Pet: Did we mention 70,000 puppies and kittens are born every day in the U.S.? That equals 15 puppies and 45 kittens for every human! Also, spaying or neutering animals live longer, healthier lives by eliminating the possibility of uterine, ovarian, and testicular cancer, and decreasing the incidence of prostate disease. More Information
Put Ticks in Their Place: Although you don’t want to douse your pet in toxins, it is important to keep bugs in check. Pets can carry ticks that may carry Lyme Disease (a serious disease that attacks the nervous system). Be sure to seek sound advice from your vet on keeping ticks away from your family and pets.
Avoid Aerosols: Aerosols can't be recycled--which means that they are guaranteed to end up in landfills--and some of their ingredients contribute to air pollution. Instead of aerosols, look for spray bottles, liquids, powders, and roll-ons.
Better Off Boycotted: Choose something that you feel is not good for the environment. Once you decide not to buy it, write a letter to the company's president (the address is often right on the package) and tell him or her why you have decided not to buy the product anymore. If lots of people did this, companies would start making more environmentally responsible products!
BYOB: Bring your own bags to the grocery store. Disposable plastic grocery bags clog landfills at a rate of several million per day. This goes for sandwich bags too. When packing a lunch for work or school, replace the plastic sandwich bags with a reusable container. Free, reusable bag patterns.
Cold is Cool: There are detergents on the market that don’t need warm or hot water to get your clothes clean. This will save you money and will keep CO2 out of the air.
Know Where to Go to Dispose: Nearly every household has some kind of hazardous waste: rechargeable batteries, old paint cans, used motor oil, unused pesticides and weed killers. If you dump these things, or put them down the drain, you'll end up polluting --- possibly even your own water supply! Items like these should be disposed of in a site specially designed for hazardous or toxic wastes. Call your city or county government to find out the proper way to dispose of such trash in your area. More Information
Reuse, Reuse, Reuse: Reusing items helps products find a second (or third, or tenth, or one hundredth) use to prolong its life - which also saves money. Craigslist, eBay, FreeCycle or Goodwill are all great places to go online or to shop.