Happy New Year! We at KALB wish you and your family a healthy, prosperous, and blessed New Year.
At the start of this New Year, KALB staff and volunteers will be planning our activities with the community in mind. Everything we plan is for the betterment of Athens and Limestone County, but nothing would be accomplished without all of our neighbors playing a part.
Here are some ideas to help you focus on the environment during 2015:
Put down the electronics and go outside! Games and texting are fun. I am guilty of all of it. However, we miss so much when we stare at our phones, computers, and televisions all day. There is a world outside that our youth are missing. Walks in the woods, creek hikes, a canoe or kayak trip down the Elk River, bird watching, or a trip to the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge are all family activities that will remind us of the beauty of nature and the diversity of life. Learning to appreciate the world around us is the first step to taking responsibility for it. Make it a point to plan outdoor activities this year.
Recycle old electronics: Christmas brings all sorts of gifts that make old electronics obsolete. We are fortunate to have our Athens-Limestone Recycling Center (a division of KALB) that accepts electronics for recycling all year long during business hours. Anything using batteries or electricity is accepted free of charge (except TVs -- they are no longer accepted). So don't pile your old electronics up in the garage or send them to a landfill. Recycle them responsibly instead.
Recycle old tires: The Limestone County Commission has received a grant to continue accepting tires for recycling at the county garages. Don't take them to the transfer station where they will be sent to a landfill. Recycling tires is free for Limestone County residents!
Volunteer at the Community Garden: If you have a heart for the hungry, your help is needed. KALB received a grant to create a community garden at the Farmers Market. The Spirit of Athens has agreed to oversee plantings and upkeep of the produce and many volunteers are needed. A few hours a week would make a huge difference to those in need of fresh food right here in our own community.
Resolve to reduce litter: Litter is created in several ways. Some people toss trash out of their cars (that includes cigarette butts). Some put loose trash in their garbage cans, which is scattered on trash day. Some let loose items fly out of their pickup truck beds, while others leave trash behind after sports events or just drop it on the ground. It is all littering, even when it's not intentional. Resolve to be more careful with your trash and remind friends and family that it is never someone else's responsibility to pick up after us. What you leave behind may seem harmless, but could be deadly to wildlife and harmful to the environment.
Be part of the solution: Take advantage of events such as the Earth Day & Outdoor EXPO in April to learn more about the environment. Participate in the Elk River Canoe & Kayak Trail cleanup, taking place in March. Plant and nurture a free seedling when we have our giveaway. Adopt a roadside to keep clean. Become a KALB volunteer. We need everyone to pitch in!
If you would like more information about our organization and ways in which you can become involved, please don't hesitate to call us. There is a place for everyone, whether it's a one-time task or an ongoing volunteer relationship.
Make your New Year one filled with the beauty of nature and respect for our planet.
By: Lynne Hart