Sustainability: 10 tips that can make a difference

Reduce, reuse and recycle at the top of the list

Maisey Mansson Park Record intern
SUVs are lined up at Recycle Utah’s recycling bins. Recycling is one environmentally friendly tip that will help people make a difference in creating a happier and healthier planet.
Park Record file photo

Park City is an incredible place, and its residents are well aware of this. 

From some of the best ski hills in the nation to beautiful wildlife to all of the incredible shops and sights Main Street has to offer, this town is truly a gold mine.Park City gives so much to both local residents and  tourists, and it is important for us to remember to give care and thoughtfulness to the town in return. 

Before the miners and the settlers, there were animals. 

This mountain town is home to so many amazing creatures. Moose, deer and bears — oh my — and so much more. 

Park City is also filled with mountains and beautiful scenery, so the people of this small town practically live in a Bob Ross painting. 

While nature is powerful and beautiful, nature is not always strong enough to fight back against the irreversible damage that the human inhabitants on this planet can create — whether it is on purpose or purely by accident. 

Every piece of litter on the ground and every plastic bag carried into the car when leaving the grocery store has an effect on the environment.

No matter how many times people tell themselves, “Well, it’s just one little thing. My actions can’t make a difference,” these statements should never hold any reassurance, especially when there are seven billion others saying the same thing. 

Think about it this way: Maybe sustainability does begin with just one person trying to make a difference, and that one person can lead a movement for so many others. 

This is what truly makes a difference, and it has to start somewhere. 

Mother Teresa once said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

Here are 10 environmentally friendly tips from Recycle Utah thatwill help people make a difference in creating a happier and healthier planet.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

The three R’s are a very common environmental tip, and most are familiarized with them. This advice is repeated again and again because of its importance to the health of the earth. However, it is often ignored in today’s society. 

While plastic is cheap and convenient, in the long run it is very damaging to the earth, as it never breaks down or can be composted. It is important to remember to recycle. Glass, metal, plastic (including bags and bottles) and paper can all be recycled.

It is also essential to reuse items. 

The glass jar that once held the jam purchased from the grocery store can be used as a vase for flowers or a pencil holder on a desk. Consumption of single-use products can be reduced simply by being more mindful. Instead of people using plastic straws every time they buy a beverage, they could purchase metal straws to use over and over again. Starbucks gives a 10 cent discount to those who bring a reusable cup. To some, that might not seem very motivating, but like the small good deeds of people, overtime it can make a huge difference for their wallet and more importantly, the earth. 

Conserve Energy

Using energy-efficient appliances, saving electricity, and using renewable energy sources to power homes are all great ways to practice conserving energy. 

Using an energy-efficient refrigerator, washing machine, dryer, ceiling fan, or microwave oven are all just a few ways people can lessen their energy consumption. It is also important to turn off lights when they are not being used. 

Before people leave the house, they should make an effort to turn off all of the lights to save electricity. Solar panels, wind power, and hydropower are also excellent ways to conserve energy, as they are renewable energy sources. 

Next time someone is looking over their electricity bill, it would be worth it to just consider using a renewable energy source. 

Save Water

Saving water is a key principal in benefitting the environment. Approximately two billion people in the world do not have access to clean water, so water in Park City is not something that should be taken advantage of. 

Fixing leaks is a basic one, but it really does make a huge difference. Installing low-flow fixtures is also a great way to save water. For example, a low-flow toilet saves water when flushing. Another way the community can be very helpful is using rain barrels and buckets to collect rain water for outdoor purposes, such as watering plants.

There are other simple habits people can break to conserve water, like turning off the water when brushing their teeth and taking shorter showers.

Travel with Sustainable Transportation

Carpooling with friends, taking the bus, biking and walking are all awesome ways for people to reduce their carbon footprints. 

Especially with high gas prices, it is also very helpful in saving money on fuel. Park City is lucky enough to have both buses and the High Valley Transit system, which helps the town carpool together. 

Utilizing these is a super convenient way to practice sustainable transportation. Walking and biking is environmentally friendly and provides the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Park City. Picking up a friend and carpooling together provides the benefit of quality time, while lessening the costs of a larger carbon footprint.

Choose Eco-Friendly Products

Eco-friendly products are very important to the wellbeing of the environment, and people hold a lot of power when they decide where to shop. 

Choosing products with minimal packaging is a great choice to make, as well as choosing environmentally-friendly certified products made from sustainable materials. Thrifting and shopping from second-hand stores is an awesome way to shop sustainably — and also discover some great deals and finds. Garage sales are worth checking out as well, and donating items and clothes no longer of use are helpful to both others and Mother Earth. 

Support Local and Organic Food

Buying locally produced and organic food is a fantastic environmentally-friendly habit to start practicing. 

Choosing organic options at the grocery store can help reduce the environmental impact of transporting foods, as oftentimes foods are coming from thousands of miles away — making a massive carbon footprint. 

While shopping locally and organically, people are also supporting local businesses, as well as sustainable farming practices. 

Reduce Meat Consumption

Believe it or not, meat consumption creates a very large carbon footprint. 

By limiting meat consumption, especially beef, this can help decrease that footprint. Trying new vegetarian or vegan recipes is an awesome way to do this.


Composting is a common practice to help reduce landfill waste and creating better soil using the nutrients from the broken down food. 

Composting can help gardens thrive with rich soil, and the organic waste that is composted will be returned to the earth. The herb plants will be happier, and the environment will be too. 

Sustainable Gardening

Gardening is a great hobby and a great way to live more environmentally-friendly. 

However, it is important to know how to garden sustainably. Using natural pest control methods and avoiding chemical fertilizers and pesticides will better support the plants and their home. It is also essential to plant native species, instead of invasive species that can be harmful to the ecosystem it lives in. 

Reuse, Repair and Repurpose

This habit helps people save the earth and money. 

Reusing things is a small step to take that can make a big difference in the future. One way to do this is just writing on the backs of paper after making a mistake, instead of reaching for a new one. Calling a repair man or getting out the tool box instead of the credit card when something breaks is another way people can lend a hand in protecting the environment. Repurposing old items is an awesome route people can take to practice sustainability and creativity. From turning that shirt that shrunk in the wash into a new shirt to using old newspapers and junk mail as wrapping paper- everything counts. 

Everything counts, and no matter how insignificant someone thinks their actions are, they do have an impact. For every item reused, every apple that is thrown in the compost, every piece of plastic avoided and every flower planted, the earth says thank you. 


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