October is National Make a Difference Month! Originally Make a Difference Day, a holiday established almost 30 years ago and observed on the fourth Saturday of October every year, it encourages individuals across the nation to give back to their communities.
Here in Hawaii, we encourage residents to prevent storm water pollution and create a #TrashFreeHawaii. Did you know that 2.2 million tons of waste is produced each year on Oahu alone, with 1,374 tons of trash removed from Oahu’s highways annually? Communities in Hawaii must do their part to bring these numbers down and there’s no better time to begin than during Make a Difference Month.
If we’re not careful about how we dispose of trash, it’s easy for any piece of debris or waste to escape into Hawaii’s waters. In order to combat this, here are some ways to implement trash reduction in your daily life.
Throwing trash in a nearby trash can, or holding onto the trash until a trash can is found, will ensure that it does not end up on the street or in the ocean.
Eliminate the use of single-use plastics by choosing reusable water bottles, straws, utensils, bags, and containers.
- Refillable water bottles can be found at most stores and are simple to refill.
- Reusable straw and utensil bags are easy to make and carry around to use with takeout.
- Whether a store requires it or not, bring your own grocery bags. Keep a few in the car so that you always have one handy when needed.
- Store your food in reusable containers to keep it fresher, longer.
Always opt for a reusable option, but if a single-use plastic must be used, ensure that they are disposed of in the proper recycling bins. This applies to paper, plastic, and general waste as well.
Grab some supplies and a few of your family members to clean up a nearby park or your favorite beach spot.
Volunteer for the HDOT Adopt-a-Highway program to pick up litter along Hawaii’s highways. For more information, visit www.stormwaterhawaii.com/adopt-a-highway/