Land is a limited resource. Land in a comfortable climate with fresh water and fertile soil is especially scarce and sought after by animals and humans alike. Both people and critters depend on land as a place to live and as a source of food. Common land use concerns include soil erosion; pollution; toxin release; waste management; and the loss and damage of wetlands, green spaces, various other wildlife habitats and farmland to urban sprawl and unchecked development.
Take care of the land
- Eat more local food to reduce wear-and-tear on highways and pollution from interstate transport trucks.
- Eat more organic foods that use fewer pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides.
- Buy less meat. Animal factories are a source of land and water pollution, with E. coli and other deadly bacteria found in their industrial waste and runoff.
- Live close to work to reduce fuel consumption, pollution and the demand for new housing construction. If possible, telecommute.
- Don’t dump illegally. Discarded tires hold water where mosquitoes breed and waste piles attract rats.
- Contribute land and money to land trusts.
- Adopt green spaces and maintain wetlands.
- Don’t use lawn chemicals or toxic pesticides.
- Practice the three Rs
- Choose products with less packaging, such as items sold in bulk or produce without bags.
- Use cloth napkins, towels, and diapers instead of disposable products.
- Refuse a shopping bag and use your own reusable bag.
- Maintain and repair durable items.
- Upgrade computers.
- Clean out and reuse bags, boxes, bottles, and other containers.
- Sell or donate goods instead of throwing them out.
Shop for used goods at secondhand stores, flea markets, or auctions.
- Choose refillable items, such as pens, pencils and tape dispensers.
- Recycle aluminum, glass, plastic, newspaper, paper and cardboard. They can be turned into other useable products.
- Recycle e-Scrap, including computers, televisions, cell phones, and related equipment.
- Seek out and buy products made from recyclable materials. There are called “post-consumer recycled-content items.”
- Use Nature’s Recycling System
- “Grasscycle” by letting clippings drop back onto the yard when mowing, providing nitrogen and moisture to your lawn.
- Use grass clippings, brush trimmings, and chipped wood as mulch around plants.
- Compost yard waste outdoors. After the yard waste decomposes, you’ll be able to apply your finished compost to your garden as a nutrient-rich soil amendment.
For additional information, visit:
E-Scrap Recycling Campaign: www.eScrapIndiana.org
Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Office of Pollution Prevention & Technical Assistance: www.in.gov/idem/oppta
Indiana Department of Agriculture, Division of Soil Conservation: www.in.gov/isda/soil/index.html
Indiana Soil & Water Conservation Districts: www.in.gov/isda/soil/swcd/index.html and www.iaswcd.org
Purdue University Cooperative Extension – Consumer Horticulture: www.hort.purdue.edu/ext
Stop Burning Trash Campaign: www.StopBurningTrash.org
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Wastes: www.epa.gov/osw