Green Ideas for Green Country

Green Ideas for Green Country

I wouldn’t call myself a hippie (though I know some of you who may self-identify as one), but it’s hard to write off the positive effects that recycling and “going green” can have on our local economy and community image. The benefits are tangible: green initiatives can create jobs, and they will change the way people perceive our town. When we’re better stewards of our resources, it positively affects our life in a variety of ways. Read through my thoughts below on ‘Green Ideas for Green Country’, and see which ones you can start doing today. Most of these are free, and none of them will take too much of your time. These are simple steps we can build on, as an entire community, towards a greener local economy.

1. Recycling – Where I live at Park on the Square, we recycle. Our City has made it so convenient, there’s really not much work to it at all. Our recycling center is at 3rd and Muskogee, and if you go on Tuesday evenings, the bins are usually empty. (Now I just gave away the secret!)

They accept plastic (#’s 1 & 2), paper, aluminum cans, steel cans, and cardboard – the only thing you have to separate is the corrugated from the non-corrugated cardboard.

2. Cloth Bags for groceries – You can get inexpensive, reusable cloth bags for your groceries just about anywhere now days. Using them is simple. If you’re like my wife and me, the most challenging part is remembering to bring them to the store with you. Once you get that down, you’ll be reducing a lot of unnecessary waste.

3. Pick Up Trash – The premise of this article is really just a guise to get my weekly reminder in to pick up trash. (Just teasing.) If it seems like I talk about this a lot, it’s because it’s so important for the image of our town, and so easy to do. It won’t cost you anything but time, and you’ll find that you develop a lot of pride in our community along the way. You could save us all some time and not throw the trash on the street to begin with, but I know no one that reads this article would ever litter.

4. Simplify Your Life – In other words, get rid of the clutter you’ve built up and live more modestly. Now this sounds like you’ll create a lot of waste, but the truth is it’s no more than you already have – and a lot of it you can donate! Our local thrift stores sell your unwanted items to fund programs that help local citizens in need. Once you’ve cleared things out and have things organized, you’ll likely want to keep it that way. You might stop buying as much in the future and even end up saving money.

5. Get Involved – Now this time I’m really trying to pull one on you. How can being involved lead to a greener Okmulgee? It seems like no matter what I write about I’m always asking for more involvement, right? Well, if becoming more green is a priority to you, getting involved will help push that cause further. I’m working on having more cleanup days in our community, and I can tell you the City, as well as The Chamber and Main Street, are all very supportive of these types of causes. Come get your hands dirty and be a part of Okmulgee Rising!

I hope our community rallies behind this vision for a cleaner Okmulgee. Living this way can create lasting values our kids will pass on, and they’re likely to love our community more if we create one that’s worth loving. Incorporate a “green” idea into your routine this week. Call me if want to know how to get involved.

My email is: lifeoncouncilhousesquare@gmail.com

*Additional (and awesome) contributions were made to this article by Kasey Bowers.

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Richard Larabee is an Okmulgee downtown resident. He serves as President-elect of Main Street, and Chairman of The Roger Brooks Okmulgee Task Force committee under the Chamber of Commerce. He is an Independent Petroleum Landman, and his office is in the McCulloch building in downtown Okmulgee.

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