Keep Truckee Green wants to help you reach your goals of living a sustainable lifestyle. Follow these 10 easy actions to reduce your footprint and start yourself on a more sustainable path.

  1. Recycle – Have you ever heard the myth that we don’t recycle here? Well, that’s simply untrue! Use your free recycling cart to recycle plastics #1 & 2, cardboard, glass, paper & aluminum. Don’t forget to place clean and dry recyclables directly in your cart. If you’re unable to use a blue cart, blue bags are still accepted.
  2. Compost – Put your food scraps to work to nourish our soils. Start your own backyard compost, or even easier: drop off your food scraps to one of our three community drop-off locations. The food scraps donated at the Demonstration Garden or Farmers Market get used by Slow Food Lake Tahoe to grow produce for members in our community who are in need.
  3. Green Waste – Do you part to keep our community fire safe by clearing defensible space around your home AND help reduce green materials from the landfill at the same time. When organic material such as grass clippings and yard waste get landfilled, it releases harmful greenhouse gases. By using your residential green waste options like green carts, free drop-off and discounted dumpster rentals, it ensures the materials get properly recycled.
  4. Reuse reusables – In the time of takeout culture, we want to encourage you to use reusable items! Reusable grocery bags, travel coffee mugs and reusable water bottles have become simple ways to integrate durable products into our everyday lives to reduce unnecessary waste of single use items. Go one step further by making your dining out greener by carrying your own utensils or getting your take-out in a reusable Green Box. Did you know Truckee has a reusable to-go box program?
  5. Repair your items – Does your favorite puffy jacket have a hole in it? Repairing broken items instead of buying new helps reduce the impact of consuming goods. Learn how to repair household items at one of our Fixit Clinics hosted by the Truckee Roundhouse, or send in garments needing repair to places like Technical Equipment Cleaners or Worn Wear.
  6. Bike to Work – 2020 seems to be the year of the bike, more specifically of the e-bike. With an extensive regional bike trail network, it is easier than ever to ride a bike to get to work, shop for groceries, or pickup your takeout order. And now with dozens of bike manufacturers offering electric models, there really is something for everyone. Replacing your automobile trips with a bicycle or e-bike is one of the most impactful actions for reducing your GHG emissions, and it’s also good for your health. Here is a map of Truckee’s bike paths, and a link to Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition for other resources like safety tips, parking information, and regional bike maps.
  7. Reduce food waste – Over a third of the world’s food never ends up on our table, meaning the resources used to produce it were for not. That is a lot of unnecessary GHG emissions. So what can you do? Only buy or grow what you need, be OK buying “ugly” produce, and consider ways of getting uneaten and unused food into the hands of those who need it most, which also helps address the issue of food insecurity. The Tahoe Food Hub is a great resource for not only healthy locally-grown food, but also an information hub for regenerative agriculture.
  8. Conscious consumerism – The most effective recycling is not having to recycle in the first place. Choose products that can be reused over and over, and consider the energy that goes into manufacturing and transporting a product; aim to limit the length of the supply chain. Locally-produced products likely have less transportation and emissions associated with delivering it to your doorstep.
  9. Reduce your household energy and water use – Saving energy and water is an easy way to help the environment and your wallet. Turn off lights when not in use, replace aging lights and appliances with Energy Star certified products, and turn down your thermostat in the winter. Water is a finite resource, so only use what you need. Not only will you save water and money, you will also reduce the energy needed to treat and transport the water to your home. Here are some links to local energy and water conservation programs (SW Gas, TDPUD, Liberty Utilities).
  10. Engage in public workshops – Your voice matters, help shape what sustainability looks like in your community. Local governments are small but have a big responsibility in reducing our emissions, and we need your help. Tell us how GHG reduction efforts impact you, your business, your neighborhood, and what you’d like done differently.

If you’re interested in a comprehensive list of solutions to reduce your GHG footprint beyond your household, check out Project Drawdown, at www.drawdown.org.

By: Nick Martin, Sustainability and Special Projects Manager