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Go Green in 2012: 5 Things You Can Do at Home to Help the Environment

Why not make it your New Year's Resolution to go green? BIDMC Environmental Sustainability Coordinator Amy Lipman has these tips to get you started.

recycle bin

1. Make It Easy

People tend to throw things in the closest barrel, so set up your recycling containers in places you and your family can easily get to.

pills

2. Don't Flush Old or Unused Drugs

If your medications are past their expiration date, or you didn't take all of a prescription, you should discard the extra pills. Flushing them down the drain can contaminate groundwater, rivers, ponds and streams. The DEA sponsors Drug Take Back Days twice per year. The next one is on April 28, 2012. The FDA and Massachusetts DEP also provide specific instructions on how best to dispose of medication without damaging the environment. Remember that most pill bottles are recyclable, but be sure to cross out any personal information on the bottle labels to make it unreadable.

old computer

3. Give Technology A Second Chance

You may have moved on to a newer, faster computer, but that doesn't mean your old laptop is obsolete. Even broken computers can be recycled for their parts. Organizations like Computers With Causes take old computers, fix them up and donate them to military veterans, students, and non-profits in need. If it is broken, call your town or city hall for instructions on how to recycle it. reusable shopping bag

4. Shop Smart

Reduce waste by not bringing it into your home in the first place. Stores like the Harvest Co-Op allow you to bring your own containers to purchase items in bulk - everything from rice to fresh peanut butter to dishwashing soap. You can reduce waste by using the same containers or reusable bags.

5. Think Twice Before You Toss It Out

recycling binsLook closely at what you're about to throw away. Can it be recycled, donated or reused? Chances are it can. Give yourself that extra few seconds to think about it before just dropping it in the trash bin.

Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.

Posted January 2012

Contact Information

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215
Main Switchboard: 617-667-7000
Find a Doctor: 800-667-5356
Directions by Phone: 617-667-3000
TDD (for hearing impaired): 800-439-0183

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