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Krewe de Guard shares tips to reduce, reuse, recycle

For those looking to go a little greener to welcome the new season, environmentally-friendly local service group Krewe de Guard has some ideas to get started.

“In spring especially, I think about cleaning, sorting and organizing,” said Anna Carol Porter, founder of Krewe de Guard. “It’s a good time to change batteries in smoke detectors, to test if they work correctly and move and clean behind furniture. For a little outdoor fun, old rocks and bricks can be used to line a driveway or garden or as part of a fairy garden. I also think about ways we can be more mindful and lessen our environmental impact.”


1. Cut down on or avoid using plastic bags. If using plastic bags, recycle or reuse them.

2. Consider reusable shopping bags as an alternative; however, make sure to clean them in between each use. Some stores have temporarily banned the use of reusable bags because of safety concerns related to COVID-19.

3. Notice how much and what kind of packaging an item has and whether it is recyclable. Shampoo, conditioner and dish-washing soap can be purchased as bars, reducing the number of plastic bottles that end up in a landfill.

4. Recycle what you can and be sure to do it correctly. In this area, items for recycling can be taken to Shoals Solid Waste Authority, 256-248-4357, in Tuscumbia. There is a large outside container located just off Highway 43 on the right before getting to the light at Highway 72.

5. Aluminum cans are less complicated to recycle, so think about buying those instead of plastic bottles.

6. Look for biodegradable paper plates, bowls and utensils. If not available locally, they can be purchased online.

7. Buy toilet paper made out of bamboo.

8. Use rechargeable batteries.

9. Sugar fiber printing paper is a more environmentally-friendly choice than standard printer paper.

10. Think green when you clean. If not making your own cleaners, buy products that can be refilled and/or recycled. Baking soda and vinegar can be used for a lot of cleaning.

11. If using outdoor lights, consider buying solar.

12. Pick up litter along the roadside; be sure to use a garbage grabber to keep clean and safe.

13. Cut a hole in the side of a milk jug and stuff plastic bags inside to use it as a dispenser.

14. Make Swiffer-style pads that can be washed and reused.

15. Consider using pallets to make outdoor furniture. A pallet can lean against a fence and be used as the foundation for an herb garden. They will reach for the sun.

16. An old drawer can be used as an outdoor planter.

17. Bottles can be repurposed for uses like strawberry plant hangers.

18. Things that come with trays, such as mushrooms or non-plastic egg cartons, can be used for seed starts. Not being plastic, they will break down naturally. Paper towel rolls can also be used; just tuck the ends under.

19. Repurpose an over-door shoe organizer into a vertical hanging garden.

20. Start composting.

Porter said lots of free information is readily available online, and YouTube videos showing how to enact some of these ideas can help make them easier and more fun.