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We can make things better
November 6, 2018

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To the editor:

The current state of our environment should be inspiration enough to make each one of us make some changes in our lives.

There are many ways you can help Mother Nature. Here are a few.

1. Recycle. We are given a huge container by Waste Pro and they pick it up weekly. Cardboard, cans, bottles, paper, and some plastics can all be recycled. Go onto their website and learn more. They have a facility on Topaz Court (Fort Myers) that you can take electronic devices, hazardous waste, old paint, batteries, used oil and they give you reusable bags to use at the grocery store. Use reuseable bags - just think about it - you go to the store they put your food into a plastic bag, you put it into your car, drive home, unload it and are stuck with a worthless plastic bag! It ends up in a landfill or the ocean.

2. While I'm thinking plastic bags, outside Winn Dixie and Publix are containers for recycling plastic bags. Not only the store bags, you can add your food storage bags, any (plastic) food bags (like chip bags) the plastic bubble wrap, styrofoam - amazing the stuff you can recycle! Remember to rinse any food residue before recycling.

3. Buy a package of microfiber cloths. Use instead of paper towels - they work great on glass, spills and cleaning and when dirty go right into the washing machine. You'll up using very little paper towel, saving you $$$$.

4. Compost your vegetable scraps. Free plant food.

5. Consider adding native plants to your landscape, they require very little and do great. You will save on water and fertilizer.

6. Pull weeds instead of spraying, ' great for your waist and Mother Nature will be happier.Just think about this: The elevation on part of my yard is 3-1/2 feet. We have on average 55.92 inches of rain per year. What you put on the soil will eventually wash right out into the water. All those chemicals are killing everything in the water; what do you think they are doing to you?

7. Make your own weed killer -1 gallon vinegar, 1 cup Epson salt, 1/2 cup Dawn dish soap. I've found this to not always work on some of our tough weeds.

8. Mulch your plants. It will conserve moisture, cut down on weeds and break down, feeding your plants as it does.

9. You've moved to the tropics, learn to live with nature. Snakes will kill rodents, leave them alone. Insects, yes, we have plenty, please look for solutions other than toxic ones to deal with them. The armadillo is searching your yard for insects -does it take much to fill in the little holes? The coyotes are part of our environment, attacks on humans are uncommon and rarely cause serious injuries. Keep you pet on a leash and it won't become a snack for another creature. I've personally had a coyote walk 5 feet from my leashed dog and myself. It gave me a started look and kept walking. They honestly want nothing to do with you. If you keep your cat in your house it will have a much longer life.

10. Buy organic if you can. People growing organic need your support, farming is a tough business and not using Monsanto products makes all of us healthier!

You can make things better.

Joanne Smith

St. James City

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