Get into the Green Scene: Ways Anyone in Plano Can Live More Environmentally Friendly
This Wednesday, April 22 is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Plano Magazine had planned to publish a series of stories on places and businesses in Plano that are helping Plano citizens minimize carbon footprints. But then COVID-19 happened, and many of those services are not available to the public right now.
We’re all stuck at home, except for our health care providers, first responders and employees that perform essential services. One accidental side effect of quarantine and less moving around was a temporary relief from air pollution. Another environmentally friendly side effect was more careful use of resources due to limited stock in grocery stores.
It’s easy to operate by the belief, “I’m just one person, it’s not like I’m actually making an impact on the environment.” But that’s where caring for Earth starts – with each of us. If we all make a cognitive effort to change even just one of our habits, we can make a difference. And there’s no better time to start than now.
Plano resident Mollie Hancock, a self-described “Earth muffin” and co-owner of Elephant Trunk Moving Supplies, shared with us her favorite tips for greener living.
Part one: The seriously easy tips
- Carry reusable shopping bags in your car. Launder them between uses to keep sanitary.
- Use washable napkins at the dinner table.
- Steer away from purchasing items packaged in single-use plastic. A plastic water bottle can take 450 years to decompose.
- Purchase cute vintage dishes for entertaining instead of disposable party plates.
- Purchase less packaging by using bar soaps or bar shampoos.
- Cut up old bed linens into handkerchiefs or cleaning cloths.
- Use metal drinking straws, or go strawless.
- Bring your own reusable water bottle or mug.
- Make your own greeting cards out of old folders or wrapping paper at home.
- Use the hand dryer instead of paper towels.
- Have clothing repaired or shoes resoled whenever possible.
- Try to purchase local. Locally made products traveled a shorter distance and help our local economy!
Part two: A little more effort, but worth it
- Plant a tree or garden. Plants help clean the air.
- Choose an energy company that gets its energy from renewable sources.
- Consider solar panels on your home.
- Reduce the junk mail you receive.
- Carpool, ride the train, take a bike or walk when possible.
- Take a class from the City of Plano.
- Change incandescent light bulbs to LEDs. LEDs use a quarter of the energy and last up to 25 times longer.
Part three: Patronize Earth-friendly businesses in Plano
Mollie has listed below some of her favorite businesses in Plano that will help residents buy, sell or donate preloved items. Many of the brick-and-mortar locations are closed right now, but save this list for days when everything is open again, and you can make conscious choices on shopping for services or goods that have minimal effects on the environment.
- B&B Furniture Consignment
- College H.U.N.K.S Hauling Junk (They are able to recycle a large percentage of what they pick up.)
- Closet Revival Inc.
- Elephant Trunk Moving Supplies
- Family Thrift Outlet
- Goodwill Thrift Store & Donation Center
- Goodwill Computer Parts & Donation Center
- Habitat of Humanity ReStore
- High Street Antiques
- Hope’s Door ReSale Store
- Keeks Buy & Sell Designer Handbags
- Labels Designer Consignment Boutique
- Plato’s Closet
- Play It Again Sports
- Salvation Army Store
- St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store
- Support Your Troops Resale
- The Thrift Store
- The Plaid Tag Thrift Store
- Thrifty Sense