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Arapahoe County News

Posted on: April 20, 2022

5 sustainability tips to celebrate Earth Day

Artistic graphic of the world surrounded by hands reaching towards it

Arapahoe County has an internal, four-part program to help us practice sustainability and do our part to protect the environment by focusing on energy, waste diversion, indoor water, and landscape water. Our 25-employee sustainability task force advocates for everyone making a few easy changes in day-to-day life that can generate a meaningful difference to both finances and the environment. 

Here are 5 easy things you can do at work or at home:

  1. Use window treatments to control temperatures. Temperatures outside can drastically affect the temperature inside. Our staff recommends using blinds to maximize comfort. You can open window treatments on sunny days to warm your space on cold days, and close them to keep out heat on hot days. 
  2. Recycle right. Every recycling company accepts different items. At home you can look for information on your recycling provider’s website on what items they will accept. A good rule of thumb is when in doubt, throw it out.
  3. Minimize power usage. Like your parents probably told you, turn off lights when you’re not using them. Unplugging small appliances, like your blender or toaster, can also add up to big energy savings.
  4. Eliminate single-use water bottles. The percentage of plastic used in single-use water bottles that is actually recycled is in the single digits due to lack of demand for the plastic. Last year more than 1,100 County employees pledged to stop purchasing single-use water bottles and use refillable instead, and there are numerous ways you can do something similar at home. 
  5. Consider native plants. The landscape on the west side of the County’s Administration building in Littleton will transform to a beautiful native grass field later this year. By replacing the 3 acres of Kentucky bluegrass with native grass and ending irrigation to that grass, the County will reduce its water use by 1.5 million gallons in just one year. That’s enough to provide a family of four with water for more than 25 years! 

    At home, you can consider how to incorporate native plants, which generally require much less water, to your outdoor space. Our partners at CSU Extension have resources to help you get started.

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