It’s that time of the year again when pumpkin spice, football, Fall leaves and cool crisp air hastily move in to kick-off Autumn. The change in seasons brings an exciting opportunity to get your home organized and ready for the Winter months. Fortunately, Hudson County Improvement Authority is ready to help you prepare with several upcoming opportunities to safely dispose of unwanted personal documents and confidential information that clutters your home.

Why Should I Shred Paper?

Believe it or not, thieves can and will dig through recycling bins, garbage cans or other trash receptacles to find your personal information and steal it. Identity theft is a common crime used to steal personal and sensitive information across the United States. The Insurance Information Institute estimated that 4.8 million identity theft and fraud reports were received by the Federal Trade Commission in 2020. With millions of Americans and businesses impacted by identity theft each year, personal documents should never be disposed of in regular garbage cans or recycling bins. Shredding personal documents and sensitive materials is the best and only way to protect yourself from identity theft and keep your confidential information secure. Shredding paper can also help you save on storage space, remove fire hazards, and help the environment!

They don’t call us the Garden State for nothing. New Jersey is known throughout the United States for having the best bagels, pizza, beautiful beaches, diverse cultures, and Bruce Springsteen. Despite our notable culture, New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the United States, which makes us a prime dumping ground for toxic and non-toxic waste. Litter includes waste that is intentionally and unintentionally disposed of by humans. Litter and illegal dumping, negatively impacts and threatens humans, the environment, economic development, the safety of our water and climate. Litter also carries a significant financial cost and requires New Jersey tax dollars to cleanup.

Litter, universally known as improperly managed waste, exists in every aspect of our life in New Jersey. As litter breaks down in the environment, by-products, chemicals and microparticles are released, affecting the quality of life for humans, wildlife, and our environment. Nearly 350 million plastic bags were littered on United States roadways and waterways in 2020 and it takes around 1,000 years for one plastic bag to degrade in a landfill. According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, Americans use around 380 billion plastic bags and wraps each year, only about 5% are recycled. Littering is a major concern not only for New Jerseyans but for all of mankind.

After a long Winter, warmer and longer days of Spring are a welcome site! Make the most of the season, improve your health and help the environment by planting a garden.

Why Plant a Garden?

Why not? Planting a garden can enhance your home by increasing the green space and makes for a rewarding experience. With some effort, some water and the right weather, you can enjoy such benefits as flowers in bloom or vegetables and fruits to enjoy. Planting, from an in-ground garden to containers on the balcony, provides serious environmental benefits.

Through photosynthesis, plants recycle carbon dioxide and expel oxygen and water. Plants also remove chemicals and bacteria which may be floating in the air. Below the ground there is also some magic going on. A plant’s roots take in moisture in the surrounding soil including heavy metals and chemicals in the soil and groundwater. A poorly growing plant can indicate to a gardener a problem with the soil. Roots will also help bind the soil which prevents erosion. Topsoils are most likely to be affected by water movement and contain organic debris such as leaf litter which will break down to add nutrients into the soil.

Remember when your parents used to make you finish all of the food on your plate? Well, in addition to making sure you were fed, they also wanted to prevent food waste! Food waste negatively impacts food security, the environment and climate change. Estimates show that food waste is estimated at up to 40 percent of the food supply in the United States. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates 31 percent food loss at the retail and consumer levels which equates to approximately 133 billion pounds and $162 billion worth of food annually. From people throwing away limp vegetables to confusion over food expiration dates, large portions at restaurant being disposed of, overstocked grocery stores and farmers disposing of imperfect produce, food waste is a big problem across the country.

 

   

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