Lisa and her puppy with their bulk shelf. Isn't bulk just prettier than all that packaging anyway?
Meet Lisa Hamilton! She is our fabulous Recycling Spotlight for the month of August. Lisa is a resident of South Salt Lake, a 20% Challenge signer, and a Salt Lake County employee. She works hard in her office to keep it sustainable and get her co-workers on board too. Lisa first came on our radar when she participated in our Earth Week contest, where she told us about her ventures in cleaning up her community (more on that later.) We got to visit Lisa (and her husband John) in their South Salt Lake home and chat with them about sustainability - recycling in particular.
Lisa's separate bins for glass, old magazines (which she donates to The Girl's Home - reuse!) and plastic bags
Lisa and her kitchen recycle can!
1. When did the importance of recycling first hit you?
Lisa Hamilton: I was in 6th grade when the first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970. My teacher took us to clean up a local park. There wasn't much plastic at that time - just lots of glass, paper and cans. We separated everything and turned it in for money, which our teacher had us invest in the Stock Market. She really taught us the power of recycling. As a kid growing up in New Jersey, I thought it was a gross place to live, but all of a sudden we felt empowered to change that. Teachers really can inspire for a lifetime.
2. What sustainability message would you like to communicate to the masses?
LH: Make a conscious choice when purchasing. Avoiding anything that is single use - paper plates, water bottles - is not only good for the environment, but saves a ton of money. So much money is sunk into packaging. Buying in bulk and avoiding the packaging altogether will save that money. And did I mention it's good for the Earth too?
3. What recycling or sustainability moment are you most proud of?
LH: Every time we take the dog for a walk, we bring an extra bag for recyclables we find. We get thanked all the time by people who see what we're doing. They often say, "We should do that too!" It's nice to think we're inspiring others and it helps us take pride in our community. Nobody wants to play in a park or soccer field that's just littered with trash.
4. What is your recycling pet peeve?
LH: When people put food in a community recycling container. I can't quite figure out why they do it, maybe they think recycling and compost are the same? But I hate to see good recyclable materials ruined by food contamination.
5. What else should we know about you?
LH: I'd really like to see less go into landfills, and food is a big thing I'd like to keep out. I have a fruit tree, and I want to share all the fruit I can't use rather than see it just go to waste. There are many ways to reduce our food waste, and in turn, we'll send less to the landfill.
Lisa's husband John (also a recycling aficionado) with their can of cans. All these cans were collected on their walks in the community. When the can is full, they turn them in for money which they donate to an education non-profit. How cool is that?!
Thanks for being such a fantastic recycler, Lisa!
Do you know a stellar recycler we should feature as our next Recycling Spotlight? Tell us about them! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Join Lisa and take our 20% Challenge, pledge to recycle more and help Salt Lake County catch up to the nation average!