The end of another year and I reflect on what we have done this past year, especially what we have done for others. I know one of the greatest gifts we can give our children and those we love and everyone, for that matter, is to leave the Earth as free from our own trash and pollution as possible and work toward cleaner water and a less polluted environment.

But how can just a few people do this?

We can start from where we are.

We are fortunate we live in a town that takes the environment seriously. Our transfer station has a well organized recycling system, so we can easily recycle our cans, bottles, paper, cardboard, and construction materials. Old paint cans and other potentially harmful used materials are also dealt with.

A few years ago when I was having some spills of rotting melon rinds and juice from our garbage bags on the way to the transfer station, we bought a simple composting unit at cost from one of the neighboring conservation commissions and have composted ever since. The composter works well, taking care of all our kitchen waste.

I joined our conservation commission; we advocated for and our town voted to ban all synthetic and chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides on not just town land, but also on private lands in town as well. Our voters approved of this ordinance.  Chemical poisons no longer pollute our waterways and our gorgeous beach.

For the past few years we have worked with a local environmental company locating sources of any river or stream pollution. Now we are able to deal with the chief problem – dog waste either not being picked up or bags tossed in the bushes or down town drains. We are approaching having some of the cleanest water in Maine, free of human and dog pollution.

All this may not seem like a lot; we are just a few people and our town is small, but we are doing what we can, where we are to make this a healthier place for the people of our town and for those who will come after us.

What can you do? Start from where you are.