Being environmentally responsible doesn’t mean we need to give up modern conveniences. There are simple steps we can take in our everyday lives to practice sustainable living. I will work with Naperville to encourage residents to take the following actions:
Native plants promote biodiversity, increase soil health, and improve water quality. Plants like butterfly weed and wild geraniums are inexpensive and easy to maintain. Naperville should take a lesson from its “Leave the Leaves” campaign and encourage residents to incorporate vegetation that is native to northern Illinois into their next landscaping project.
The U.S. EPA has set its goal to reduce food loss and food waste by 50% by 2030. Food loss and food waste accounted for 24% of the material landfilled and 22% of the amount of material combusted with energy recovery*. We can do our part to reduce landfill waste by composting food waste such as fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells, and coffee grounds.
*U.S. EPA, 2018.
Naperville should continue to partner with non-profits such as the Conservation Foundation and SCARCE to educate the public on food waste reduction and composting. Naperville should also consider selling discounted composting bins to residents who wish to compost at home. This would serve to help reduce landfill waste for Naperville.
An imperfect lawn improves water quality and soil health.
Lawn pesticides and fertilizers impact water quality and soil health. They may also be harmful to pets and humans who come into contact. The City of Naperville should join the Naperville Park District in their partnership with non-profit group Midwest Grows Green to help residents who wish to reduce chemicals in their lawns.