If you are a frequent visitor to the Grinnell Farmers Market, you might have noticed a table with a big white table cloth, a large red sign and a stream of curious environmentalists. That’s Imagine Grinnell!
Imagine Grinnell at the Farmers Market started with a table about Grinnell Recycling. We learned that the recycle center still accepts mixed recyclables, but that items must be sorted into mixed recyclables, glass, and corrugated cardboard. The most common items to be sorted incorrectly are to-go coffee cups, plastic utensils, plastic bags and non-corrugated cardboard, such as cereal boxes. Despite looking like plastic, coffee cups, plastic utensils and plastic bags cannot be recycled, and non-corrugated cardboard should be sorted into mixed recyclables, not with heavier cardboard such as Amazon boxes. We also learned how to dispose of more difficult waste, such as batteries, lightbulbs and plastic bags.
Despite the opportunity to recycle in Grinnell, much of our plastic and glass still isn’t reused. Recycling is costly and uncertain, which is why residents are choosing to refuse single use plastics and take part in Plastic Free July. Plastic Free July is an international campaign to reduce single-use plastic waste. With commitments from over 120 million participants in 177 countries, the challenge to live plastic-free encourages individuals to become part of the larger solution to plastic pollution. Committing to Plastic Free July can happen on all levels, and participants can choose to give up just single-use plastics, the big four plastic polluters (bags, straws, takeaway coffee cups, and water bottles), or give up plastic completely. Farmers Market visitors can stop by the Imagine Grinnell table for more information about Plastic Free July, and even get a pin when they sign up!
Inspired ideas and big visions have emerged from conversations at the market, and it is clear that Grinnell residents want to make a positive change. If you have a great idea, don’t hesitate to share it with us! Imagine Grinnell at the Farmers Market will reach its final Thursday on July 25, and the theme will be “Beyond Plastic Free July” and “Composting Made Easy.”