StewardshipAlthough they may not be the first resolutions that comes to mind, you can include protecting waterways in your New Year’s resolutions! The best goals are specific and measurable, so we’ve assembled some potential intentions you can commit to in 2024.

Commit to Using Reusables
• Practice skipping straws. When you order at a drive-through or in a restaurant, simply say “no straw, thank you” with your drink order. It’s just as easy as asking for no ice. If you prefer to drink some beverages with a straw, there are plenty of affordable options for reusable straws. We’ve even given them out to our volunteers!
• Buy no plastic water bottles this year. Even if you don’t regularly purchase bottled water, planning ahead to bring a reusable bottle when you go out for special events can make a difference.
• Use your reusable bags at stores. When we’ve surveyed our volunteers, they tell us that they have reusable bags aplenty but often forget to bring them into a store. We recommend keeping reusable bags somewhere visible like the passenger seat or back seat of your vehicle to remind you to grab them.

Fun Fact: The average family in the United States uses 500 Ziploc bags each year! (That rounds out to ~ $100 a year). Stasher bags, small reusable silicone bags, are a great alternative to Ziplocs. You can even mix and match with colors and sizes! Check out these awesome bags here!

Did you know: 66% of marine debris found from Clean Your Streams volunteers in 2023 was single-use products?

•  If you’ve followed our programs but never participated, you can make a resolution to participate for the first time! Volunteering as part of a group during a Clean Your Streams 365 event, can be a great way to get started (You could even participate today if you wanted to!).
•  If you’ve already volunteered with us, you can resolve to step up your commitment to try a waterway clean-up once a season or even once a month. If you already like to go on walks along your favorite waterway and sometimes pick up trash, you can download the Clean Swell app to share data with us on the items you remove. Check out our Clean Swell refresher for more information.

Donate to support Partners for Clean Streams
• Kick off the new year by making a gift to support our programs and projects using our Giving Link or send a check to PO Box 203 Perrysburg, OH 43552.
• If you’ve recently donated, consider upping your commitment to become a member.

For more ideas on New Year’s resolutions, check out Toledo Lake Erie’s Clear Choices Clean Water pledges. You can commit to planting native plants (next spring), fertilizing smart, or disposing of trash where it belongs.