New Year’s resolutions for us all

Published 9:57 am Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? Most people at least think of some things they want to do better in the new year. Some people write their resolutions down while others just think about them. I have some that I want to suggest that all of us do this year. It will make life better in Marengo County.

First, shop at home whenever you can. Always check with your local merchants first. These are your friends and neighbors. They are the people who support our schools and Little League teams. They buy ads in the school annual. Their business licenses bring money into your city to fund city programs. The sales taxes they collect support city and county functions. We cannot find everything we need at home, but we can find much of it. And how much do you save if you drive to Tuscaloosa or Meridian? By the time you pay for gas ($3 a gallon or more) and buy lunch or dinner or both, just how much did you save? I would be willing to bet nothing. Think about gas for a minute. If gas were 10 cents a gallon cheaper in another town, that is only $2 on 20 gallons of gas. Not really very much is it? And the local taxes collected on gas purchased in Sweetwater, Linden, Thomaston, or Demopolis help keep your streets in repair, not Tuscaloosa’s. Give your local merchants a chance. Shop with them.

Second, don’t litter! Littering is something I will never understand. Take your trash home with you and throw it away. Don’t throw it out on the roadside. It looks very unattractive and costs us all money because we have to pay those who pick it up. We were in Wyoming a couple of years ago, and one of the things I noticed was that there was no trash on the roadsides. I have noticed the same thing in Colorado. People take pride in their homes and don’t litter. Why don’t we resolve to have that same pride? Just keep a small bag in your car for litter or use the one products came in. When you get home, take it out and throw it away.

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Litter can also affect economic development. Companies coming into our county on a first visit notice things like litter. If the local people don’t take pride in their area, many reason that they would not take pride in their work either.

Third, do what you can to protect our environment. Don’t waste things. We can all take small steps to make things better. Have a compost pile in an obscure corner of your yard. Don’t burn leaves and help pollute the air. Don’t send them to a landfill. Let them rot and put them back in your flowerbeds and on your lawn. They will help eliminate the need for fertilizer. If you have a mulching mower, just cut them up and leave them in the yard. Think of other small steps that you can take. I have for years put leftover bread and rolls in plastic bags. I am not doing that anymore. Those bags last for thousands of years in landfills. I am going to put that bread or rolls in reusable plastic containers. I will be able to use them again and again. Use newspapers instead of weed cloth in flowerbeds. Once covered with straw, who will know the difference. I have found that the newspaper really works better. Save water by not letting it run while brushing your teeth or shaving. This will also cut your water bill.

Now you have the idea. Think of a few things that you can do. Make a difference where you are.