It's easier than you may think to be green. Just follow the motto of Go Green Tri-Cities and its companion group, Sustainable Energy and Environmental Network: reduce, reuse and recycle before you buy.
To make it easier, the two groups have established a new website, gogreentricities.org. It replaces the former Mid-Columbia Earth Month website.
The two groups still are targeting April for their spring cleanup efforts but hope it'll become a year-round effort.
"It's important to think of the environment all the time, not just one day or one month out of the year. We need to think of Earth Month all year round," said Erika Garcia, Earth Month chairwoman.
There a variety of environmentally-friendly activities on the website's calendar. You'll find everything from nature hikes to trail building, recycling for household hazardous waste and a day to turn in unwanted prescription drugs, a giant garage sale at the TRAC facility in Pasco and a cloth diaper exchange.
But the website also includes a list of nontoxic cleaners, tips on how to hand wash your dry clean-only clothes, information on where and how to recycle everything from tires to paint.
"We also have the Mid-Columbia's first Green Pages Business Directory. Not all the businesses listed offer green products or services, some simply follow green business practices like recycling. But by patronizing them, we encourage them to keep it up, to do even more," Garcia said.
"The idea was to put all the information on recycling and anything related to the environment together in one spot so you'd not have to search 5 billion places to find the information you need," she said.
Garcia encourages everyone to visit the website often because events and other information are added frequently.
Here are some of the events and activities scheduled in April and early May:
Badger Mountain trail building
Volunteers, and lots of them, are still needed to help build a new trail up Badger Mountain. Work is ongoing from 9 a.m. until 4 or 5 p.m. every day except Mondays. Individuals, families and groups are welcome to help anytime throughout the day. There is only a limited amount of work for pre-teens.
To volunteer, contact Langdon via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, leave a message at 943-3992.
All tools are provided. Dress for the weather and take along work gloves, water, lunch and snacks.
Geocaching 101 is from 1 to 3 p.m. April 3 at the Richland Community Center in Howard Amon Park in Richland.
Cost is $3 per person for Richland residents, $5 for a family and $5 per person or $7 for a family for others.
Columbia Point Geo Nature Hike, from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, April 4. Fitness level is easy to moderate. Meet at Columbia Point Marina Park, Shelter 4.
Hazardous waste collection
Household hazardous waste will be accepted only from residents of Benton County from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 4-5, at the Benton Franklin Fairgrounds in Kennewick.
Waste also will be collected from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 19 at the Richland city shops, at the corner of Queensgate and Duportail streets. For more information, call 736-3084.
Diaper change event
Happy Families, Happy Home Expo & Great Diaper Change, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 26, Richland Red Lion Hotel, 802 George Washington Way, Richland. Vendors, a silent auction, swag bags, a baby fashion show and a cloth diaper swap. The Guinness World Records Great Diaper Change is at 11 a.m.
TRAC center Indoor & Outdoor Garage Sale, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 5, at TRAC off Road 68 in Pasco. To sign up for a booth, call 543-2999.
Bateman Island bird walk
Bateman Island bird walk begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 5, at Wye Park off Columbia Parkway. For more information, go to www.lowercolumbiabasinaudubon.org/Batemanwalk.html.
For more information, call Lisa Hill, 943-2244.
Composting and Waste Reduction Workshop, from 9:30 a.m. to noon April 12 at the Kennewick branch of Mid-Columbia Libraries, 1620 N. Union St. To reserve a seat, call 735-3551.
Trail North cleanup of popular dumping site from 3 to 5 p.m. April 17. Take work gloves and water. Meet at the Twin Bridges road pull off, turn left at Richland city dump, drive a few minutes down the road. For more information, or to sign up, go to http://tapteal.org or call 627-3621.
Free shredding event
Columbia Industries shredding event, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 19 at Richland and Kennewick Target store parking lots. Two boxes/grocery bags shredded for free.
Richland and members of the Mid-Columbia Community Forestry Council will celebrate Arbor Day on April 25. At 1 p.m. they'll plant 20 trees in Gala Park, 1500 Gala Way, Richland.
For more information, call Drew Tomasino at 942-7526 or send an email to email@example.com.
Washington State University Benton-Franklin Extension Master Gardeners' Spring Plant Sale, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 26 at the demonstration garden, 1620 S. Union St. (by the library), Kennewick.
Electrathon Car Rally
Electrathon Car Rally, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 26 at Columbia Basin College, 2600 N. 20th Ave., Pasco. For more information, go to www.seenetwork.us.
Urban Greenbelt Trail hike, 10 a.m. April 26, free. Fitness level is easy to moderate, distance 3.25 miles roundtrip. Meet in the lobby of the Richland Community Center lobby in Howard Amon Park.
Police departments in Richland, Kennewick, Pasco and West Richland, plus the fire department in Burbank will be accepting unwanted prescription medications from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 26.