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Resolve to make the city greener

As the giant crystal ball descended to the cheers of a million revelers in Times Square New Year’s Eve, countless New Yorkers rang in the new year with resolutions.

This year, I propose that in addition to your personal resolutions, you also decide to incorporate a few new daily habits that will help the environment and make the city cleaner and a more beautiful place. If you make some of these suggestions a habit, you will make a huge difference in helping the environment and improving your own quality of life as well as that of your neighbors and loved ones.

Here are some of my suggestions:

1. Do not litter. Save your litter for the corner litter basket.

2. Organize and join community cleanups and beautification efforts.

3. Combat graffiti. Report or request its removal from defaced property by calling 311.

4. Recycle paper, metal, glass and plastic. Recycle your used electronic waste.

5. Use canvas or fabric bags for shopping. Plastic bags can pollute the environment.

6. Always clean up after your dog.

7. When it comes to snow shoveling, if you are in good health and your neighbor is disabled or elderly, become a “snow angel” and give a helping hand.

8. Proofread documents on your computer screen before printing.

9. Make double-sided copies to reduce paper waste.

10. Recycle junk mail or have your name taken off unwanted mailing lists.

11. Donate gently used clothes, electronics and other goods to charities. It will help others, protect the environment and make your feel good, too.

Let’s make our New Year’s resolution to be better individuals and better citizens and help make the city a cleaner, greener and more beautiful place in 2010.

Happy New Year.

John J. Doherty

Commissioner

City Sanitation Department

Manhattan

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