Environmental Quality Department encourages energy efficacy in September initiative

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BISMARCK, N.D. - A key phrase for the environmental movement is the phrase "think globally, act locally."

In that vein, the North Dakota Environmental Quality Department is encouraging residents to spend September tracking what we do to reduce waste and save energy.

The stewards initiative is the first of its kind in the state.

Residents are encouraged to keep a log of energy and money saving exercises throughout the month before submitting their total to the department.

Making small changes to your daily routine can have a big impact on the environment.

"It is really hard to remember that one person can make a difference," said Angela Selignan, an environmental scientist with the NDEQD.

Those lifestyle choices can be as simple as,

"Riding your bike, walking instead of driving or idling your car less or using more reusable items instead of disposable items, so really small changes that you can make within your life," said Selignan.

And easily adopted by family’s in North Dakota.

"Hey I can do this, this is really easy, it'll help, it saves a ton of money cause I’m not spending money on paper towels, Kleenex’s, storage containers," said Hope Schiele, a Bismarck resident.

Schiele's family began by cutting down on their use of paper products.

"We were going through so many napkins and I was getting to the point where I was constantly buying these products," said Schiele.

Then they began reusing jars and other non-perishable items, to come up with new ways to recycle old materials.

"I’m always looking for new, different ways to kind of reuse and repurpose," said Schiele.

Family's like Hope are a representation of the initiative the Environmental Quality Department is hoping to inspire.

"Creating this kind of initiative, will hopefully encourage people and get people excited about doing more environmentally conscious activities," said Selignan.

In order to keep everyone responsible for having a role in keeping North Dakota clean and energy efficient.

Once all the data is collected, the department will calculate how much waste was kept out of landfills, and how much money and energy was saved.

For more information on how you can get involved in this initiative, and find daily logs, visit the North Dakota Environmental Quality website.