In today’s world we spend a lot of time in our own little corner of the planet. Actually, our society is a bit of a dichotomy: on the one hand we seem to be social butterflies with our social networking and communications devices that we can’t be separated from for two minutes; on the other hand we have withdrawn in many ways into a world where we get our money from machines, pay our bills through a computer, and even write electronic messages to our coworker just two cubicles away. We embrace the social and seem to reject it all at once. This makes going green an interesting proposition, as we too often take our eco-friendly steps in a vacuum, looking only at our small part of the world, recycling our own bottles, and composting our own trash. Imagine if we embraced community green in the same way as we embraced our electronic communities how green our cities could be!
Make Our Cities Green
Working together, we can all make our world more green, contributing to a sense of well being and accomplishment as a community. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of ways that a city can go green. While a single person’s efforts may seem in vain, when a collective neighborhood makes some changes it adds up to a lot of environmental friendliness! Following are three easy steps that we can all take to reduce, reuse and recycle:
1) Recycle at home and business:By recycling we can both eliminate waste that goes into our landfills, and also decrease energy use and material consumption for creating new products. For example, recycled water bottles can be used to create new drinking bottles, create clothing fabric and so much more. Recycled tires can be used for playground mulch. The options are endless.
2) Reduce our use of fossil fuels: With some relatively simple changes (as well as some other big ones), we can reduce our dependence upon fossil fuels. Simply being more thoughtful in your lighting usage (bulb choice, using dimmers, turning the lights off) or setting the thermostat in your home or neighborhood business to be a couple degrees different can add up to big savings in energy. Similarly, carpooling, taking public transportation or otherwise reducing gas consumption can have an impact.
3) Pick up the trash: One easy way to make our world greener and cleaner is extremely simple; hike out the trash. This means never littering or leaving your own garbage where it does not belong. But it also means taking the initiative to pick up waste that you see laying around, even if it is not your garbage.
How You Can Make a Difference
You can work to greenify your neighborhood by taking specific steps as those listed above. You can also do it by encouraging others to engage in eco-friendly activities. Here are three simple ways that you can help create a green minded community in your city:
1)Talk it up: Talk to people about the importance of eco-initiatives in your community. Explain why you think it is important to make green choices and describe what people can do to improve your neighborhood. By spreading the word you will get other people thinking green. Make an effort to talk about your green strategies in casual conversation. For example, if you are talking to a neighbor, end by saying, “I had better get going; I need to take some old batteries to the recycle facility before I pick Timmy up from school.”
2) Be a role model: Model green actions in your life. If people see you putting your recyclables about for recycling and dragging food scraps to your compost bin they may ask questions and feel more compelled to green action themselves. Let everyone see that you are green in your actions, in the clothing you wear, in how much trash you throw away, in the car you drive and your carpool pick-up.
3) Start an initiative: Organize a community green initiative. Get the community to engage in a block clean-up. Get people picking up trash in the nearby park or cul-de-sac. One fun way to do this is to organize a neighborhood clean-up party; invite people to a green party.