For those of us that do our part to be eco-friendly, to keep our planet healthy and happy, it can sometimes be a challenge to help others do the same. Though you might be doing all you can at home to recycle and reduce your own carbon footprint, the next step is to inspire others to do the same.
As you contemplate ways to help your community be more environmentally conscious, check out the tips below on how you can be the change on a grander scale.
Plant, plant, plant
Whether you have a green thumb or not, it’s no secret that giving plants life is a great way to help our planet thrive. An easy way to inspire change on a larger scale is by submitting a gardening plan proposal to your city board for areas where people in need can benefit from the produce.
Gather up some volunteers and pick a pre-approved spot to start digging! Be sure to make it a point to plant bee-friendly flowers as well, as the recent decline of bees is one that has had a significant impact on our planet. The addition of extra plants in your community will help its overall climate, and also the health of local wildlife.
If you’re feeling extra ambitious, try getting your neighborhood together to put together a small community orchard. Whether you opt to plant apples, peaches, or pears, giving life to fresh fruit for you and your neighbors to share will bring everyone closer together, and keep our planet happy.
Perhaps the best place to start when it comes to getting your community to go green is by educating them. Whether you hold a community meeting, or you find a way to offer a going green class at your local library, make sure people know the facts.
A large part of a community’s carbon footprint comes from vehicles, but there are many simple ways to lessen the effect of cars on our planet. Small changes you can educate your community on include always being sure to keep up with their car maintenance, and driving the speed limit as often as possible. Little adjustments like these lessen the effect of vehicles on our planet.
You can even suggest more people in your community take their bikes to work as this will help their health, and their carbon footprint! Another perfect place to educate others is right from the comfort of your office at work.
Help your co-workers be the change by cultivating an eco-friendly office environment. From always making sure to turn off the conference room lights, to properly recycling ink cartridges, there are many simple ways to educate your office.
Encouraging your community to purchase used as opposed to new is a great way to help our planet. The majority of the world’s textile waste ends up in landfills, which means these items are taking significantly longer to decompose, and in turn are hurting the environment.
Whether you’re buying used clothing and goods online or in person, thrifting increases the lifecycle of used items, keeping them from ending up discarded and unrecycled. A great way to get your community to thrift more is by organizing a town or neighborhood-wide garage sale. This will allow locals to get rid of unwanted items in a way that earns them some extra cash and prevents landfill waste.
Utilize great sites like Yardsalesearch to find and advertise local sales as well. Be sure to donate often and buy brand new less. For those who enjoy the finer things in life, there are consignment stores to shop from both in person and online that offer name brands that are sure to please.
Online thrift store, thredUP offers several well-known brands such as sought-after names like Madewell and much more. However your community decides to thrift, be sure to help them see the benefits of buying used items.
Getting members of your area to buy local is a huge help to the environment. A great way to encourage your community is by hopping on social media and promoting the 100-mile meal challenge. This challenge urges participants to get every item from their daily meals grown/produced naturally within 100 miles from their homes.
While this might appear to be a difficult task at first, most locals will be surprised at how many resources they have nearby to achieve this goal. From going to the farmers market to exploring and touring nearby small businesses, buying local will reduce your carbon footprint significantly.
Organize a Community Clean-Up
Though you might be doing your part to enact natural cleaning hacks at home, it’s also important to clean your neighborhood as well. A community clean-up might not be the most glamorous of ideas, but there is no doubt that each area needs to be picked up after every once in a while.
Organize a group of energized volunteers, and get to work on tidying up your local streets, beaches, and complexes. Picking up local litter and trash is the perfect place to start, but don’t just stop there. Take note of every location you pass that is in need of proper recycling bins, and find a way to notify proper government officials of which areas require more of them.
You can even conduct a local bottle drive from the recyclables you find on the street and donate the extra cash earned to a good local cause. Try to organize a clean up once every season, as each time the weather changes, so do the different harms to our planet.
From raking up leaves and disposing of them properly in the fall, to collecting harmful straws on the beach in the summer, there are endless opportunities to help your community year-round.