It Takes a Village! How You Can Get Your Neighbourhood To Help the Planet
On our environmental journey, we become aware of our individual impacts, and we can only start to wonder what the impact would be if we worked with more people. We can start by recycling and composting, but if we really want to make a big impact, we’ve got to start promoting a green neighbourhood. But what are the best ways to do this?
Encourage Solar Panels
Of course, not everybody wants to have solar panels on their home, and many people will argue that the expense is not recouped right away. But this is where community solar initiatives come into play. Community solar initiatives involve electricity being generated through solar energy farms, which go to a local utility and then go into local homes. This is one of the best ways for people to benefit from solar panels without actually having to have solar panels on their roofs!
Start a Safe Routes to Schools Program
If you do not have one of these in your community, you couldn’t write to your local government to create a Safe Routes to Schools program. The idea is to encourage people to walk or bike to school on a safe route. And from here, it doesn’t take much encouragement to get people walking. It’s important to think about the ways that you can make walking more enjoyable in your local neighbourhood. This could involve asking the local government to help before you make any changes, but you may want to incorporate things to inspire people to walk, for example, more trees that provide shade, or hanging solar-operated lights so people feel safer in the dark.
Growing Some Vegetables
One of the best ways to become more environmentally friendly is to show the benefits of growing your vegetables. Growing food at home is great for the environment, but if we start to show people how it’s helping the planet, but also how it’s saving them money, it can be a wonderful hobby for people to partake in that helps them in other aspects of their life. Many herbs and vegetables that you buy at the grocery store can be regrown, which will lower your carbon footprint. It is also beneficial for the local community because it can form part of a project, especially with regard to mental health initiatives.
Removing Your Name from Mailing Lists
One of the simplest ways to save the planet is to opt-out of junk mail. While it may take a few months before you finally stop receiving junk mail, think about how many trees you and your neighbours will have saved. Nobody likes junk mail, and if you are trying to get your neighbors to save the planet in one little way, this is the best place to begin.
Set up a Community Garden
You could join or start a local community garden. And with a plot, you can harvest vegetables, and you can start to spread the good word about what growing fruits and vegetables does for the environment and your health.
Start a Community Compost Program
Composting is one of those simple efforts that can make a difference. Following on from harvesting your own crops, making your own compost using food scraps can create nutrient-rich compost that will benefit the grounds.
Encouraging People to Cook Cleverly
Many people choose to cook their food on the biggest burner on the stove because it heats up quicker, but this uses a lot more energy. Instead, encouraging people to use the smaller burner, or grilling the food outside and creating a neighbourhood-friendly barbecue is an environmentally friendly way to cook food and save energy.
It’s one of the best ways to save on fuel. Whether it is rideshare to work or taking kids to extracurricular activities, it’s one of the best ways to save the planet. For those who are not convinced, there’s a very handy commuter calculator that shows you how much money they could save purely by carpooling.
Not everybody can fit snugly into their neighbours’ clothes, but instead of going for fast fashion trends, you could organize a clothing swap with neighbours or friends. Because landfills receive so much textile waste, changing up your wardrobe by swapping your clothes with others is a simple way to get into new fashion tastes, and help the planet.
There are many ways for you to help, but if you really want to make a difference, it is not just about doing it yourself, it takes a village!