In one of Step Up’s
, we found that 75% of Americans found it important to protect the environment, but only 20% were making an effort to do so in their daily life. On the other hand, 63% reported that they made an effort to protect the environment “some of the time.”
What people do not realise is that it is very easy to play your part in saving the environment, whether it be in your home or in the community. One of the most important things that we can do is reuse our existing resources. While recycling both paper and plastic is a beneficial process, recycling still does require a certain amount of energy. For example, creating a recyclable plastic bottle takes 76% less energy than creating a new plastic bottle, but simply reusing a plastic bottle multiple times will save 100% of the energy used to create a bottle.
Another way that you can reuse resources is to invest in longer lasting products. Ceramic cups last longer than most materials and they can replace both plastic and paper cups. Also, carrying your own bags to the grocery store, even if they are plastic bags, can help reduce the consumption of new plastic bags. Our best hope for the future is to reduce consumption in the first place, instead of just finding ways to deal with it.
Involving the community can increase the impact of our efforts. Carpooling is one of the best ways that we can save fuel and money while growing closer as a community. From dropping off children at after-school activities to commuting to work, there are multiple opportunities for a community to get together and chart out responsibility. Carpooling helps to create more time for everyone by dividing the responsibility throughout the community. It is also a way for people to talk and get to know each other more, which leads to a stronger community. It’s only an added bonus that you can reduce your carbon footprint while you’re at it! There are carpooling options on Uber and Lyft now, and there are even other carpooling apps that can help you find people travelling in the same direction as you, so you can team up with people outside of your community as well.
Another great way to involve the community in this effort is to create ways to reduce food wastage. Helping out at your local food bank is a great way to help others while reducing waste. This website allows you to find a food bank in your vicinity. By calling them up to find out the kinds of food they accept, you can set up a weekly routine in the community to collect food and drop it off at the food bank (another opportunity to carpool). If we do this, we won’t be throwing out all of the useful bits of food we don’t eat.
Community gardens are also a great way to reduce our carbon footprint. Locally grown food is more eco-friendly, as it reduces the plastic consumption in packing, as well as fuel consumption for transportation. These gardens are a green place within the community and they allow people to work together to create fresh produce. Furthermore, you can also start composting your garbage (the bits that your local food bank will not accept) and use it as fertilizer in the community garden! There are multiple ways to compost within the community, and there are ways to make it less smelly as well.
There are several ways to play a role in your community by helping to conserve resources. While community gardening does require time and effort, it leads to a healthier lifestyle. On the other hand, efforts such as composting and reusing plastic are fast and effortless ways that you can play your part in saving the environment. By being a little more helpful to the environment that surrounds us, we can create better living conditions for our future generations.