Make It Fun—Find activities that will involve multiple people. Consider things like a “Tags Still On” clothing swap, community garden, or community clean up.
It’s Not a Competition—If you make green living changes sincerely it won’t feel like work. The habits you bring inside your homes will teach your family to be green for years to come.
Don’t Under Estimate Youth—What we are really finding in the community is that the youth are a sponge. You give them a simple idea, and they find their own ways to take it further.
How To Start The Change in Your Community
One idea that came up is to make changes together. For example, changing from chemical cleaners to green cleaners takes some adjustment. You have to retrain yourself as to what new cleaners work well. So share your knowledge. Did you find a great new green cleaner to replace bleach? If so, share your green living find.
Here is a list of 25 simple changes you can make in your homes and neighborhood. Challenge everyone in your family to make one change per month. With this simple change a family of 4 could make up to 48 changes per year!
- Start a compost pile. You can purchase a composter or compost in an unused area of your yard. A large composter can be placed centrally and used by many families.
- Switch to cloth napkins. If you have a large family you will need a lot. A trick is to purchase them all in complimentary color themes so that if they don’t all match they still work. *Keep some paper napkins around for those extra messy meals and guests that prefer paper.
- Eliminate paper towel. Purchase more cloth towels. This creates a bit more laundry but is still an effective green living exchange.
- Switch to paperless billing. Some companies even offer you small discounts for doing this.
- Skip the ATM receipt. Unless you are doing a deposit you probably don’t need it. We usually just toss them anyway.
- Print on both sides of computer paper OR use the backside of your paper as a notepad. *if you choose this option make sure you immediate shred any that might have account numbers or other sensitive info.
- Use your shredded paper to pack fragile items for shipping.
- Walk, bike, or carpool 1 or more days a week.
- Buy locally. This requires less shipping, reduces fuel costs, and supports local vendors.
- Use refillable water bottles instead of plastic.
- Use cloth bags instead of plastic. The best part here is that they are cute and easier to carry than plastic.
- Change to power strips and/or “Smart Strips” to conserve energy OR if you aren’t using something, unplug it. You’ll be surprised how much this will reduce your monthly energy bill.
- Adjust your thermostat down just one degree.
- Add one plant to every room. This will give you cleaner air to breath and add beauty to your rooms.
- Plant a garden. If you don’t have a yard to do this in. You will be surprised by what you can grow in large pots—tomatoes, strawberries, green beans on your porch.
- Grow an indoor garden. You can find windowsill gardens for things like fresh herbs and aloe.
- Plant an outdoor tree.
- Replace appliances with energy efficient options.
- Replace your light bulbs with energy efficient ones.
- Move to all or mostly non-chemical cleaners. You can even find recipes to make your own.
- Cook and bake more—the more you make from scratch the less packaging you use. This also tends to be healthier for you too!
- Maintain proper air pressure in your tires. If your pressure is too low, you decrease your gas mileage.
- Eliminate sandwich bags and plastic wrap. You will find containers on the market of all shapes and sizes that can replace both of these products.
- Change to a natural or washable cat liter. These products have really improved over the years.
- Make sure you replace washers on all dripping faucets. One dripping faucet can waist gallons of water per day.
See—you don’t need an expert to make green living changes. You can start with your family and in your neighborhood today!