Monday, May 6, 2013
April 22, also known as Earth Day, has come and gone for the year. Corporations across America participated, many due to government regulations and public relations. Schools encouraged the youth to become interested. People took five minutes to reflect on the state of the Earth, but sadly the next day, many of those people went on with their lives without a second thought. More needs to be done to better the state of the world and there are many ways you can become involved in encouraging environmental activism in your town.
Here are just a few things you can do to better the state of the world starting with your own community:
Celebrate in the Fall
Autumn is a wonderful time to encourage people to be more aware of their impact on the environment. The leaves are falling off trees, winter is around the corner, and it’s half a year away from the celebration of Earth Day. Plan a community celebration of the environment, with fun outdoor activities. Celebrate at a local farm, with outdoor activities running throughout the day.
Inform people about how to better prepare for the winter and reduce their energy bill by properly insulating the house. Organize activities that instill in children the desire not just to recycle materials, but to repurpose and reuse things that might otherwise be discarded as trash. One idea is to arrange an art contest with all repurposed materials. Cloth scraps, leftover construction supplies, and other household materials can all be transformed into beautiful decorations.
Encourage Local Consumerism
Shopping at local merchants is a double win for the community. For one thing, it helps the environment by reducing the amount of waste generated by long car drives outside of your town. Not only that, but this will reduce the amount of packaging and transport that is required to import goods to your area if you purchase them from a locally-produced vendor. Even small steps toward this effort can significantly impact the CO2 output, and make the environment that much stronger. The added bonus is that money spent within the community flows within the community. You are strengthening local businesses by shopping there, and aiding the local economy, which can only serve to benefit your neighborhood.
If you live in an area that has open land undergoing development, petition your local government to enforce eco-friendly building regulations. There are several ways in which you can make a building more environmentally friendly, whether it is a domestic residence or a commercial building. Begin by using as many recycled materials as possible in the building process. Insist on five-star energy appliances and LED lighting in the building.
Building energy efficient homes is not something to be taken lightly. It is a big step toward reducing the negative impact we have on the environment. Once the buildings are up, make sure that the area around them reflects what is inside. Spend some money on seeds, and freely distribute them to your new neighbors as a welcoming gift. Encourage the use of compost, and share information on planting a garden. Gardens can beautify a yard with fresh flowers, produce fresh oxygen, and provide produce to encourage self-sustaining practices.
Take on the issue of environmentalism within your community, and you could begin having a significant impact today.
Hailey Andersen is a freelance writer with an interest in sustainability and saving the environment.