Sustainable living doesn't have to be an individual effort. Whether you're new to the area or well known on your block, encourage your neighborhood to go green together. Larger initiatives such as community gardens and designated clean-up days can help green your community, but you and your neighbors can also tackle smaller projects right on your street! Use some of our tips below to green your neighborhood.
Maintain your home's curb appeal. Keep your yard in tip-top shape by maintaining your garden, lawn and other greenery in a sustainable way. Use eco-friendly fertilizers, such as food compost or a chemical-free fertilizer. Also, think about incorporating plants that are already native to your area. The National Wildlife Federation suggests native plants because they've already adapted to the weather, soil and moisture in a specific location.
Conserve resources. Don't be that neighbor who constantly has lights or sprinklers running at all hours of the day. Show your neighbors the importance of water and energy supply conservation. You might be able to conserve water and electricity by making small changes around your home and yard. For example, instead of using a sprinkler to water your plants, take care of your greenery by hand with the help of a watering can. Invest in a rain barrel to collect rainwater and reduce your yard's runoff. Also, turn your indoor and outdoor lights off when they aren't needed. You can even keep a light or two on a programmable timer, ensuring they turn on or off at a certain time of day.
Share items with neighbors. Forgot an important ingredient that completes your favorite homemade banana bread recipe? Think twice before getting in your car and driving over to the grocery store. Conserve energy, money and fuel by walking to a neighbor's house and asking them to spare you that teaspoon of baking soda or whatever you might need. Also, share and swap items with your neighbors. Bring them any extra veggies or herbs you might grow in your garden or let them borrow your kitchen or lawn care supplies when you're not using them.
Know your neighborhood's trash pickup schedule. Don't bring your trash or recycling to the curb unless you know it's getting picked up that day or early the next morning. Look up your local trash collection schedule and plan accordingly. Before you toss certain items in your trash bins, it's important to understand the difference between recyclable and non-recyclable items. Americans composted and recycled almost 90 million tons of trash in 2015.