15 Ways to Create a Sustainable Community

Jess Hutton | January 6, 2016 | Green Living

Be the change you want to see in the world.
- Gandhi

The first step to seeing change is to make changes yourself. In simple acts, we inspire our partners, our kids, our co-workers, our neighbors, and our communities to take positive action. Before you know it, a ripple effect has begun, and you have inspired your community (and maybe even the world) to make changes, take care of themselves, conserve resources, and make the planet a healthier place to live.

Here are 15 ways you can make an impact and begin to inspire a more sustainable community around you:

1. Eat local! Support your local farmers by visiting markets and cooking what’s in season. Read through these tips for shopping at farmer’s markets.

2. Join community-supported agriculture. There are opportunities all over the country for those of us interested in receiving daily or weekly fresh organic produce. Join an organic food co-op, or a community supported agriculture project. It’s a great way for consumers to buy local, seasonal produce directly from a farmer in their community. Find a CSA in your area.

3. Start a compost pile. Composting is a simple way to add nutrient-rich humus, which fuels plant growth and restores vitality to depleted soil. It’s also free, easy to make, and good for the environment. Learn more about how to start your compost pile.

d-olwen-dee/Flickr

4. Get to know your neighbors. Reconnect with your community to work together to make your neighborhood a healthier, happier place to live. If you don’t want to show up at your neighbor’s door unannounced, here are some great ideas and resources on connecting with your community.

5. Buy local products. Not only does shopping locally save transportation and shipping costs, time, energy, and emissions, but it also keeps resources circulating in the community. The list of benefits to buying local goes on and on.

6. Redefine your means of travel. Limiting car use reduces your carbon footprint, and taking public transportation is a great way to meet people in your community. Riding a bike or walking provides you with fresh air and a different perspective of your environment!

Tejvan Pettinger/Flickr

7. Create a community garden to encourage healthier living habits such as exercising, cultivating organic and sustainable food sources, and using environmentally-friendly methods. Want to learn how? Here’s a quick guide to starting a community garden.

8. Start recycling. When we recycle, used materials are re-made into new products, reducing the need to consume natural resources. Recycling helps conserve important raw materials from our planet and protects our natural habitats.

9. Get your kids involved in recycling or environmentally friendly projects.

Molly/Flickr

10. Stop receiving junk mail. Junk mail really piles up and it takes time to go through it all. Did you know an average of 69 pounds of junk mail comes to our homes each year? Learn how to stop junk mail for good.

11. Give up bottled water. Nearly 30 billion plastic water bottles are sold annually in the U.S., and less than 20% are recycled. Instead, carry your own water bottle, and drink from your home tap water filtration system.

12. Conserve your energy use in your home, business, and daily activities. There are a myriad of ways to save energy or use natural energy sources. Here are 85 energy-saving tips.

Mr.TinDC/Flickr

13. Conserve water. It is estimated that about 50% of all household water just goes down the drain. The planet cannot renew our water sources as fast as we waste them.

14. Change your personal care routine. Most of the products we find in the grocery store to clean our bodies and make-up our faces are full of chemicals that go unregulated. Over 60% of what we put on our body is absorbed through our pores, and over the span of time, our bodies begin to react to toxin build-up. Sustainable Baby Steps has tons of ideas for upgrading your personal care and hygiene routine.

15. Educate yourself. Keep reading and researching. Find ways you can make a positive impact, and inspire those around you to make a difference. Never stop learning, and never stop growing. Education is what helps us thrive. Here are some excellent documentaries to help inspire your next action:
Top Documentary Films – Environment
253 Top Environmental Documentaries

What tips do you have to help inspire your neighbors to create a more sustainable community?  Why not refer a neighbor to us? They can get a quote for solar installation and you get $25!

Featured photo by skyseeker/Flickr

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