Living green in 2018 is easier than ever before. The old notion of city living as an overcrowded concrete jungle is giving way to the modern urban green initiative, including communal green spaces and local activism. The concept of more people means more stuff means more waste means more pollution has been replaced by a common drive among Millennial city dwellers to buy less, waste less, and drive less. Whatever the size of the city you live in, there are countless ways to be more mindful of how you live in your urban space. Consider these tips to get you started down the path of greener urban living.
- Find Green-Lifestyle Organizations
There are many organizations, groups and resources in every major city that teach greener living lifestyle habits including those that promote community gardening, street greening, and promotion of pesticide alternatives. Greener living starts with the individual and can grow into large community-based and even city-wide initiatives, like NYC’s Terreform program, which looks at the possibility of “urban self-reliance” suggesting that by concretely imagining what an ideal city might look like, you make a better one more likely.
- Eat Locally
When you buy from food co-ops and shop at local farmers markets, you are promoting local food production that tastes better and is healthier for you. The agricultural industry leaves a huge carbon footprint and is a massive contributor to green house gas emissions, not only because of transportation but also through fertilization and pesticide use. Shopping locally reduces this carbon footprint considerably.
You can even take a step further and plant your own garden, which can noticeably supplement your summer grocery needs. Even if your space is limited to a small patio or balcony, you can grow a bit of food so long as you have some sun, and a few basic gardening tools by Fiskars. Grow heirloom tomatoes, or simply install a small herb garden on your deck or windowsill. This will inspire you to cook more and eat out less. You’d be surprised to see how far a little basil or rosemary goes.
- Reduce Food Waste
Reducing food waste is an easy way to make a big difference. It keeps food out of landfills, and it also makes economic sense at the smallest scale, by lowering your household food bills. For the urban-dweller, you can reduce waste and save money by investing in alternative food storage. Visit https://abeego.com/ to see how easy it can be to reduce household food waste through products like beeswax wraps, an alternative to plastic wrap that keeps your food healthier longer and cultivates a living, breathing kitchen. Rekindling our inner food wisdom means reconnecting with basic tenets of waste reduction and mindful food purchasing and storage.
- Live Without a Car
This one is actually a lot easier than most people think, since most large urban spaces have extremely reliable public transportation and proximity to other travel services. Whether you stick to the subway, the bus, or tram system, invest in a car sharing membership, or simply choose to walk or bike more, it’s easy to reduce the amount of driving you need to do or to eliminate the need for a car altogether.
Cities are beautiful places, and green urban living has never been easier. Whether you reach out to a local community garden or grow your own veggies on the porch; whether you ditch the car completely or start biking to work to reduce drive time, you’re making a commitment to greener, healthier living. Consider the above, and you’ll be on your way to greener living in no time.