Running an environmentally friendly house can be fun and rewarding, and getting a few neighbours on board even more so, but helping a whole neighbourhood to go green can be a big challenge with big rewards. In this post, the process is broken down into a few easily manageable tips.
Just like charity, it starts at home
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably laid down some environmentally friendly roots, so lead by example and let the fruits of your labours show. In some cases this can be taken literally: let the neighbours taste your homegrown, homemade plum crumble or, if they’re a bit green-fingered themselves, offer to share your compost. It’s amazing how quickly these things can catch on with a little sharing and friendly encouragement. Before long you’ll be fending off the crumbles and compost yourself.
Get everyone doing the little things
Picking up litter, keeping the neighbourhood bushes tidy, putting breadcrumbs out for the birds – every little helps.
Recycling and charity are for the whole community
It’s surprising how much rubbish can’t go in those little green and blue recycling bins at the bottom of your garden. If a few people in the neighbourhood are clearing out their homes, sheds and garages, club together to hire a skip or two.
Transform neighbourhood problems into neighbourhood events
Does your neighbourhood suffer from a strip of land covered in rubbish? Maybe a park nearby has a lot of potential but one too many crisp packets blowing around? Where a lot of people see a curse, encourage some to see an opportunity. A day out litter picking in the sunshine with family and friends can make all the difference and leave everyone feeling quite proud of themselves. Plans generally need to be checked out with the local council and health and safety is a major consideration, but once you’ve got your gloves and your high-vis jackets on it can be great fun.
Turn the neighbourhood green
Not quite literally. A bit of environmentalism can be introduced into surprising places. A few plant boxes in a back alley or a squirrel feeder on that lone tree at the end of the road can bring a bit of green focus into places that might otherwise seem a little bit grey. And spread the word while you’re at it. From the local schoolchildren to the old people’s home, it’s surprising who will take the message to heart.
Build a neighbourhood focus
A neighbourhood with a focus point is a real community. If you have a park you could apply to the local council to start a community planting project. If not, a wildlife corridor down a local walkway or even a neighbourhood garden on a small patch of grass can bring the neighbourhood together as a team. Before you know it, not only will you have a greener neighbourhood, you’ll have a closer one too.