How to Create a Sustainable Neighborhood in Your Community
The conversation around sustainability is increasing. As we experience more environmental, economic and social troubles, the need for refreshed, sustainable strategies grows.
One of those strategies is creating sustainable neighborhoods. Sustainable neighborhoods are simply neighborhoods that put environmental, economic and social health at the forefront of their development. The benefits of creating an eco-friendly neighborhood are significant.
The Benefits of Creating an Eco-Friendly Neighborhood
If we’re being frank, the health of our planet is in jeopardy. Climate change, the depletion of our natural resources, and the many economic and social crises have highlighted how important it is for us to prioritize environmental health.
Each eco-friendly neighborhood created contributes to a healthier environment. Sustainable communities also improve the quality of life of the individuals in those neighborhoods.
For example, they use resources like water and food more responsibly, thus reducing waste. People in these neighborhoods also improve their energy usage. Moreover, they learn to appreciate the environment and do more with less.
When you create an eco-friendly neighborhood, you’re contributing to the grander scheme of securing a healthy planet.
Tips for Creating a Sustainable Neighborhood in Your Community
If you’re ready to create a sustainable neighborhood in your community, the following tips can help:
Familiarize Yourself with Sustainable Development Trends
It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with sustainable development trends before you do anything else. Learn about what businesses and individuals do to create a sustainable foundation for their communities.
Educate yourself on the three key objectives of sustainable development. Then, dive into how businesses and individuals are currently addressing these objectives and what we can expect in the future.
With more knowledge about sustainable development, you can create a better plan for implementing it in your neighborhood.
Hold a Community Meeting
To create a sustainable neighborhood, you need to include as many people residing in it as possible. It’ll be challenging to create a sustainable community without the input and effort of the people in your neighborhood.
Hold a community meeting to discuss your vision for building a sustainable neighborhood. Ask your neighbors the best days and times for attendance, then choose the one most people can attend. Consider having a few meetings to accommodate more people.
When you have the meeting, paint a picture for your neighbors of the goodness an eco-friendly neighborhood can bring. Define your sustainability goals. Talk costs, timeline and resources. Be sure to open up the meeting for questions and discussion so everyone has an opportunity to contribute.
The more people on board with creating a sustainable neighborhood, the better.
Start In Your Home
Before you try to create a sustainable neighborhood, be sure your own household is eco-friendly. When you live in a way that is mindful of the environment and can show the benefits of doing so, it’ll be easier to make a case for making your entire neighborhood that way.
You can start with small changes to your home that promote eco-friendliness. For example, you could use smart thermostats, lighting systems and power strips to conserve energy. Smart water-monitoring systems can help you save water. You could also recycle and donate electronics to save energy and reduce e-waste.
Lead by example with a home and lifestyle rooted in sustainability.
Partner with Your Neighbors
As mentioned above, getting your neighbors involved in creating a sustainable neighborhood is essential. But you must go beyond a community meeting and form partnerships with your neighbors.
Make an effort to develop authentic relationships with all of your neighbors. Find out who would be interested in helping you with your sustainability goals and initiatives. In addition, determine who wants to lead specific projects and tasks so you don’t have to absorb all the responsibility.
Then, you all can move forward with a variety of sustainability projects.
Coordinate a Variety of Sustainability Projects
It’s great to have meaningful conversations about how to make your community more sustainable. But each conversation should end with an actionable plan for bringing the vision to life.
Coordinate various sustainability projects to ensure you’re backing up your words with actions. You could start with simple projects like doing a recycling drive or handing out flyers with sustainability tips.
Then, challenge yourself with more complex projects like building a community garden. According to the United Nations, “each year, an estimated one-third of all food produced – equivalent to 1.3 billion tons worth around $1 trillion – ends up rotting in the bins of consumers and retailers, or spoiling due to poor transportation and harvesting practices.”
Teaching your neighbors how to grow their own food will help them develop more responsible production and waste practices, as well as eliminate carbon emissions and nutrient waste associated with food transportation.
You could organize carpools, ride-sharing options or work to make public transportation more accessible. Some communities have gone so far as to create community wind and solar projects. Other communities have worked together to plant more trees to help reduce heat islands.
Coordinate as many sustainability projects as your neighborhood team can handle.
Commit to a Continuous Effort
Creating a sustainable neighborhood is an ongoing project. So, you and your neighbors must commit to a continuous effort to have a better chance at being successful.
Host regular community meetings to share plans, updates, achievements and adjustments. Continuously recruit neighbors to join your efforts for a more sustainable neighborhood. Launch projects, collect resources and join forces with neighboring businesses to keep the sustainability fire burning.
Hopefully, the future will be full of environmentally-friendly communities across the globe. We’ll need as many people as possible to lead sustainability movements in their respective neighborhoods.
Take the first step and familiarize yourself with sustainable development trends to get on your way to creating a more sustainable neighborhood in your community.