Building an eco friendly community

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“Zero waste” has become an emerging trend. The articles on the sites have mainly targeted individual responsibility, on how you as an individual adopt strategies to achieve zero waste, sustainable living and financial savings.

Next level up requires community involvement which can help shape responsible policies at local and national level to help protect the environment and get more investments into eco friendly infrastructure, manufacturing and outreach programmes.

In this article we look at ways on ways you can be a beacon for change

  1. Educate friends and family Don’t however preach but lead by example. Do not judge other people or critique them on their choices based on what you have decided for yourself. You will quickly turn people off. Rather just be yourself and enjoy their company. Over time some of what you follow might rub off on them.

  2. Social Groups Join one or make a local/ regional chat group like on social media about zero waste and sustainable living Zero Waste lifestyle. Invite people to join and promote at your local shop, school/university and public offices.

  3. Organise events

    1. Take the lead in organising events including
    2. Zero Waste Swap - where people can offer stuff or service for free or by purchase (2nd hand stuff only ofcourse).
    3. Repair event: The Restart Project helps people learn how to repair their broken electronics, and rethink how they consume them in the first place. Read more about The Restart project.
    4. Neighbourhod clean up: Organising a neighbourhood clean up is a great way to reduce waste and encourage a zero waste mindset and culture within your community.
    5. Fitness drive: Organise a fitness event such as group walks, group hikes, 5k races to encourage community participation, raise funds for the local community and increase awareness.
  4. Build library of things/ community library Encourage friends, family and community members to donate books that they no longer read and start a community library or donate to your existing library.

  5. Gardening Community

    1. Create or join a plant exchange group where you share or donate your extra plants and seedlings and maybe get some in exchange as well.
    2. Organise to collectively buy in bulk to get plants or seeds at discounted price.
    3. Community market ( via an app/social media group or offline) : buy and sell produce (fruits, vegetables, zero waste products such as jams, chutneys, compost) to other members of the community.
    4. Education: share knowledge and gain useful information on getting started, learn tips and tricks of gardening
  6. Community Composting

    1. Community market ( via an app/social media group or offline) : can be used to buy and sell compost
    2. Education: share knowledge and gain useful information on getting started, learn tips and tricks of composting.`
  7. Donate Do not throw away leftover paint, building materials but look to donate to community projects. Habitat is a non-profit housing organisation that accepts donated goods. Read more about how to donate to Habitat

  8. Educate Companies: Reach out to local companies, stores and restaurants on how they can switch to greener offerings by:

    1. Reducing the use of plastic especially single use plastics within their business.
    2. Encourage stores to save costs by offering stock refillable options and encouraging take up reusable eco friendly shopping bags.
    3. Encourage restaurants to offer reusable or returnable packaging and discounts to customers who bring their own containers or refillable drink containers.
    4. Encourage businesses to use eco-friendly essentials such as soaps, paper towels and toiler paper.
  9. ‘Happy to Chat’ benches

    Happy benches feature a simple sign which reads ‘Sit here if you don’t mind someone stopping to say hello’ designed to combat loneliness. Learn more about ‘Happy to Chat’ benches and watch the following video about the initiative.


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