My friend recently visited me in Nashville and was amazed at what a green city it is. Her observation made me reflect on the many things I take for granted here, that are, in fact, pretty cool benefits. Often, we don’t think of cities as being “green,” but there are many green benefits of living in a city that we can take advantage of. Below are just some of the “green” perks of city living.
5 Eco-Friendly Benefits Of Living In A City
City dwellers can go green by taking advantage of the city’s community gardens. These areas allow people to get involved with gardening and composting in their neighborhoods. It is a great way to learn about how to garden without a big investment in tools and space.
Food production doesn’t only happen in fields or factories. Nearly one billion people worldwide produce food in cities. Hands On Nashville‘s Urban Agriculture Program helps locals learn to make healthy food choices and offers gardening lessons for growing produce. @HONashville
This in itself is a huge advantage of city living. Choosing an apartment close to work, school or shopping can cut down considerably on the carbon emissions from commuting. As my 8-year-old daughter told me the other night, “Let’s walk. It saves car energy and is healthier for us.”
Another green benefit of living in a city it that it generally entails smaller living spaces which use less energy. Smaller homes are more manageable when it comes to temperature adjustments and require less electrical use and maintenance. Another advantage of compact city living is that recycling is usually included in your taxes and/or made more accessible through curbside and on-site recycling collection programs.
If your destination is not within walking distance, take advantage of your city’s public transportation options, if available. Another option is to ride a bike! Many cities offer bike share programs, such as B Cycle, allowing people to rent bikes at automated kiosks throughout the city.
Another green benefit of city life is that you can take advantage of swapping goods instead of buying new goods. Since there are so many people living in close proximity, it is usually easy to find someone who has what you need or needs what you have. There are a number of websites and social networks that make it easy to swap, sell, or buy a used item close to home.
Living in a green city involves adopting practices that reduce your environmental impact and promote sustainability.
How To Go Green In An Urban Environment
While we do live in a neighborhood of single family homes, the lots are small and the neighborhood is surrounded by apartments, condos, and businesses. I once thought that such a scenario would make it more difficult to live a green life. While in some ways that is true, in other ways, living in an urban environment actually makes it easier to be green. There are some ways we can be green precisely because we live in an urban city environment. Here are 5 more ways you can go green in the city.
1. We mow our lawn with an electric lawnmower that we plug in. (Our neighbor actually mows his with one of the old reel lawn mowers!)
2. We can (and do) walk to the library, a grocery store, lots of shops, and plenty of restaurants. When we want to go farther than that, we can easily get to public transportation.
3. Going green tips for an urban environment include using the three “R”s. The minuscule size of my house makes me “reduce, reuse, and recycle”, even if I didn’t want to be green. I have to think about every purchase I make as our house is FULL. Nothing comes in without a purpose any more and I try to donate things as soon as the boys outgrow them.
4. While a trip to a farm is a day’s adventure, we have several close by Farmer’s Markets. When time does not allow, we also have the option of two different companies that deliver organic vegetables and milk and a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture- has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer) drops off just down the street. When all else fails, we can walk to a Whole Foods.
5. Our county offers a wonderful curbside recycling program and we take full advantage of it.
Because cities have lots of people, this concentration of population can also mean a concentration of resources. This can make eco-friendly opportunities more abundant. For example, many cities have curb side recycling. What green options do you take advantage of in your city? I’d love to hear about your favorite green benefits of living in a city in the comment section below or tag me @familyfocusblog.
By incorporating these tips into your daily life, you can contribute to creating a greener and more sustainable city. I’m sure there are lots more ways I can go green in an urban environment. I’d love to hear your going green tips for an urban environment! Feel free to share your urban going green tips in the comments.