You can live in a city and still live green

The urban jungle, the concrete jungle, the big city — whatever you call major metropolitan areas, there are both similarities and differences throughout the United States. One of them is their commitment to being environmentally friendly.

Climate change isn’t something that will be reversed overnight or even this decade, but with the Earth’s average temperature projected to increase significantly, it’s something that everyone will have to commit to. It’s going to take a series of changes, both large and small, to begin to save our planet. But if you live in a big city, how can you contribute?

One way to support legislation and policies that promote energy efficiency and renewable energy. There are a number of cities that offer incentives for things like energy storage, solar power, electric cars, etc. Additionally, nine major cities have pledged to use 100% renewable energy. While the timelines differ, that is a great start. Supporting policies like these are a way for citizens in that city to reduce their carbon footprint.

Another way to live more environmentally friendly while in the city is to get more plants. It can be either inside the house or something different like a roof garden. It can act as a way to manage stormwater or be a source of food. Additionally, having more plants around (specifically in the house) will help purify the air.

On the subject of plants, a way to be eco-friendly is to either start or clean up a community garden. Texas A&M has a great resource for individuals interested in starting a community garden. Spaces like these are wonderful ways to promote local sources of food and also give people a chance to understand where their food comes from. This knowledge is important and can influence future decisions.

A basic way to go green is a standard but a classic: reduce, reuse, recycle. As a society, we use so many things that we simple throw away after a single use: coffee cups, takeout boxes, sandwich bags, straws, etc. Buying containers and reusable versions of some of these basic items reduces waste and also keeps you from having to buy them over and over. It’s both simple and thrifty, a win-win.

Overall, if you live in a big city, there are ways to reduce your carbon footprint and live more eco-friendly. The above tips are just a few of the numerous ways to do it. The changes needed to slow down or reverse climate change start with us, and there is no time like the present to start.

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