More and more people are putting more effort into living “green,” or eco-friendly, in the United States. New house builds are including solar panels and high energy efficiency ratings. More people are renovating homes to include solar panels, improved water and heat efficiency, and more. But what about the communities at large? What are Americans doing to influence legislature, their states, and their governments to improve the state of the environment?
Regulations on Ozone
More cities and states are starting to implement air quality control measures. This means that certain days, certain industries are allowed to work “as usual.” On other days, whether specified on a calendar or based on air quality readings, those same industries are restricted to a certain amount of pollution. While there is a lot of debate on this (because it restricts a company’s ability to produce and make money), this has been proven to improve air quality and increase ozone.
Builders and contractors are learning that their clients want to reduce, reuse, and recycle as much as possible. So they are beginning to use eco-friendly sourced materials, reusing and recycling things like wood for flooring, and creating solar and wind powered communities. Even industrial and company build sites are becoming “green,” using improved technology to build better and more efficient buildings.
Ever heard of “Bike to Work Day” or “Take Mass Transit Day?” All of these things engage the local residents and help them to understand that there are things they can do to dramatically decrease the amount of carbon dioxide they play a role in emitting. While these things are voluntary, getting enough sponsors and people involved can make it a fun thing for people to try, and maybe see how easy it is to fit it into their daily routines.
More and more churches, suburbs, schools, libraries, etc. are all starting community gardens. This may seem like just a simple way to gather with your community and learn something new, but really it’s one of the most eco-friendly things you can do. Why? One: you’re teaching people how to grow their own food. This means that there will be less consumption of food that came halfway around the world to get to your plate, using fossil fuel to travel and plastic to contain it. It also means that people are putting nutrients into the soil, rather than taking them away. It also means that people are eating healthier, being more physical, and using fewer resources to have a good time.
School districts are beginning to understand the importance of teaching kids about the effects of their resource uses, climate change, and giving kids ways to be more eco-friendly. All of this means that kids are learning from a younger age that SUVs aren’t great, wasting water isn’t OK, plastic isn’t single use, and that they can do something to help save the earth.