CSP Team Note: Smarties, Earth Day is right around the corner! After spending weeks quarantine in your home with your family, I bet you have started noticing how much waste and energy one household can accumulate. It is mind boggling! Have you found yourself counting down until the next trash pick-up. Wondering what you can do to subside this? Are you ready for a change? Team Smarty has put on their investigative cap and decided to reach out to the experts, Sustain Charlotte.
“Sustain Charlotte is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization helping to advance regional sustainability through smart growth. Our dedicated staff and volunteers work collaboratively with local neighborhood organizations, government agencies, nonprofits, and businesses to solve the most important challenges to the long-term social, economic, and environmental health of our community.”
Thank you Sustain Charlotte for your valuable insight. Team Smarty accepts the challenge! #isustainclt
As Earth Day approaches next week, we want to celebrate this beautiful planet we live on–even while the majority of us are spending all of our time at home. Here are 10 ways you can live more sustainably during this time of social distancing.
1. Plant a small garden in your yard or a pot of culinary herbs on a sunny windowsill. Growing produce at home can help you take less frequent trips to the grocery store while we’re being advised to stay home. Driving less is good for our air quality and the planet.
2. Convert some (or all) of your lawn to low-maintenance xeriscape, native plantings, and/or edible landscaping. Turfgrass is poor quality habitat for wildlife, and it often requires large amounts of water, fertilizer, and pesticides for maintenance.
3. Switch from gas-powered to battery-powered electric lawn equipment when replacing your mower, chainsaw, trimmer, and more. The small engines in lawn care equipment are major polluters.
4. Ask yourself if you really need to run the air conditioner, or if you can set it a bit higher than usual. Heating and cooling account for the highest amount of energy usage in most homes. During these beautiful breezy spring days, try opening the windows and letting nature cool you down (but also consider health issues if anyone in your home is sensitive to pollen).
5. Mulch or compost your lawn clippings instead of putting them in bags curbside. Leaving grass clipping on the lawn after mowing ensures that nutrients will be returned to the soil.
6. Start a compost pile. When food waste is put in a landfill it produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Composting is not only better for the climate, but it will also produce high-quality soil full of nutrients for your garden or plants.
7. Turn off lights when leaving a room, install LED lightbulbs, and unplug chargers and appliances when not in use. Many of us could see higher than usual electricity bills because we’re spending so much more time in our homes. Keep your costs and environmental impact to a minimum by being mindful of how you’re using energy in the different parts of your home.
8. Support a small business by purchasing a take-out order (walk or bike to pick it up if you can!), or buying a gift card for a future purchase/service. A healthy local economy depends on businesses of all sizes, but small and micro businesses are having an especially hard time right now.
9. Enjoy a safe, local walk or bike ride if you live in an area where you can maintain proper social distancing. Keep yourself and your loved ones healthy by enjoying exercise outdoors and close to home. This isn’t the time to engage in higher-risk activities because our hospitals need maximum capacity to be prepared for covid-19 patients.
10. For those times when you do need to pick up groceries or other essential supplies, offer to pick up an order for your elderly or vulnerable neighbors during the same trip. Not only will you save that person a trip, but you’ll also help them stay safely in their home.
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Get to Know Sustain Charlotte
Sustain Charlotte is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that informs, engages, and empowers residents to address the numerous sustainability challenges that have accompanied our rapid population growth.
What is sustainability?
Sustainability means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own.
Why is sustainability important to Charlotte?
Sustainability is an indicator of a community’s long-term economic, social, and environmental well-being.
However, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area lags other metro areas in many key sustainability measures, and prior to Sustain Charlotte’s founding, there was no local organization raising awareness of the challenges to our sustainability and their solutions. Sustain Charlotte was founded in 2010 to fill this void and is now the metro area’s leading voice for sustainability.