This month, we’re focusing on the work that 29 organizations in our community are doing to better the environment. Want to positively contribute to the environmental health of Charlotte and the planet? Below are five simple actions you can take today to do your part. A #GreenCLT is a better Charlotte.
- Use public transportation. Save gas (and the environment) by riding a bike or taking the newly extended Lynx light rail to work. Don’t have your own bike? Use one of the multiple bike shares in town including LimeBike, Spin, MoBike or the original, Charlotte B Cycle.
- Plant a tree. A lush tree canopy is essential to a healthy environment. Trees clean our air, filter our water, cool our parks and homes, and provide natural beauty. If you’re a Charlotte resident, you’re eligible to get up to two free trees from TreesCharlotte, an organization that holds a city-wide “Free TreeStore” every fall and spring.
- Support your local farmer. Often times, when you’re buying food from the grocery store, you’re buying produce that has been shipped thousands of miles (requiring plane and automobile travel, refrigeration, and packaging. When you support local farms and buy local food, you’re helping to cut down on fuel consumption and air pollution, lessening the environmental impact of your plate. Check out this list of 20+ farmers’ markets in Charlotte.
- Start a compost pile. Composting eliminates waste that would otherwise sit stagnant in our landfills and release toxic greenhouse gases. Plus, it helps soil produce healthier fruits and veggies in your backyard garden. Building a compost pile is easy—start by keeping a bucket in your kitchen to fill with nitrogen-rich materials like vegetable peels, fruit rinds, and other “green” waste.
- Choose used. Buying used goods helps to reduce the carbon footprint. Most new products have to be shipped from across the world (and typically, they’re wrapped in excess plastic packaging). For books, head to Book Buyers (which sells used books and an assortment of eco-friendly products). For clothing, check out consignment shops like JT Posh and Buffalo Exchange. Redecorating? See what furniture you can score at Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore or Sleepy Poet Antique Mall.