7 Ways to Be Green in 2017
Go Green in 2017 With These 7 Environmental Tips
There have been plenty of articles about how bad 2016 was and how uncertain the New Year will be, which is why we want to take a different approach. If you’re anything like us, then you started 2017 with a burning urge to take action. Yes, a lot of things went wrong in 2016, but a lot of successful protests, initiatives, and actions went right. We need to be louder, smarter, and more open than ever if we are to keep the green momentum going.
Start your year off green with these seven environmental tips. Remember, with bigger issues comes a greater responsibility to take action.
If you’ve been following the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, then you’re probably aware of the divestment movement called Defund DAPL. #DeFundDAPL was started to move money from banks that are invested in DAPL to more eco-friendly alternatives such as local Credit Unions. The DeFund DAPL campaign has resulted in over $43 million divested, and that number continues to grow.
If your bank invests in major pipelines and you want to move your money, please visit: www.defunddapl.org/defund
2. Vote With Your Wallet
Whether or not the 2016 election went the way you were hoping it would, you can still vote with your wallet. What does voting with your wallet mean? It means choosing environmentally friendly products and services to influence the market to be more green. For example, purchasing a locally grown/made item is much more eco-friendly than buying something that was made in another country. From the ingredients to the company’s ethics, doing research before you purchase something can help save our planet. Voting with your wallet can be with something small like grocery shopping or a larger purchase such as a hybrid/electric vehicle or a weekend trip at an eco-friendly resort.
We understand that with so many choices shopping green can be a little overwhelming, which is why we started our Healthy Family Seal. Check out our Trusted Partners for green products that are safe for your families and the environment.
3. Get Involved in Local and State Politics
We could all use a breather from politics after the unprecedented craziness of the 2016 election. Once you find your happy place and you’re ready to get active again, consider local and state politics. Most people don’t even know who their state representatives are or who sits on their local school, city, or township Boards. Start small by attending city planning, school board, or county political committee meetings. Most meetings allot time for public comments, so prepare a statement that either raises a concern or a solution to local environmental policies. If you’re feeling ambitious, run for office! Real change can happen on a local or state level, so be the change-maker.
Environmental issues can seem overwhelming when you look at them on a global scale, but if we all did more to make our hometowns and cities greener, we could collectively make an immense difference.
4. Take Your Kids Camping/Hiking/to a Park
According to the Child Mind Institute, getting your kids outdoors builds confidence, promotes creativity, gets kids active, and teaches responsibility. We live in a world of screens, which creates a disconnect with the natural world. Plant the seed of conservation and environmental stewardship early in the garden of their minds by showing them firsthand why we need nature. We believe that knowing something and having a personal connection to it makes you more likely to take care of it.
From camping at a State or National Park to simply going for a walk in your neighborhood, getting your kids outside will keep them healthy and conscious of how important nature is to humans.
5. Grow Your Own Food
We love gardens at EMA! From our school gardening program #GreenMySchool to our celebrities’ personal gardens, we know how important it is to grow your own food.
It takes a lot of energy to get all of that food to your local grocery store, not including personal transportation. Cut back on your carbon footprint by growing fruits, herbs, and veggies in your backyard. Gardening is an excellent opportunity for family time and to get kids outside and learning about nature.
6. Consume Less
With internet shopping getting easier and faster by the day, it’s hard not to be constantly purchasing things. Let 2017 be the year you ask yourself, “do I really need that?” Consider buying only second-hand, making things yourself, or not buying anything at all.
7. Love and Listen
Love is all you need. Well, love and few million solar panels, but you get the point. 2016 had so much divisiveness and anger that the only way for us as a nation and as individuals to heal is with more love and understanding. It can be frustrating when people don’t care about the same things you do, but responding in anger will never get them on board. We need to be smarter and more open as environmentalists and make caring about our planet a human issue, not just a political issue. Be willing to hear other opinions and try to find common ground. If a close friend doesn’t seem to care, take them to an organic farm or green tech startup and let them meet the men and women working to make a sustainable planet.
Make 2017 your most sustainable year yet with tips from your favorite green celebrities with EMA’s monthly newsletter. Get the newsletter in your inbox by becoming a member of EMA. Your membership helps support our green programs such as our school gardens! Click here to join EMA today.