If you were to take a trip in a time machine back to the late 1960s, only a true “hippie” would know what the word “compost” meant. Now, in the year 2011, it’s no longer surprising to find a middle-class, suburban family with their own compost bin in the backyard.
Although there have always been people who cared about our environment, more and more people and businesses are jumping on the eco-friendly bandwagon and “going green” to help create a more sustainable life. So many things – from food to hybrid cars to fashion – have been modified to fit our lifestyles.
But what about those of us who want to be environmentally-friendly but simply don’t know how?
Educating the public is the goal of Louisville’s Do Something Green (DSG) initiative. The nonprofit grassroots movement was created to transform the community into a greener place to live, work, and play.
Katie Greene, co-chair of DSG’s business committee, believes that everyone can find a way to make an impact. “A lot of the time you talk and learn about being green, but you don’t come away with an action that empowers you to make a difference. We wanted to reach these people who wanted to do something, but didn’t know how or where to start. We help give them simple and fun solutions to help make their lifestyle more sustainable. DSG is about empowering people to take action.”
It’s also about making the green lifestyle enjoyable and less of a chore.
While you can be green during any season of the year, summer is a perfect time to start because many people spend their time enjoying nature anyway, said Greene, who shared several easy examples of ways to take action.
“The summer is a perfect time to plant a garden, start a compost bin, or bike to work,” she said. “Saving energy is important, too. When you’re not in a room, turn off the lights. Adjust your thermostat so that you’re not using excess energy to air-condition your house.”
In addition to encouraging each individual to take action, DSG is also working with government leaders, schools and workplaces in Louisville to promote environmentalism at the institutional level.
DSG encourages those who are ready to commit to living a more sustainable lifestyle to take the pledge on their website, www.kygreen.tv, which also features several videos and resources both inspirational and informative.
Going green in small ways can lead to big changes, said Greene, and what you do will help Louisville become a healthier place.
Contact writer Sara Nelle Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org.