Spring has sprung and we're in a pollen-induced haze of sunshine and good vibes. We’re celebrating with simple tips to sustainably enjoy the season. From getting our hands a little dirty in the name of our green thumb, to maximizing the morning commute, we can all play a part in making the upcoming months filled with more memories and less waste.
When prepping for planting in your flower beds, try sticking to native plants. Plants native to an area are not only more likely to naturally thrive, but they also help the environment. Native plants require less water, fertilizer, and pesticides. Meaning – choosing native plants can prevent water run-off and improve air quality. Not to mention, they are part of a delicate ecosystem of birds and insects that have co-evolved with them for centuries. Not sure what’s native to your area? Try this handy dandy tool.
Depending on where you live, spring is known for milder weather, sunshine on the horizon, and the perfect chance to appreciate time outdoors. These conditions also make it the perfect time to limit your carbon footprint. It’s common knowledge that cars release tons of harmful pollution into the air, and even one day separated from them is a small effort made to cut back. Try biking to work during the spring or skipping the Uber home from dinner in favor of a walk.
Spring cleaning is a great time for a fresh start. Cue the closet clean-outs, room deep cleans, and car detailing. We have a few tips for executing it all a little more sustainably. For starters – ditch the paper towels. Paper towels contribute to deforestation and an ever-increasing waste problem. Instead, use old rags or even t-shirts (think the ones you cleaned out of your closet). Consider also using non-toxic cleaning products. Don’t want to buy something new? Vinegar, water, and baking soda, which you probably already have laying around, can handle most daily cleaning needs.
Open your windows! What better way to pay homage to the beauty of spring than to bring it indoors? There’s no need for fans or air conditioning when you have fresh air blowing through your home. By not using you’re A/C unit, you are using less electricity and energy while also allowing pollutants in the air to escape. Just cleaned the countertops with your homemade cleaning formula? Let the fumes of vinegar have a chance to head out the door.
Lastly, our absolute favorite part of spring: the farmer’s market! We could go on and on about the benefits of farmer’s markets, but we’ll only bore you with a few. For starters, farmer’s markets preserve America’s rural livelihoods and farmland. By providing one of the only low-barrier entry points for beginning farmers, markets allow small-business owners to test the waters and start small. By doing so, they are then also stimulating their local economy. The produce sold by these farmers is consistently more sustainable than average chain grocery stores due to organic growing practices, limited pesticide use, and choosing to grow fruits and vegetables that are in season. Lastly, farmer’s markets increase access to fresh, nutritious foods, the majority of which are accessible and allow the use of SNAP.
It’s easy to put your best foot forward this season by making small, actionable steps toward reducing your carbon footprint. Even something as small as bringing your own reusable tote bag to grab your groceries means less plastic that is entering our landfills and waste systems. How will you choose to be sustainable this spring?