While many of us are actively looking for ways to protect the environment and switch to more sustainable practices, the role of local governments can have a huge impact! Changes in the daily activities of governments to reduce waste and minimize their carbon footprint are a great place to start. These changes can include switching to green systems, creating new sustainability programs, and engaging with community grown initiatives.
In governments of all sizes, it is often up to the constituents to use their voices for the change they’d like to see. We each have a part to play in the progress our towns and cities make toward becoming more environmentally friendly! Check out the list below for ways your local government partner can in the effort of saving our planet!
1. Create Sustainability Minded, Community Focused Initiatives
When residents are given a chance to participate in sustainability minded events and opportunities a municipality is able to see the response from their communities! This leads to a better understanding of demand for environmentally conscious activities and more clarity for budget allocation for these efforts.
Initiatives for cities and municipalities:
-Earth Day events
-giveaway composting supplies
-surveys to get to know the waste habits & needs of citizens
2. List Local Companies that Provide Recycling Services
Creating an area on the city’s website listing the local companies that offer recycling services is a great, inexpensive way to be apart of empowering local residents. This also allows the local government to support the businesses in their area while simultaneously increasing their sustainability efforts!
3. Educate on Recycling
Knowledge is power! When a city increases their education on recycling and it’s benefits all of the residents are better equipped to do their part to close the loop. Education can look like: clear signage sharing WHAT can be recycled, public campaigns to raise awareness about food waste, linking to educational articles on social media or their website, highlighting local non-profits working in the communities to increase climate saving measures, and more!
4. Partner with Local Recycling Providers
Many cities have private recycling and composting providers! Partnering with them creates a great opportunity for the city to further their sustainable efforts. Whether that looks like the city creating a program to collect residential food waste or commercial hauling, the partnership opportunities are endless! Creating those connections will allow the local government to make a substantial impact on the environment through diverting waste from landfills and working to stop several types of pollution (water, soil, etc.)
Ways Citizens Can Support the Efforts of Their Local Governments
Using our voices and showing our support are both great ways to encourage our cities to move toward becoming more environmentally friendly! Here’s a list of ways you can be apart:
- Engage in the activities and initiatives your city IS doing for the environment (events, giveaways, etc)
- Sign up for your local newsletter to better learn about the things your city is apart of
- Complete any surveys or questionnaires your city sends out
- Show up to your local city council meetings and express your opinion. Use this article for talking points for ideas on things your city could be doing for the environment
- Call or Send a letter asking about current legislation and ask when you’ll be seeing it in your state. Check out legislation to watch in 2022 here
- Spend $20/month supporting local businesses that are environmentally conscious or enroll for a program like Compost House
- Continue to educate yourself and others. Some great resources are the US Composting Council and Kiss the Ground!