Getting Your Retirement Community Green
Retirees are becoming some of the greatest environmental activists. They have more time to care for and appreciate the Earth. Seeing their grandchildren grow is motivation enough to care for the environment that they will pass on.
Now, after moving to retirement and continuing care communities, they’re forming green committees with like-minded neighbors and blazing a bright green path. If you live in a retirement community with individuals who are like-minded in caring for the Earth and its future, you can also “paint the town green.”
Here are some community minded activities to start you on the green path:
• Encourage your community to stock food that is fresh, locally in season, fair trade, or has been produced with respect for wildlife and the environment
• Use mugs or glasses instead of disposable cups
• Set up a compost bin, or arrange a collection, for kitchen waste
• Encourage recycling of waste such as paper and plastic
• Grow your own food together on a community allotment Changing the way club or group members travel can reduce climate change effects and local air pollution. You can also benefit from the exercise. You could consider:
• Walking, cycling or using public transport
• Car sharing instead of driving alone
• Organizing secure cycle storage to encourage cycling
Talk to people in the community and ask them how they are helping the environment and what drawbacks they see. For example, are recycling drop-off sites convenient for seniors? Getting their input and involvement up front can help ensure the success of the program and maybe even lead to more interactive events, such as Earth Day events. Although largely symbolic, organizing meetings and events are a first step in changing behavior and cultural values that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The need to publicize issues surrounding global warming and environmental degradation is only going to grow.
Environmental issues affect all of us. Seniors are one of the groups who can put in the time, and have the experience, to help create a better world for themselves and the generations after them. It starts with a community. From there there’s no telling how far or how fast the word can spread.