The difficult part about keeping an entire neighbourhood looking neat and tidy is that it requires a group effort and anyone who has ever tried to coordinate a group effort for anything, whether at school, work, or in the community knows that it is no easy task. Incentive is everything. People have differing attitudes towards public spaces, and their responsibility to upkeep and maintain it. Getting everyone on the same page is an undertaking. Here are five ways to keep your neighbourhood clean.
Start by taking personal responsibility
The only person whose actions you have complete control over are your own. Private citizens do not, nor should they have control over one another’s actions. If you are making an effort – picking up after your dog, disposing of cigarette butts responsibly and picking up trash when you see it – chances are others will be inspired to do the same.
If you feel like pollution is becoming an issue in your neighbourhood or community, try to organize a bike or walk to work day. Obviously this is an impossibility for some people if their commute is just too long, or when weather makes it impossible, but convincing people to ditch their vehicles, even for just one day a month, or one day per quarter, is a good way to get your fellow neighbours in the habit of taking greener transportation to and from work. There is a reason that many cities with significantly lower levels of pollution have a much higher rate of people riding bicycles and taking public transportation to work.
Separate your recycling
It takes effort to truly recycle properly. There are many different grades of plastics and metals, even everyday items, that can be recycled – but many people lack awareness and understanding of how to sort the materials. Separating your newspaper, cardboard, glass and plastics diligently can start a chain reaction as each neighbour sees the other taking the time to recycle correctly.
Tie your trash
An untied trash bag or unsecured garbage can is an invitation to the wind or hungry nocturnal animals to strew trash all over the neighbourhood. When you put your garbage out the night or morning before collection, make sure that it’s not going to end up all over the street or your neighbours’ property.
Go to a carwash
When springtime comes and it’s time to start washing the winter off our cars, why not take them to a carwash. The streams and bodies of freshwater that surround our communities are vital pieces of the environment filled with a diverse range of sensitive ecological systems. Runoff from chemicals used to wash our cars inevitably makes its way into these waterways and can have serious negative effects on local flora and fauna.
It is our job as responsible adults to do our part. Not only do we share our community with people who have a right to clean and safe living conditions, we also live amid natural spaces that are home to animals and delicate ecosystems in need of our protection. Lead by example with these five tips to keeping your neighbourhood clean, and hopefully your neighbours with follow your lead.Written January 25, 2016 by