On Earth Day, the world comes together to take care of the planet in the hope that we can save it for tomorrow. In honor of this important cause, we’ve compiled our top ten tips to decrease your impact on the planet. Atlantans can make a difference in our environment by following these simple suggestions. Read on to learn how you can make every day Earth Day!
The little things can add up! There are lots of ways to help conserve water. First, turn off the sink when you are brushing your teeth. Speaking of the sink, if you have a leaky faucet, you should try to get it fixed ASAP–it could be dripping as much as 90 gallons of water every day (source). Finally, try taking more showers and fewer baths. Generally, baths use more water than showers.
Walk, bike, or take public transportation
A great way to improve the planet (and stay active) is to walk or bike instead of driving. You’ll be able to see more of your community as well, like the gorgeous murals through Atlantic Station. If you aren’t able to walk or bike, try taking public transit. MARTA will get you around the city with ease.
Atlantic Station Cares
We offer several Earth-friendly methods of transportation to, from, and within the district. First, visitors are encouraged to use the MARTA shuttle between Atlantic Station and the MARTA Arts Center stop. We also partner with PassioGo to make securing transportation easier. In the first month of our partnership, we served more than 300 community members!
For those that prefer to feel the wind in their hair, we partner with several electric scooter companies and Relay Bike Share. An average of 50 Relay rides start at Atlantic Station each month, and we are working to find new ways to encourage riders throughout the district. Additionally, the average number of scooter trips originating at Atlantic Station each month is just over 800!
People who work at Atlantic Station are also connected to several clean commute options, including a free transit pass program, free rides home if they miss their usual ride (whether it’s the bus, a carpool or otherwise) and custom route planning by ASAP (Atlantic Station Access Program).
On average, food scraps and yard waste make up over 30% of what we throw away (source). Help keep these materials out of landfills by joining an at-home composting program. For those who like to garden, compost enriches the soil and helps to maintain moisture. It also helps to reduce the need for pesticides and synthetic fertilizers!
If you’re an apartment dweller, Compost Now has you covered. Sign up online and Compost Now will come to your door to pick up your compost and exchange it with a fresh bin. Composting has never been easier!
Perhaps one of the simplest ways to help the planet is to recycle. Recycling can reduce waste sent to landfills, prevent pollution, conserve natural resources, conserve energy and can even create jobs. Recycling only takes a small effort on your part but helps the world immensely.
Plant a tree
Planting a tree or two is not only a fun outdoor activity but an excellent way to make a difference in the fight to improve our planet! That’s because trees clean the air we breathe, filter the water we drink and work against climate change.
Trees are not only important to our lives as humans but also to wildlife. Trees provide food, protection and homes for many animals. Fun fact: Atlanta has the highest percentage of overall urban tree canopy in the nation (source)!
Atlantic Station Cares
We recently embarked on a Wildlife Ecological Survey and Assessment of Ellipses Pond, the data from which we’ll use to improve the habitat and potentially attract new species to the area. It’s important that Atlantic Station serves as a safe space for tenants both human and fowl!
When you take a trip to the grocery store, consider bringing reusable shopping bags. Totes are very on-trend right now, and it’s an easy way to do your part for the planet! Plastic is a poor choice for a lot of reasons, including the fact that not all plastic is recyclable and most plastics last forever. We should try to avoid buying plastic products while shopping as well.
Shop at Fig & Flower, a local Common Good Store Refill Station. They help to reduce the amount of single-use plastics from household soaps and cleaners by providing shoppers with the materials to refill their most-used household products. You’ll find the products to be high quality and the process to be easy.
Volunteer in your community
A lively and social way to reduce your carbon footprint is to volunteer in your community. Look for local opportunities such as garbage cleanups or reforestation initiatives. You can also organize your own event on Meetup or Eventbrite. Let’s help keep Atlanta clean!
Use long-lasting light bulbs
If you haven’t already, try making the switch to LED light bulbs. LED is highly energy efficient. It gives off less heat, more light, lasts longer and is more durable.
It’s a common belief that LED is more cost-effective than incandescent lighting because of the lower cost. However, LED lights last around 25,000 hours compared to incandescent lighting’s 1,000 hours (source). Now that’s what we call feeding two birds with one seed!
Atlantic Station Cares
Within the past year, we converted all 300 of our pole lights to LED bulbs, which are up to 80% more efficient than traditional lighting options, as 95% of the energy used is converted into light (source). We also think they look beautiful!
Large-scale food production makes up around 25% of greenhouse emissions (source). Choosing food from local farmers is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Eating more whole grains, vegetables and fruits, paired with less red meat and processed foods, are great ways to eat sustainably and healthier. Go above and beyond by growing your own garden or planting a window box with your favorite herbs!
Our final tip is also a call to action–do your part to educate others. Forward this article to a friend or discuss what you’ve learned at the dinner table. Work together with your friends and family to leave the world a better place than how you found it.