This year, don’t just wear green; take your St. Patrick’s Day spirit a little further by being green.
Being “green” means looking for ways to lessen potentially harmful effects on the environment by altering your everyday life.
That may sound like a big commitment, but being green can be easy, despite what you might have heard from Kermit the Frog. Many small steps you can take in your daily life will reduce your impact on the environment.
At a recent event, some Missouri Botanical Garden visitors shared simple ways they live green. Many said they recycle. Some mentioned reusable products, like water bottles, cloth napkins, reusable grocery bags, and bringing their own containers instead of taking Styrofoam. Others pointed to composting and avoiding pesticides.
If you’re looking for other ideas, staff at EarthWays Center, the Garden’s sustainability division, have a few tips on easy ways you can be greener:
- Reduce waste by buying just the quantity of food or household items you need.
- Donate unwanted clothes or household goods to charity. You could also have a yard sale, use an online swap site, or check out the goods at resale stores.
- Update your light bulbs to energy-saving LEDs. These can last for years, and they don’t waste energy by producing heat.
- Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
- Take the bus, carpool, ride a bike or make your short trip a healthy walk. Try alternative transportation one day a week and it could become a habit.
- Wash your laundry in cold water, wash only full loads, and try a drying rack or clothesline.
- Use your dishwasher instead of hand-washing to save water – wash only when the load is full.
- Pull the plug on wasteful “phantom power” by plugging chargers and devices with remote controls and timers into a power strip.
- Turn off water when you’re not using it.
If you’re planning a big event, check out our Green Event Guide to find ways to make it more sustainable.
The Garden also offers a number of programs and events that can help you on your journey to be green. The Plastic Pot Recycling Collection is going on through November 1. You can drop off garden plastics, including pots, trays, and cell-packs, at garden centers throughout the St. Louis area and reduce the amount of horticultural waste in landfills.
Participate in a Honeysuckle Sweep, which aims to increase awareness about invasive honeysuckle bush or check out the Shaw Wild Flower Market on May 12.
The Green Living Festival on June 2 can also help you up your green game.
For more information about sustainability, visit our website.
Public Information Specialist