Just Be Nice - A Challenge to MNN Readers
Smart growth has gotten a bad rap lately - especially with concerns of how much it costs and the politics of moving entire populations toward sustainable development. In fact, as my city tries to embrace smart growth, green space has been voted in, but with the understanding that green space also includes soccer fields. Policy and money are classic barriers to genuine sustainable development.
However, I recently read an article wherein a Metro Atlanta couple, Joanne and Jim Miller, created a neighborhood park with their own money and hands. It made me think of how people can do little things for the environment without being overstated, over-run, and over-looked by society. The thoughtfulness that the Taylors put into their project was born out of just wanting something lovely to look at, and a space to share with their neighbors - green space. Pleasant stories like this do not often make the headlines.
What is something simple that we can do to improve our environment without causing major lifestyle changes, without causing a ruckus at county meetings, and without costing an arm and a leg? A rule that I have in my house is "Be Nice." It pretty much covers everything from respect to helping out around the house. Bringing that rule into the realm of green living - one can pick up trash, recycle a plastic water bottle that has been thrown into the trash, share a plant cutting with a neighbor, or shut the lights off in an unused room. Consideration for conserving natural resources can also translate into consideration for fellow hikers, co-workers, and shoppers.
The challenge that I put to readers of this blog is to think of something small and nice to do for your community and the environment. Perhaps it would be to sweep a neighbor's walkway, share freshly picked blueberries with a newcomer, or help a friend spruce up their front yard with a plant or two.
"SMALL & NICE" are hardly words that sweep awards in the media, but I hope that you take a moment to consider how big and how far your "small and nice" deed can go.
Feel free to share your experience with this challenge in the comments section.