Living Green – Living Lean
The South hasn’t always been known for embracing change, but New Orleans, ever a little risque, has definitely not shied away from the Green Revolution. In fact, we’ve been consistently impressed by the way New Orleanians have taken up the banner for environmental health and worked to make our beautiful city cleaner and greener than ever. It makes us proud to be a part of the movement of living green.
These five organizations have caught our attention recently, and we wanted to share a little bit about them with you in the hopes that their inspiring actions on behalf of New Orleans’ environmental well being will motivate you to take your own steps towards cleaner, greener living.
1. Little things can make a big difference, and that’s what the eco-champions at Green Light New Orleans are counting on. The organization, which was founded by Swiss native Andreas Hoffmann in 2006, installs free energy efficient light bulbs as well as backyard vegetable gardens to showcase the power of individuals to impact their community and environment. Small changes affect whether you are living green.
2. The Young Leadership Council has been an active mover and shaker in New Orleans’ volunteerism for over 25 years, and we really love their newest project: YLC Recycles. Our city is woefully behind in recycling given its many other living green advances, but the young leaders of YLC have taken it upon themselves to provide recycling services for festivals, concerts, and other events in the city. They’re also educating as they go, spreading the word about the importance of recycling.
3. Focused on defending environmental health and justice, the Louisiana Bucket Brigade equips community members with “buckets,” in actuality air sampling devices used to document pollution in neighborhoods located near petrochemical industries, in order to ensure that these industries are held accountable for their pollution. The Louisiana Bucket Brigade is a powerful advocate on behalf of our communities promoting living green.
4. Parkway Partners NOLA’s ReLeaf New Orleans program is a favorite of ours. After Katrina’s destruction of many of New Orleans’ trees, ReLeaf began an initiative to re-forest the city, planted 11,000 trees since 2005. Holding a tree giveaway every fall and tree plantings through the year, Parkway Partners has had a major impact on the re-greening of New Orleans. At their most recent tree giveaway during the Freret Festival, they even had live oak saplings that were descendents of the giants at City Park.
5. The Backyard Gardeners Network is restoring food growing traditions in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward, strengthening community and teaching self-reliance through community gardening. BGN offers education and entertainment in the form of story-telling and art activities while also providing space and tools to allow community members to grow their own food. The gardens themselves are active centers of the community, and beautiful works of environmental art. Encouraging people to grow their own food not only offers healthy alternatives for people but for the environment, as transporting food across the country and the world to grocery stores means more greenhouse gas emissions.
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