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How to Go Green in the City

Isn’t ironic (don’t you think?) that despite the apparent filthiness of New York City, it is actually a pretty effortlessly green place to live?

Now, I’m not an expert or anything, but after the jump I’ve got a few city-inspired ways to spruce up your green-ing in honor of the first of April, that time of the year where you’re hoping stuff will soon, someday, eventually, maybe start turning green already (pretty please?).

1. Walk Everywhere (Or Somewhere)

Know what cuts back considerably on one’s carbon footprint? Not owning a car! Now, I’m not suggesting you ditch the rig, that would be stupid. But here’s how to fake it: Pick an errand or outing that you can accomplish entirely on foot (such as trips to the pharmacy, or getting your morning cup of Diet Coke (or coffee, whatever)), and commit to walking there every time. And take your kids with you-a little exercise never hurt nobody!

2. Edit Edit Edit

One thing that has significantly reduced my consumerism since moving to the city is the sheer lack of space I’ve got going on here. It’s a lot harder to justify needless spending when there’s nowhere to put anything. I’ve had to learn how to think carefully before making purchases, which I should have learned before anyway (in a perfect world, right?) and this has cut back not just on our spending, but also on our trash output. You have plenty of space I’m sure, so here’s how to fake it: Make a rule for yourself and your children that for every item or toy you bring in, one item must be donated to charity. Eventually you get to the point where you love what you already have more than you love the potential new item, and for a born shopper like myself, that is quite the alarming feeling.

3. Take Care Of Green Spaces

In New York we love three things: bagels, the Shake Shack, and Central Park. New Yorkers have a kind of reverence when it comes to that big green rectangle between 5th Avenue and Columbus, finding any excuse to walk through it on a beautiful day, and being especially careful to keep it clean. How To Fake It: Find a park or nature walk close by and adopt it as your own. Spend sunny afternoons picnicking there, and teach your children to cherish it and care for it as well.

4. Take Public Transportation

Your town or city may not have a subway or bus system as efficient as New York’s, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create your own public transportation. How To Fake It: Pick a friend and buddy-up (by which I think I mean carpooling). Don’t urinate in the car, as much as that might make your public transit experience more authentic.

See? It’s a good thing I’m such an expert at this stuff, huh.

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