Think “green” in Lakeland, Florida

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You’ve heard the saying: Reduce, reuse, recycle. Today we’re looking at a few different ways we can all do our part to make Lakelander a little greener

Prevent food waste

No one wants to see perfectly good food land in the trash. While a few Lakeland establishments donate their leftover food to individuals and local nonprofits, there’s still room for us to grow. Enter: Too Good to Go, an app that allows restaurants to sell non-purchased food items that would otherwise be tossed in the trash. This app isn’t currently used in Lakeland (yet, anyway) but we’d be interested in hearing what you think about using it in the future. 

Walk, bike, or use public transportation when possible 

As it currently stands, Lakeland has a score of 35 out of 100 on Walk Score’s walkability meter, meaning it’s a “car dependent” city. While the reality for most Swan City residents is that a car is necessary to get around, there are a few other ways you might consider navigating our town when possible:

Walking is particularly feasible in the downtown + Dixieland areas for residents living (or grabbing a bus) nearby. Pro tip: Schedule your walks in the early morning or evening hours to stay as cool as possible. 
Bike one of Polk County’s seven public bike trails
Ride The Squeeze shuttle downtown for free.
Ride Citrus Connection’s routes between north and south Lakeland. 

Be aware of light pollution

Lakeland has that small-town feel that we love so much, but unfortunately that doesn’t make it immune to the reality of light pollution. Luckily for us, light pollution is completely reversible. Here are a few ways you can do your part to keep the sky dark:

Swap harsh, unshielded lights with downward pointing LEDs in a warm color.
Consider what needs to be lit, and how much.
Support local light pollution policy

Conserve energy head outside

Did you know that in one year, the average TV consumes as much energy as it would take to run a washing machine for six consecutive months?  

That’s where you come in. We know those midday temperatures can be brutal, but next time you’re tempted to turn on the TV in the early morning or after dusk, consider one of these options instead:

Step out for a walk in your neighborhood. Pro tip: many native Florida plants are blooming during this time of the year. Look around and snap a photo, if you send it our way we might just share it. 
Head to one of Lakeland’s bodies of water. Editor’s choice: Rilee’s personal favorite is Lake Hollingsworth for a morning or evening stroll, but if you’re looking to set up a lawn chair and simply admire the view, consider Lake Hunter. 
Swing by one of Lakeland’s 70+ public parks. From walking trails to dog parks and public pools, there’s something for everyone between north and south Lakeland. 

Do you have a favorite way to “think green” in Swan City that didn’t make our list? Tell us all about it so we can give it a try for ourselves.

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