Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Conscious Shopper Challenge: Get to Know Your Neighbors

So far this year, we've looked at many personal changes we can make to live greener, more frugal lives. I believe that personal changes are extremely important, but for these last few weeks, I want to suggest a few things you can do beyond your front door. Here's this week's challenge:


As a shy, semi-reclusive sort of person, getting to know my neighbors is something I struggle with. I can tell you some of my neighbors' names, but not all of them. Beyond their names, I don't know much about them, and the fact that my kids go to a magnet school rather than our base school means we can't take advantage of the school bus stop to meet other parents. But getting to know my neighbors is something I continually strive to work on because I think strong communities are so important to building a happy planet:

  1. A strong community shares resources.
  2. A strong community has "More Fun, Less Stuff."
  3. A strong community is safer.
  4. A strong community is a time saver.
  5. A strong community cares for each other.

For more information on why I think strong communities are an important part of environmentalism, check out my post Strong Communities Equal a Happy Planet.


  • When you first move in, exchange names and numbers.
  • Smile and wave when you see your neighbors.
  • Spend time outside.
  • Attend or plan a block party.
  • Host a barbecue or other party and invite your neighbors.
  • Offer help to your neighbors when you see an opportunity, and ask for help when you need it.
  • Organize a neighborhood garage sale.
  • Attend your HOA meetings if your neighborhood has a homeowner's association.

What other ideas do you have for getting to know your neighbors?


The Mom said...

I have the best neighbors in the world. Whenever we think about moving, we remember that we'd never find such wonderful people somewhere else.

EcoGrrl said...

i'm a big fan of my neighbors,and it makes me feel safer knowing them - if you don't know your neighbors, they're not going to look out for you and you've got nowhere to go if something happens. and it's just nice to have friendly faces around! my neighbor and i exchange garden goodies in the summer and fall, they come to my solstice parties, and last spring i paid the hubby to build my deck for me :)

Betsy (Eco-novice) said...

So true! People now buy stuff and services instead of relying on their neighbors. You can share resources, information, skills, pick up each other's mail when out of town -- so many things. I owe knowing my neighbors to my out-going husband. We've moved frequently, and even though we've only been in our current place several months, my husband is tutoring the neighbor's daughter in math, we borrowed their ladder, they trimmed our tree, they picked some of our passion fruit and brought us some lemons from their trees. Our other neighbor came over to pick fruit too. I'm always sad to see a fruit tree that's not being picked when I walk around our neighborhood. Sometimes I knock on the door and ask if I can pick some, even though I'm introverted -- I hate to see free food wasted!

Suzita @ Play. Fight. Repeat. said...

Having kids has helped me get to know my neighbors. Even though my kids don't go to the neighborhood school, they are out and about all the time and often shovel snow or rake leaves for neighbors.

In return many neighbors have played the role in their lives that aunts and uncles might play if they lived nearby. It's been wonderful.


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