Green Detroit: Doing Your Part for the Environment

Detroit Recycle Map
Detroit Curbside Recycling Program

How’s your carbon footprint? Are you green? No, I’m not asking about some weird new medical condition. I’m curious if you are doing your part to help the environment. Well, the city of Detroit is! They are currently expanding their curbside recycling program in an effort to “green Detroit.”

After the expansion is complete more than 34,000 households in the city of Detroit will have access to curbside recycling. To see if your home is part of the current curbside recycling program, click here and enter your address.

The great thing about Detroit’s curbside recycling program is that you don’t have to sort your recycling. Just throw it all in the same container. The picture to the right shows what to recycle and what not to recycle. For more detailed information, visit their FAQ page.

If you’re not part of the curbside recycling program, you can still recycle by bringing your recycling to one of Detroit’s drop-off locations.

Another way you can help green Detroit, is by volunteering for organizations like The Greening of Detroit. This was one of the four charitable organizations I mentioned in a previous post. They host tree planting activities all year. They recently set a goal of planting 1,100 trees this fall. This is part of their larger goal to plant 7,000 trees throughout Detroit this year.

What’s a “carbon footprint” and how do I reduce it?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines carbon footprint as:

“The amount of greenhouse gases that are emitted into the atmosphere each year by a person, household, building, organization, company, or other entity. A person’s carbon footprint includes greenhouse gas emissions from fuel that an individual burns directly, such as by heating a home or riding in a car. It also includes greenhouse gas emissions that come from producing the goods or services that the individual uses, including emissions from power plants that make electricity, factories that make products, and landfills where trash gets sent.”

Check out what your carbon footprint is by entering you information in the EPA’s Household Carbon Footprint Calculator. After entering your information, the calculator will show you ways you can reduce your carbon footprint. Recycling and planting trees are just a couple ways to do your part.


Here are some simple ways that you can green Detroit and help the Earth’s environment.

  • Recycle any items that qualify and compost your perishable waste if you have room to do so.
  • Use energy efficient lighting at home.
  • Weatherproof your home.
  • Cut down on those long, hot showers.
  • Carpool, ride public transportation, or walk/bike as much as possible.

For a more extensive list, click here.

Do you use Detroit’s curbside recycling program or take your recycling to any of their drop-off locations? How are you reducing your carbon footprint?

– Jennifer

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