When speaking of revitalizing the Mississippi Delta, most people assume that local and county governments along with philanthropic organizations are going to be the driving force behind any and all changes to the area. Actually, what most people don’t understand is that revitalization of a community of any size always begins at the grassroots level, in the home. While it’s all well and good to look towards affordable housing, cleaner streets, a reduction in crime and a wider array of services available to those in need, that is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s all about awareness and what you can do to be a part of the solution, not the problem.

Little Things Make a Difference
At the core of the community, revitalization is economics. None of the programs would be possible without funding, but sometimes that is slow in coming. Have you ever stopped to consider what you could do to be a part of the change your community is in such need of? For starters, recognize that little things can make a huge difference. Whether you are a business owner or simply a family seeking to play a part in bettering your community, understand that what you do today can have a significant impact on the future of your town or local community.

Begin with the 3 Rs of Sustainability
Often referred to as conservation, sustainability is an effort to avoid our depletion of natural resources. Not only does our flagrant abuse of natural resources paint a dim picture for our planet’s future, but did you know that it also drives prices sky high? To put this in perspective, think about how the cost of gasoline is continually on the rise. It’s all about supply and demand and if there is any hope of keeping supply available and prices affordable, we need to learn the 3 Rs of Sustainability – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

Reducing Our Dependence on Natural Resources
Let’s take wood for an example. By this point in time, everyone is familiar with the trend towards going paperless in this country. Consumers can now access almost anything online from their medical records to their Social Security accounts to bank statements and utility bills. Why not take this a step further by being aware of how you, as an individual or a business, can further reduce your dependence on wood and wood products? One example would be to reuse or recycle shipping pallets. Did you know that they can be sold back to suppliers or repurposed for things like garden fences, interior shelves, and coffee tables and so much more?

Everyone Can Play a Part on Some Level
While not everyone is a DIYer at heart, this is just one example of what you can do to help reduce waste while also working towards economic growth in your community. Businesses are encouraged to sell back those used shipping pallets to manufacturers who can then use the lumber for other products. Why cut down more trees than necessary when there are plenty of used wood products to reclaim and recycle? Whether you simply want to begin by recycling those soda cans or donating your gently used items to a local thrift store, you can play your part in revitalizing your community. Remember, it all begins at the grassroots level, so why not start with those amazing 3 Rs of Sustainability?