I loved living in Gainesville, and I believe anyone with a soft spot for the Earth will feel the same
Gainesville is a surprising source of diversity. While the area is surrounded largely by residential areas, within the heart of the town is known to be the home of the University of Florida. Residing near the Ocala National Forest, Gainesville has a variety of forests, lakes and trails that are perfect for those who like spending time in the outdoors.
I always thought wisdom came with time and experience but living in Gainesville taught me that there are lessons to be learned everywhere – even from people my own age. Unlike any town I’ve visited before, this community clearly shares a vision for a greener future, and here are a few of my favorite places that implement this philosophy:
I have quite a few memories at this specific restaurant – mainly because every time someone would visit me in Gainesville, this was a place I had to take them! The food was great, providing plenty of unique pizza options, however, the main reason I like it so much is because of the decorations.
Upon first glance, the hollowed-out hippie van serving as an outdoor seating option and bright assortment of colors presents the atmosphere as joyful and magical. Everywhere you look, you’ll see the pieces of décor are crafted from recycled materials of any kind. You name it: bottle caps, old flip-phones, or pennies – there’s a piece of the ceiling or walls constructed from this material.
The Repurpose Project
The Repurpose Project is connected to the back of Satchels Pizza, and as you may have guessed from the name, they share a similar passion for saving the earth by reusing materials. This building is a sustainable creative’s dream, as you can find almost any ornament or item you need to complete your project.
Entering this facility was heartwarming to me, as someone who has always cared for the Earth, but didn’t know how I could do more to help. This company sets a warm example for the community, as they highlight the benefit of repurposing old materials into something creative and new that doesn’t generate any extra waste.
There are several community gardens throughout the town – there is even one on the UF campus that is run by student volunteers! Community gardens provide an amazing opportunity to get connected with the Earth and with the local community, as well as providing healthy produce for people in need. These sustainable centers are beautiful to look at and provide undeniable benefits to the Earth and society.
Bo Diddley Plaza Farmers Market
There is something about a local farmers market that makes me feel connected to the community – the weekly market at Bo Diddley Plaza is no exception! I have fond memories of bike riding through the back streets to the market, picking up some locally grown and crafted foods and goods, knowing that I was supporting the local economy.
I loved living in Gainesville, and I believe anyone with a soft spot for the Earth will feel the same. Taking a trip into the swamp is definitely worth it if you want to see an example of how a mindful community can make great changes for the benefit of our planet.