Tis the season to look back on our past year and look ahead to an even greater year. Wanting to make your 2011 even better than 2010? Maybe think about incorporating more healthy and money saving habits into your 2011 resolutions... and also more sustainable. Here's my top ten resolutions.
1) Shop and eat local. Pick seasonal and local fruits and vegetables. Do some research into what is naturally grown in your area in the season, and prefer these instead of out-of-season foods grown on the other side of the world from where you live. This way, you'll also rediscover the pleasure of meals changing with the seasons, local growers and producers.
3) Walk and bike more. Not only are you reducing your carbon footprint, spending less money of gasoline, but also exercising, exploring and enjoying your community. Unless you live in a very mountainous area, like myself, this could be the most relaxing resolution you take!
4) Use public transportation more. I like biking, but right now there’s at least a foot of snow everywhere so it’s a little easier to think about using public transport to go to work and the supermarket instead of trying to bike.
5) Make your home more energy efficient. By now, I assume most of you have switched to CFL lightbulbs - so it's time to take home efficiency to the next level. Check your house for heat loss (there are companies specialized in this if you don't feel expert enough, like the Governor’s Energy Office and Durango’s 4CORE). Do you have appliances not in use plugged in and contributing to “phantom energy loss?” There are some simple solutions like just lowering your thermostat during the night or when you are away during the day.
6) Become a toxics-free household. This might take a while in research, so plan to do it over the whole year. From beauty products to clothes detergent and computer parts, we have become used to toxics products in our daily lives. There’s really no reason why we should live in toxic environments when there are numerous environmentally and human friendly products on the market. When buying new products, check what they are made of, and pick the one that will have the least toxic residues.
7) Keep your electronics for the year. New cellphone? Computer? Television? Where does your old one go? The dump or is it recycled? Our electronics consumption is reaching records. Make a break, and promise not to buy new electronics this year, unless the one you already have breaks down (and when it does, ensure it is recycled properly!).
8) Take recycling to the next level. You probably have two different bins in your kitchen, sorting your waste to have it recycled. It doesn't end here though. In 2011, try to reduce the amount picked up by the garbage truck. If you have a garden, start your own compost. When you're at the supermarket, prefer products that are not overpackaged. Maybe shop more at local stores that offer products and produce in less packaging. Also, don't forget to bring your own market sack and your to-go mug for coffees and teas!!!
9) Get outside more. Learn to enjoy nature again. Make a habit of taking a weekly walk outside and connect with your local environment and community. The more we connect with our local community and environment, the more we want to do better for all that we depend on daily.
10) Support clean energy. Purchase green power from your local utility company if possible or support neighbors, businesses and organizations that do so. Any support for renewable energy helps encourage more clean energy.