Please take a few minutes to choose your favorite Sustainable Living Resolutions for the New Year from our list below and plan how you’ll follow through.This time next year, you’ll have the satisfaction of recalling your achievements and the benefits they have produced for you, your community and the world.
What could be more important than sustainable living resolutions? We have great cause to be alarmed about the future of our planet. The latest IPCC Report revealed that a 2 degree temperature rise is worse than we thought. What can you do to help keep it to 1.5 degrees Celsius?
1) Recycle your used textiles at the town transfer station with Bay State Textiles.
Host a used textile collection bin at your school to earn $100 per ton in rebates for the PTA while teaching families how to live more sustainably. 6% of our household waste is textiles! Contact Bay State Textiles to learn how to start your free school-based program and search for towns with recycling trailers at the transfer station.
2) Recycle your food waste curbside at your home with Curbside Compost or at the town transfer station.
20-25% of our household waste is food! Make it your mission to eat everything you buy to avoid food waste. You’ll still produce peels, cores, skins, and more, but you’ll cut down significantly. Here are a few tips:
“Use It or Freeze It” Uncooked vegetables can be chopped, blanched, shocked in cold water, spun dry and frozen for convenient future use. Dark leafy greens are excellent candidates. Squash can be peeled, cubed and frozen raw.
Hold “Clean Out the Refrigerator Night” once a week to eat all the leftovers and rescue what’s about to go bad. Consider it a night off from cooking a full dinner! Don’t forget to check the freezer to see what you stashed there last week or the week before. Those tortillas might be great with the leftover beans and salsa.
Buy less and order less when eating out and always take leftovers home.
Eat down the refrigerator and freezer before buying more food.
3) Go Electric
We need to stop burning fossil fuels ASAP to hasten our progress towards net zero emissions. Please consider leasing or buying a new electric vehicle in 2019. There are many new and exciting models available from mid-market to luxury including a fully-electric Porsche. Here’s a nice roundup of what’s coming in 2019. Many used models are under $10,000. Eugene’s Green Garage is an expert is hybrids and EVs and has several used cars and scooters for sale.
MowGreen helps homeowners and businesses go zero emissions lawn care with electric mowers and blowers. Their batteries are solar powered! Get the chemicals off your grass too with their organic solutions.
4) Create Pollinator Habitat
Plant native varieties of flowers and milkweed for endangered Monarchs. Planting milkweed provides Monarchs with the habitat they need to lay their eggs and feed as caterpillars. Sustainne business members MowGreen and Paperbark Landscape Design are organic land care experts that carry the AOLCP designation. Contact them to help you create this important habitat. And please leave the dandelions alone this spring so you can enjoy the rabbits eating from your yard while avoiding the use of toxic chemicals that foul our waterways.
5) Add Honeybees to Your Yard
This incredible experience will leave you richly rewarded with your own estate honey! The Best Bees Company installs, maintains and harvests honey from your hive as part of their turnkey service. Think of the incredible pollinator habitat you’ll be hosting in your yard!
6) Put Your Money Where Your Values Are
Are you in inadvertently supporting businesses with little to no commitment to sustainability via your investments? It’s time to talk to your financial advisor, and if she/he pushes back or can’t advise you on building a sustainable portfolio, contact Envest Asset Management. Businesses that pollute our air and water are contributing to the weather and climate disasters that are destroying communities across the country.
Yes, even in the winter. You don’t cook? You can buy ready to heat meals at many farms and farmers’ market including soups, stews, sauces, salsas, pot pies, and sausages. Shopping from a farm or farmers market or local butcher guarantees a mindful moment. Seriously! You are forced to slow down and pay attention to what is before you and that’s a wonderful thing. Learning to eat seasonally is fun and healthy and many farmers will provide you with recipes. Learn about the farms and farmers markets that are part of Sustainne here.
8) Stop Wasting Energy
How energy efficient is your home? Only an energy efficiency assessment by a Building Performance Institute (BPI) certified energy technician can tell you where your leaks and drafts are, which lighting is inefficient, and how to start fixing these energy suckers while saving you money immediately. They will also make recommendations for energy efficiency upgrades and counsel you on short- and long-term options, including a cost/benefit analysis that will help you reduce your energy bills.The technician will provide you with all the available rebates and the best available financing options to do further energy upgrades that will increase the energy efficiency of your home. Contact New England Smart Energy Group to learn more about getting an energy “check up” for your home.
9) Never Buy Bottled Water Again
Plastic water bottles can be recycled, but most of the 50 Billion Americans use annually are not. Billions are thrown in the garbage and end up being buried in landfills or incinerated. Or they are left behind where they litter our roadways and waterways. Use a thermos instead and carry it everywhere you go.
10) Carry a Reusable Bag
Carry one everywhere you go, just like your thermos. Put a few in your trunk. Every single-use plastic bag you use is a win for the plastics industry and a loss for the environment and the animals that live in it. Plastic bags, just like all petroleum-derived plastics, do not biodegrade, but can be recycled at certain retailers. Recycling rates are low. Instead bags are ubiquitous in our oceans – even at the darkest depths – where they imperil sea life. We can even end up eating plastic garbage when it breaks down into micro and nano particles.