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Climate Action Corner: Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions

In order for any of us to actually stick to our resolutions, we must be motivated to make a change, and be inspired by how that change will impact our lives. Your Climate Action Committee would love for us all to make some small differences that add up. So here is a short list of items, knowing that there are lots of details within each recommendation. Here’s to a truly improved year in 2021!

Let’s focus on three key areas that together make a big difference:

Consider starting the year with a commitment to just buy less stuff. As they say, the most sustainable product is the one you didn’t buy! If you don’t really need something, don’t buy it.

Less PLASTIC is a great place to start! Look closely at each item you consider putting in your shopping cart. If it’s wrapped in plastic, or made of plastic, do you really need it? Is there an alternative you can buy? Is this item really essential?

Ready for the next step? REDUCE your Carbon Footprint: Can you walk, or cycle instead of taking your car? Take a train instead of a plane when we can travel again.

  • BAGS: Reusing carry bags is easy. Make sure they’re in your car or pack, so you always have them with you. And say NO to plastic bags at check out!

  • CLOTHING: Buy used through thrift stores, consignment stores, or even clothing swaps. Mending is a lost art, but such a useful one! Thrifts stores are great for all manner of gently used items.

  • FOODWARE and serving items: It’s not that hard to carry your own reusable utensils and metal. Boycott all single-use plastics. Refuse them at every opportunity. Carrying these reusables doesn’t take that much space and they can fit in nearly every bag (or pocket).

  • WRAPPING PAPER: reuse maps, cool magazine covers, wallpaper and cloth remnants make exceptional gift presentation all year!

Shop locally instead of online

  • To lower your carbon footprint and to support local farmers, bookstores, clothing stores and other small businesses, shop locally. Now especially, supporting local business could mean the difference of keeping them within our community, or not.

  • Each time you start to order from Amazon, or shop at a big box, ask yourself: can I buy this from a small, local store? Ask yourself: can I buy this at a Farmers’ Market without lots of plastic packaging, or the carbon footprint of the shipping?

Buy in Bulk!

  • We are fortunate to have bulk options at local grocery stores, as well as at other specialty stores. When it’s possible again, buy bulk for all manner of dry goods, like rice, nuts, beans and cereals. It’s also cheaper!

  • Bring your own containers for dry cleaning products of all kinds. Some local refill shops also deliver!

Always invest in energy-efficient items

If something breaks or needs replacing, get a highly efficient replacement to reduce your energy consumption. Here are a few changes to make, if you haven’t already:

  • switch to LED lighting throughout

  • get water-saving showerheads, faucets and toilets

  • get a smart thermometer

  • explore electric appliances instead of automatically assuming gas ones, both for you and your clients!

Check here for many more suggestions for sustainable resolutions for 2021.

Your Climate Action Committee wishes you a safe, sane and sustainable New Year!


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