As convention would have it, the new year means new promises to ourselves. Whether it is getting in better shape or dedicating more time to our job or our family, people the world over are setting goals to make themselves “better” in some way or another. But, when bettering ourselves, why not better the environment as well? For me, the best way to go green and make a significant impact on the environment is centered on the situations I encounter in my everyday setting. With this in mind, my green goals for 2010 are threefold. Energy, materials and knowledge sum up my focus for the next 12 months. Without further ado, my list of sustainable resolutions for 2010 follows.
Almost everything is run with electricity in our contemporary society. My cell phone, my computer and the lights I have on around me all sap juice from the city grid. And, since coal or nuclear power plants supply these grids our lives are so dependent on, using a little less can make a big difference. Easy-to-follow tips like turning off our lights (or putting them on timers or motion sensors when possible), purchasing energy-efficient products and unplugging unused devices provide me with a couple of strategies for lowering my monthly usage (and my monthly bill). While the bigwigs are figuring out how to revamp the grids and revolutionize how we generate electricity, fewer kilowatt-hours from me personally will help the cause. This makes my first resolution for 2010 the commitment to lessen my energy consumption.
Since most of us aren’t out there cutting down trees or manufacturing plastics, reduction in resources tends to go hand in hand with a commitment to shopping green. The market is dictated by what we buy, and items that are created in an environmentally friendly manner near the point of purchase should be at the top of the list. These products limit the amount of resources needed to create the product, as well as limit the miles traveled by said products to where they are sold. By doing this, our purchases indicate the want and need for greener products. For this reason, I resolve to pay more attention to how and where products that I purchase are made. But, that isn’t the end of it.
Step two of the green products resolution is to purchase materials that have an “end of life” process in line with sustainable practices. In layman’s terms, this means the products I buy need to be able to be recycled, repurposed or simply reused as much as possible. This adds to my list the resolution to recycle and buy products that can follow these guidelines.
Lastly, I resolve to learn more about “going green.” This is perhaps the most important aspect of the whole sustainable movement. Change is scary, and no one should fully commit to anything without a healthy dose of research. Learning about energy-efficient technologies, environment-advocating products and the like is no one’s responsibility but my own in order to truly understand the idea of becoming eco-friendly in my everyday life. Thus, in 2010 I resolve to learn as much as I can about environmentally conscious practices, products and policies as part of my eco-friendly year-end declarations.