10… 9… 8… 7… 6… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… HAPPY NEW YEAR!
With the beginning of the new year, it was time to sit down, reflect on my 2015 resolutions, and make plans for the year ahead. For the last several years, I have vowed to get healthy, read more, volunteer in my community, and learn a new language.
!! GET HEALTHY – Over the last couple of years, my family and I have done our best to eat healthy and get active. This resolution is always being adapted and will continue to top our list every year.
!! READ – In 2014, I joined a book club. I have been reading non-stop ever since.
!! VOLUNTEER – As for getting involved in the community, I joined ecoCaledon back in January 2015, combining my resolution to get involved with my passion for creating a sustainable future.
!! LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE – As for learning a new language, well, that resolution is still a work in progress.
On the heels of the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris and the bold targets and commitments set forth, I thought it was time to add a few “green” resolutions to my list. While I am already quite passionate about conservation and reducing waste, I knew that there was more I could do to reduce my carbon footprint.
Being “green” does not mean a huge investment of time or money. There are a number of low and no cost ways to make a big difference to the environment.
Here are my top five “GREEN” resolutions for 2016:
1) EAT Meatless Meals and BUY Local – Trim meat consumption by cutting out meat just one day of the week. Meat production is a major contributor to climate change and livestock production is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gases (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization).
Where our food comes from is also a factor in climate change. The average meal travels over 1,200 kms from the farm to our plate (David Suzuki Foundation). Food that is grown closer to home will have fewer emissions, and will be fresher and more nutritious.
2) “TAKE Back the Tap” and KICK the Bottled Water Habit – It takes millions of barrels of oil to produce plastic water bottles each year. Even though they are recyclable, a large percentage of plastic water bottles get tossed into the trash or end up polluting our oceans (David Suzuki Foundation).
3) PACK a “waste-less” Lunch – Packing a “waste-less” lunch is one way to make a difference for our environment. Some simple tips include: using a reusable lunch bag and water bottle; reducing waste by purchasing in bulk and then placing food items in smaller reusable containers; and, placing unwanted food scraps and peels in the green bin. This may mean bringing scraps home if there is no access to a green bin at work or at school.
4) ELIMINATE Phantom Power – Some equipment use energy even when switched off. Cut expensive waste by unplugging phone, tablet, and laptop chargers when they are not in use.
5) Get CONNECTED to Nature – Spending time outside makes us healthier and happier. As residents of the Town of Caledon, we do not have to travel far to get connected to nature, we have access to a number of beautiful trails and outdoors spaces. Get connected!
Looking forward to making 2016 the GREENEST year yet!