New Year’s Resolution: Keep It Green In 2020
Want to make some changes in 2020 that are better for you and Oregon? Here are a few ideas to help you get your year started off right.
- Take a look at the numbers: The first step to knowing where you stand is to measure and track resource use. Calculate your water footprint and carbon footprint to discover new ways to save.
- Change up your routine: Start off small with one new thing. Get to work or run an errand by bus, train, or bike. Make one meat-free meal a week or try a more environmentally friendly version of your normal household or personal care products.
- Out with the old: Is it time for a new furnace, fridge, stove or dishwasher? Upgrading to more energy efficient household appliances can save you money on your bills and reduce your impact by saving water and energy. Going electric can improve your indoor air quality along with climate emissions.
- Decarbonize your transportation: If 2020 looks like the year you say goodbye to your car, take time to consider whether you need a new car at all. Could you meet most of your transportation needs with transit and bike, with an occasional car rental for longer trips? Would an electric bike do the trick? If you can’t figure out an alternative that works for your life, choose the smallest and most fuel-efficient car that does. And remember you can get rebates when you buy an electric car!
- Commit to eating and drinking local when and where you can: Look for food and drinks from Oregon growers who practice sustainability. Labels like organic, Food Alliance Certified, or Salmon Safe are a good place to start. Oregon is home to some great leaders in sustainability, from restaurants to toxic-free products and new energy technology. You can reward them when you vow to buy local products.
- Think long term: What can you do today that will benefit the planet tomorrow? Consider planting a tree or native landscaping, getting rid of pavement—or leaving a legacy gift to OEC.
- No-cost changes with real impact: You can add many earth-saving habits to your life without it costing you a cent. Reuse, recycle or just don’t buy some items in the first place. Start composting, join a clothing swap group online or other group that freely passes on gently used clothes, don’t purchase single-use plastics if you can avoid it, give up toxic personal care products, choose reusable lunch and picnic packaging instead of throw-away. Think about how much you already have before you bring a new item home.
- Stay in the know: Taking action to save the environment starts with staying informed. Keep up with decisions made at the local, state and national level and commit to adding your voice to the discourse in support of more environmentally sound policy.
- Take action in 2020: Your personal experience and independent opinion can be a powerful change-maker. If you’ve never written a letter to the editor or visited your state lawmaker, make 2020 your year. Don’t worry, we can help you out with these tips.
- Expanding a new normal: If these tips are already part of your life, that’s great! Let your goal for 2020 be to get all your friends, neighbors and family on board with their own eco-friendly shifts. Use OEC’s work as a resource to spark conversations and share what you have found useful.