10 Green Resolutions for the New Year
Let’s face it, living “green” can be tough. Even those of us most dedicated to reducing our impact run into roadblocks.
In no particular order, here are 10 New Year’s resolutions that will make your footprint smaller. Some may even make your wallet a little bigger!
1) Schedule an appointment with a solar installer
Solar panels are getting cheaper and more efficient all the time, but they may not be for everyone. If you are at least curious, committing to contact local installers in your area to tell you more about the viability & costs of putting panels on your house/business is a great green resolution for 2018.
*Save the date: we will be having a “shoot me straight solar” program on May 17 with a panel of local residents who have installed solar panels on their homes. Learn more and share your experiences with residential solar.
2) Start a compost pile
Worried about the amount of waste that you are creating? Composting is the act of converting your organic material into soil, and can reduce your overall waste by 20-30%.
Our friends at Bedford2020 put together this handy guide to backyard composting which has almost everything you need to know to get started.
*Save the date: On April 14 we will be holding a Backyard Sustainability Workshop which will feature a demo on backyard composting.
3) This spring, plant a small pollinator garden!
Pollinator gardens are not only beautiful, they also provide food and shelter for critical species in our ecosystem.
These gardens feature plants that provide food and habitat resources to hummingbirds, butterflies, moths, bees, and more.
You should however make sure that the plants you purchase are native to your area, as these plants have co-evolved with local pollinators. Click here for a guide to pollinator plants that are good to plant in our region.
4) Commit to not eating meat 1-2 (or more!) days a week
The livestock industry is responsible for close to 20% of the climate change causing greenhouse gases that we emit. Reducing the amount of meat (especially beef) that you consume can make a huge difference in your impact on climate change.
*Save the date: on Feb 20, we will be hosting a lecture on climate change and our food system featuring speakers from Pace University and Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture.
5) Looking for a new car? Consider going electric!
Federal and New York State incentives now add up to $9,000 off of your next electric vehicle, making it a perfect time to go electric! Investing in more sustainable forms of transportation is critical to shrinking our carbon footprint.
* Save the date: on June 2, see electric cars up-close and learn from local owners at the Electric Car Show here at Teatown!
6) Buy a reusable water bottle and commit to no more disposable bottles
Drinking water from disposable plastic bottles creates unnecessary plastic waste, uses much more energy to produce than tap water, and typically isn’t any cleaner than municipal tap water.
The good news? It is much cheaper and less wasteful to buy a reusable bottle.
*Note: This will be Teatown’s New Year’s resolution! We will no longer be selling disposable water bottles and instead will continue to have free filtered tap water & affordable reusable bottles available for purchase.
7) Start a small vegetable garden
The amount of energy and water that it takes to get vegetables to our tables is staggering. A great way to get to get delicious, organic, cheap produce is to grow it yourself! Starting a back yard plot doesn’t take too much time, and it’s very gratifying work.
For a guide on starting your own back yard garden plot, click here.
8) Use reusable containers instead of zip-lock bags & plastic wrap
Many forms of plastic that we dispose of every day will take longer than our lifetime to decompose. Using reusable containers instead of disposable alternatives is a great resolution for the new year.
*Tip: the ultimate way to commit to this resolution is to not keep disposable plastic alternatives in your home at all. This gives you one option- reusable containers!
9) Join a farm CSA
CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture.” When you join a CSA, you are buying a “share” of a local farmer’s crops for typically 5-6 months. Shares are usually picked up weekly, and reflect the farmer’s yield for that week (i.e. if the farmer has a great yield, you will get more food, if the farmer’s yield is compromised, you may get less).
10) Limit the use of pesticides on your property
Pesticides are linked to a myriad of concerns including declining bee populations, cancer, and more. Minimizing your use of pesticides of all kinds is an incredibly impactful promise to make this new year.
For more information on pesticides, click here.