By Susanne Laperle -Special to SUNonline/Orillia
Happy New Year to all! This year Sustainable Orillia is hoping that sustainability is high on everyone’s list of New Year resolutions. The clock on climate change and sustainability is ticking, and the right time to commit to making those small changes in our everyday lives which ultimately add up to a more sustainable life, here and across the planet, is now.
At Sustainable Orillia we were challenged to edit a long list of possible resolutions down to three or four suggestions that most of us can relate to and incorporate into our day-to-day behavior. Many suggestions have, and will, continue to be posted as Tips of the Week. These tips, articles and other links are also posted on Sustainable Orillia’s social media, including our website and Facebook page.
Meanwhile, if you still have your 2020 list of resolutions handy, here are three broad suggestions you might add:
- Learn more and get (more) engaged. Learning more about sustainability and how to make intentional choices to reduce our carbon footprint or waste is a great first resolution. Get engaged. Get more engaged. Ask questions and seek answers. The internet, libraries and local activist groups are great places to start. The sustainability movement isn’t an exclusive club or cause, everyone is invited. The more people informed, engaged and changing behaviors, the greater chance we have to turn the tide.
- Reduce personal Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. Start to monitor your behavior, all the while looking for opportunities to cut back or even eliminate the use of fossil fuels. For example, whenever you can, leave your car in the drive and walk instead. Avoid drive-throughs and vehicle idling. At home, put on a sweater and some cozy socks instead of cranking up the thermostat on dark and cold winter nights.
- Reduce personal waste. Plastic single-use packaging is the bane of sustainability. It’s virtually impossible to eliminate it entirely, but whenever possible, make decisions like buying more food in bulk, growing your own food, repurposing used clothing – never using or buying a plastic straws, and so on, to give a strong message to manufacturers and retailers.
Each of these resolutions is intentionally broad. There are many more examples of how each of us can take steps to reduce GHG emissions and personal waste.
Whatever resolutions you make, please keep in mind in addition to stopping the mega- polluters, our planet needs a lot of people like us, changing our behaviors to stop the erosion of our environment and our quality of life. In doing your part, you not only directly support the cause, but you also become a role model and a reason for others in your family and community to follow your lead. Everyone can be a leader in the fight for sustainability.
Happy New Year. Together, let’s do something.
(Photo by Gerd Altmann – Pixabay)