We welcome the New Year 2020 with hope for new beginnings!
Every year, millions of Americans start the New Year off with a resolution. We either quietly commit to some healthy changes, or we share our intention with others, in hopes that it may better our chances to stick to our resolution. Sadly though, by the end of January, most of us have given up on our New Year’s Resolution!
Only 8 percent of people achieve their New Year’s goals, while around 80 percent fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions, according to a study by the University of Scranton.
Don’t give up, if you are amongst the 80% of people that fail their New Year’s resolution!!
There is hope that this year will be different, especially when it comes to making a positive change relating to the climate crisis our world is facing. There are so many things we can do individually to make a difference, if not for ourselves personally but for generations to come. Just one simple change, can impact the world!
The beginning is always today!—Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Inspiration for Change
During the past year 2019, we’ve witnessed major protests erupting around the world and the the evolution of the worldwide “Climate March.” A young Swedish girl, Greta Thunberg, made news starting August 2019 (at the time, 16 years old), and is now known throughout the world as an environmental activist. She had the courage to stand up and express her concerns both in public and to political leaders urging for immediate action to what she describes as a “climate crisis.” One person, had the courage to stand up and is now supported by billions worldwide, to spread the word and demand action by our governments. Way to go Greta!
Well, we all can’t be like Greta Thunberg but we can make a cumulative impact. Taking it one day at a time, each one of us, embracing a habit that will bring positive changes to better our environment. We can fight. on a whole other level, one day at a time, in the comforts of our own homes and with the purchases we make.
I have listed just a few suggestions, but if they don’t hit a chord with you, research other ways that are more comfortable or meaningful to you. As with diets, many people can’t stick to them because they are too unbearable. So, my recommendation is to make simple everyday changes, give it a few weeks and if it doesn’t feel right, try something else. But, most important, do something! There’s no greater feeling than that of “empowerment” to make a difference!
Stop Eating (or Eat Less) Meat – this has shown to have a huge impact on the world’s carbon footprint.
DYK : Red meat is particularly to blame, consuming 11 times more water and producing 5 times more emissions than its poultry counterparts. To get a single pound of beef, it takes over 5,000 gallons of water.
You can get creative the change to eat less meat:
- Meatless Mondays
- Eat only plant-based meals up until 6PM daily
- Choose seafood or meat only when dining out
- Incorporate Vegan/Vegetarian Meals into your life 2 – 3x a week
- Only eat red meat from sustainable sources
Eat Local, Seasonal & Organic Produce – organic is better for the sustainability of our soil (and our health) – buying local & seasonal, supports our farmers
When you buy foods that are grown locally, you help to reduce the carbon footprint created by shipping foods from elsewhere. In general, the closer the produce is grown to you, the better. Most supermarkets post signs sharing the source of the produce.
Also, buying organic produce means it hasn’t been sprayed with toxic pesticides and other environmentally detrimental chemicals. Long term, this is better for your own health and longevity, and that of our planet.
Identify the stickers (PLU 4 digit code) on your produce:
- Leading digit 9 + PLU code means it’s organic
- Leading digit 8 + PLU code means it’s genetically modified
- Just 4 digit means it’s conventionally grown
Plant a Tree or Garden
Planting some greens is a quick and easy way to reduce your carbon footprint. We all know plants absorb carbon dioxide – a beneficial relationship for humans. Whether it is in your own backyard, or through a foundation, you can support the world by planting trees.
Reduce Waste & Compost
The Three R’s – Recycle, Reduce, Reuse where possible. About 94 percent of the food we throw away ends up in landfills or combustion facilities. In 2017, we disposed 38.1 million tons of food waste.
Look into creating a compost that will help reduce waste and produce healthier soils to grow with.
Support Environmentally Conscious Organizations
This is a very personal choice, and you should choose wisely on what “tugs” at your heart the most. Or, simply choose by what has the most impact. Research is worth your while as to assure that the organization you choose does the most “good” with the dollars you donate.
Start with a small change, so it becomes second nature to you, and build upon it through the year. Don’t make your choices too broad, too big or too many. And, most of all, feel empowered that you too, can make a difference!