Green New Year’s Resolutions

Want to develop more sustainable habits? Below are a few green resolutions to consider.

1) Implement green initiatives at your workplace or school. By leading workplace or school sustainability efforts, you will impact an entire community’s habits and emissions. Consider implementing a standard or e-waste recycling program, working with your organization to reduce the amount of single-use plastics and foil at the cafeteria, setting up a bike rack for employees or students, or, if you work for a food-generating business, contacting Solana Center for a waste assessment.

2) Carry a reusable water bottle (or two!) with you wherever you go. Globally, only 18% of plastics are recycled, and all plastics can take anywhere from 10 to 450 years to degrade. Your choices can go a long way to a cleaner Earth for future generations.

3) Reduce the amount of meat, especially beef, in your or your household’s diet. “Food systems can be directly related to almost half of tree cover loss through commodity-driven deforestation and shifting agriculture”*, and by being selective with your meat consumption, you reduce demand for new grazing pastures and cropland, saving trees in the process.

4) Bike, use public transit, or carpool once per week or month instead of driving alone. Transportation accounted for 27% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2020, with 57% of those emissions coming from taxis and passenger vehicles. Luckily, people 65 and older, Medicare recipients, people with disabilities, and youth ages 6 to 18 are eligible for free or reduced fares through North County Transit District and/or San Diego MTS. For carpooling, try coordinating with family, roommates, coworkers, or classmates, or use a ridesharing app!

5) Be water-wise. Water takes an incredible amount of energy to transport and to heat. By capturing water in a rain barrel, you can store free, clean water before it potentially carries toxins such as fertilizers and gas as runoff into waterways or uses energy in a wastewater treatment plant. Other ways to save water include fixing leaks, shortening showers, turning water off while shampooing and conditioning, and letting it mellow if it’s yellow. If you have a yard, please consider planting drought-tolerant plants.

*United Nations Environment Programme (2022). Emissions Gap Report 2022: The Closing Window — Climate crisis calls for rapid transformation of societies. Nairobi. 58.

No matter how you switch up your habits, your sustainable actions will help heal the Earth and have a ripple effect across your communities. Please applaud yourself for making an impact, and know that you don’t have to be perfect to create change.

Happy 2023 from the Solana Center team! 🌱☀️🌊