A greener you in 2022
I hope you are all enjoying this time of year and spending time with family and friends and staying healthy rather than getting caught up in the frenzy and stress this season can bring. For this issue’s column I want to share with you some simple New Year’s resolution ideas as we head into 2022.
- Bring your own. I’ve written this here many times, and I can’t emphasize enough how much cutting single-use plastics out of your life helps the health of the planet. Bring your own coffee mug, water bottle, and shopping bags. These three items alone account for so much trash and waste that end up in our landfills and waterways. Make it your resolution to bring your own – soon it will become a habit!
- Reduce energy use. Turn off lights and turn down the heat while you’re not home, and unplug phone/tablet chargers when not in use. Our energy source still largely comes from burning coal in Ohio. Using less energy in your home has a direct impact on carbon dioxide emissions into the environment.
- Don’t idle your car for longer than 10 seconds. That’s right, 10 seconds. It’s healthier for you, for your car, and the environment to shut it off if you are waiting longer than 10 seconds. I know that’s harder to do in the winter, but please keep it in mind all year and try to be cognizant that your car should not be idling. If you have kids, please make it a priority to not idle your car in front of the school at drop-off/pick-up. Keeping the air healthy where children are present is especially important. I witness people doing this ALL of the time – sometimes they have the engine on and their windows all down! Make sure you tell your kids’ schools how important this subject is for you. One small sign in front of a school is not enough. There need to be multiple “No Idling” signs.
- Plant a tree. Make it a New Year’s resolution to plant a tree or two or ten in 2022. More trees mean more carbon dioxide is absorbed, which means the air will be cleaner, you will be healthier, and everyone wins! A single tree can consume 48 pounds of carbon dioxide a year, plus they add shade and make your yard prettier. Please plant native trees – whoever you buy a tree from should know this information. If they don’t, find someone else to purchase a tree from. Native trees are critical for biodiversity, and biodiversity a critical component to the health of ALL living things, including us!
I hope you will choose one (or all) of these simple actions to help protect the earth in 2022. Remember, “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” I love that quote by Margaret Mead. Your choices will make a difference. Happy New Year, everyone!