Ask Eartha: Sustainable New Years Resolutions
Dear Eartha, the more I see climate change affecting our planet, the more motivated I feel to begin 2022 with a resolution that helps fight climate change. But I feel totally overwhelmed on where to start. Do you have any ideas for me?
Your enthusiasm is inspiring! Faced with such a large-scale problem, I understand how overwhelming it can be to turn that enthusiasm into action. For me, when that overwhelming feeling kicks in, I find guidance from the people around me who are already making a difference. So, to get your creative juices flowing, I asked a few folks in our community for their climate resolutions. Here’s what they said.
“It’s my goal for next year to help people understand that we have to not only reduce greenhouse gases but also adapt to a warming world. It’s not heartening that this is only likely to get worse for the rest of our lives, but we need to know that and take action to make things better.” — Michael Wurzel, Summit County government
“My resolution for the new year is to better model the ideas and values that I have for the natural environment to the younger generation.” — Ryan Thompson, town of Frisco
“I would like to be a more conscious consumer when it comes to buying products with my dollar and the materials used. Microplastics can spread into our ecosystems, food and drinking water. They can even end up in our bodies. Microplastics are the toughest thing to filter from our drinking water, so the less we introduce into the environment, the better.” — Kirsten Lima, Breckenridge resident
“Transportation accounts for roughly 33% of Summit County’s greenhouse gas emissions. My New Year’s resolution is to walk to work more. Not only will this help reduce my carbon footprint, but it also gives me time to get some exercise in and enjoy that cool, crisp mountain air.” — Dominique Giroux, Breckenridge resident
“It’s easy to fall to the convenience of online shopping. But buying local is so important both in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from shipping and to reinvest in the local community. My pledge is to shop local in 2022.” — Jessie Burley, Frisco resident
“My New Year’s resolution this year is to grow a garden. But not just any garden. The most beautiful garden Summit County has ever seen! Probably not, since I’ll be a first-time gardener, but a person can dream.” — Nolan Block, Breckenridge resident
Small moves, big impact
“1. Keep a list of perishable foods in the fridge to reduce my lost leftovers and cilantro squished in the bottom of the veggie drawer. 2. Help my dad reduce his meat intake by sharing easy vegetarian recipes. 3. After multiple years of procrastination, I will finally buy studded bike tires to extend my bike commute season!” — Hilary Sueoka, town of Frisco
“Buy more products made from recycled materials and less products made from plastic, even if that means spending a little more. Buying products made of what we call ‘virgin materials’ encourages plastic production. By purchasing products made from recycled materials, we are not only keeping those materials out of the landfill, but we are also encouraging companies to consider business models that promote recycling.” — Allie Flynn, Silverthorne resident
“I’m going to give only sustainable gifts in 2022. Like experiences or things to help promote sustainability, rather than anything to collect dust on a shelf or be thrown away after one use.” — Lydia North, Breckenridge resident
2022 and beyond
Personally, I am challenging myself to speak up more for sustainability, especially when it is difficult and goes against the status quo. To change our culture, we need more voices speaking out to protect this beautiful planet.
Sometimes making individual resolutions seems small, but these efforts can have a huge impact. Our community has big climate action goals, such as reducing greenhouse gas pollution 80% by 2050 and increasing our waste diversion rate to 40% by 2035. There are lots of ways you can help Summit County achieve these goals, and we won’t get there without your help! Individual actions can start a ripple effect, and I hope these resolutions inspire you to create planet-friendly resolutions of your own.