Happy New Year! It's 2018 (finally) and while last year brought a whirlwind of unexpected challenges locally, nationally, and globally, we are ready to come together and take action for a healthier planet. Every year we try to improve ourselves (and next month we've got some great ideas to help you with those self-directed goals), but this month we invite you to take on some resolutions that are designed to help EVERYONE have a more amazing 2018.
1. Lighten Your Footprint
Alright, starting off with something easy and basic. Make sure that you're disposing of waste in a more ecologically thoughtful way. Set up your home for less waste and start a compost pile. Break down any boxes or paper material you have so they can fit neatly in your recycling bin. Remember that batteries and fluorescent lightbulbs cannot be sent to a landfill because they are full of poisonous chemicals. Check out Recology Cleanscapes to find out what can get recycled where and click here to save 20% on your next purchase. Proper disposal and reducing individual waste diverts toxic non-biodegradable materials from our landfills, which significantly impacts the environment around us.
The most effective way to enact change is to vote. Bring your ballots to work or fill them out before breakfast or bed. Voting is crucial and as American citizens we have a duty to vote, but not only in national elections. Local elections hold large clout as well, even beyond special elections. For example, Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, Spokane, WA, and Shorewood, MN are among several municipalities that have prohibited the use of neonicotinoids (very strong pesticides that cause a majority of the annual bee deaths in America) thanks to local voter turnout and citizen activism (Reuters, 2015). Besides, you can enact direct change through political activism. In the past year and 3 months there has been a dramatic increase in citizen activism (Robert Reich and MSNBC, 2017). The only way that we are going to succeed as a green and sustainable society is if we all make our voices heard through our votes.
3. Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is
An even more direct way to vote for the world you want is with your wallet. Try to only spend your money at businesses that are sustainable. Every Chinook Book business meets these criteria, so finding the best option for you is only a click away! Choosing foods and goods that are made or grown locally directly reduces carbon footprint created by long-distance transportation. Local natural grocers do an excellent job of ensuring your food has been sourced in an environmentally responsible way. Support them with your dollars and save a bit with one of these offers!
4. Save the Sound
Being more thoughtful about maintaining your yard and garden in a chemical-free way can have a HUGE impact on the quality of water that ultimately makes its way into the Puget Sound. Call up In Harmony Sustainable Landscapes to help do your part to keep poisons out of our little slice of ocean wonder. Click here to save 10% on your first service!
5. Share the Knowledge
Share great ideas and inspire others to live a low-impact lifestyle. Not everyone has access to the same resources that you do, which means that some people, unfortunately, can get left behind due to financial, social, and physical barriers. Help others figure out what kind of activism or green practices are right for them. Throughout the year, we try to share the most up-to-date options for creating a more sustainable lifestyle on our Facebook and Twitter feeds. Follow us there and share the ideas you like best to keep your community inspired!
6. Source Your Energy More Sustainably
Opt into green power in Seattle with Seattle City Light's Green Up program or Puget Sound Energy's Green Power program. Energy costs seem off? Washington Energy Services offers an energy audit program (click here to get one for $199) so you can get your home tested to find out if it is leaking energy. Or, take it a step further and call Puget Sound Solar for a solar panel installation on your home- they partner with Puget Sound Cooperative Union to provide zero down solar loans.
Now that you have all the right tools to make your New Years resolutions count, let's all work together to go green for the greater good.
From everyone at Chinook Book, Happy New Year!