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. Our 2018 Print Edition includes very comprehensive resources for recycling and disposal all over the Bay. make sure all your compostable waste goes in the compost bin not the trash -- if you have a garden, start composting! 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 with your local authorities about how and where these materials can be disposed of. Got something that can be salvaged? Check out Urban Ore EcoPark to drop off unwanted stuff, and if you find something you like you can 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, Bay Area residents passed Measure AA creating wetland habitat and offering a buffer against sea level rise thanks to local voter turnout and citizen activism. Besides, you can enact direct change through political activism. In the past 15 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 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 Bay
Being more thoughtful about maintaining your yard and garden in a non-toxic way can have a HUGE impact on the quality of water that ultimately makes its way into the Bay. Or take direct action by getting involved in creek restoration and the Watershed Project.
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
We have several great options for green power programs in the Bay. East Bay Community Energy offers choices of 50% or 100% renewable energy sourcing, and residential customers will be invited to sign up as early adopters in June of 2018. The City of Santa Clara has one of the top five EPA Green Power Communities in the country. Penninsula Clean Energy offers two renewable energy options and Alameda Municipal Power has an award winning program offering 100% green-powered energy. You can also lower your energy usage by upgrading your home lighting with more efficient fixtures and bulbs. Even better, if you call up Metro Lighting they can help you install the best and most efficient utilities for your budget! Click here to get one free LED filament light bulb with purchase of any light fixture!
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!