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 with your local authorities about how and where these materials can be disposed of. Got something that can be salvaged? Check out Junket: Tossed and Found to drop off unwanted stuff, and if you find something you like you can click here to save $25 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) and that was from local voter turnout and citizen activism (Reuters, 2015). 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 Our Waterways
Next time you want to hose down your car, think about going to a commercial car wash instead. Businesses like Dan's Nicollet Car Wash reuse their cleaning water and prevent dirty car wash water and pollutants from entering our storm drains and ending up in our waterways. Washing your car at a local and sustainable business will help make our oceans and lakes better homes for their inhabitants. Click here to save $5 on your next Works Wash.
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. The environmentalist movement must be as inclusive as possible, so make sure that you include those who might not be able to go vegan or switch to a bicycle. 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 with XCEL Energy and you will ensure that more of your energy use comes from sustainable sources. Or, take it a step further and call up All Energy Solar to explore the potential of solar panels for your home! Click here to get $500 off a new solar system.
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!