With all of our time spent indoors during the pandemic, it’s hard not to take stock of what’s happening outdoors as climate change takes a devastating toll on communities near and far. What’s clear is that no matter where we are, our planet is heating up with consequences that none of us can ignore. Why not make this year your year for green living by embracing small changes in your lifestyle that collectively can make an outsized impact on our planet.
Start with every day items that you use often and commit to cutting your consumer carbon footprint;
Clean your way to green – how often are many if not all of our cleaning products single use items made of plastic? Every piece of plastic we use takes thousands of years to break down and contributes dramatically to green house gases emissions. Remember only 9% of the plastic we use is actually recyclable. Instead replace single use items with reusable ones like glass bottles for multi-purpose cleaning and laundry sheets for washing clothes. For more ideas to make the switch to reusable and eco-friendly products, visit our Plastic Free July webpage.
Advocate for green packaging – we all have our favorite go-to products for personal care for day-to-day living. Why not be an advocate for the planet and let brands know that you think they are using too much plastic packaging. Opt for products that adopt manufacturing and packaging practices that care as much for our planet as they do for our overall health and well-being. Every brand at this point should be evaluating and reducing in a meaningful way their carbon footprint. By connecting with brands and asking questions, we can collectively make more informed choices and be at the heart of shifting to eco-friendly practices.
Resolve to repair, reuse or donate items – De-cluttering especially after the holidays usually means taking un-used or broken items and throwing them in the trash. Think before you sink more of your waste into the environment. Remember, the biggest environmental carbon footprint is created by making new things. And most every item in and around our household (minus plastic) is recyclable, reusable or a valuable asset to someone else. Locally, Wilton has many resources for keeping your items out of the trash. For example, visit Goodwill or The Turnover Shop in Wilton for house-ware and clothing donations, the Wilton Transfer Station for glass, metals and electronics and clothing and the Town of Wilton Food Pantry for canned and boxed food items. Stumped on if your items are treasures or trash? Visit Wilton Go Green’s Recycling 101 webpage to type in your item and find out where you can recycle or responsibly dispose of your things.
Be mindful that food waste pollutes our planet – Did you know that U.S. food waste delivers a greater carbon footprint then that of the airline industry? Globally, wasted food accounts for about 8 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions — at home 1 in every 4 bags of groceries is thrown away. Take stock of your food and find ways to plan, preserve and freeze meals with the food you already have. Food scrapes are a great source of composting so consider a weekly pick up service of your food (they take most everything) or starting to compost in your own backyard. What better way to give back to the soil the food that came from it in the first place!
Now that you’ve selected your own green resolutions, share them! It’s never too late to take steps to protect our planet and by sharing your intentions with friends and family, you will be doing your part to bring communities together to support climate change solutions.
Looking for ideas on how to jump start your green resolutions? Visit Wilton Go Green’s Facebook page during the month of January to learn what green resolutions Wilton residents are doing to make a difference.