Ask Eartha: Think globally, act locally when making a climate resolution
Dear Eartha, the more I see climate change affecting our planet, the more motivated I feel to start 2022 with a resolution that helps fight climate change. But I feel totally overwhelmed where to start. Do you have any ideas for me?
Your enthusiasm is inspiring! Faced with a problem of this magnitude, I understand how overwhelming it can be to turn that enthusiasm into action. For me, when this overwhelming feeling arises, I find advice from the people around me who are already making a difference. So, to unleash your creativity, I asked a few people in our community for their climate resolutions. Here is what they said.
“It’s my goal for next year to help people understand that we not only need to reduce greenhouse gases, but also adapt to a warming world. It’s not encouraging that it will only get worse for the rest of our lives, but we need to know it and take action to make it better. – Michael Wurzel, Summit County Government
“My New Year’s resolution is to better mold my ideas and values 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 in our ecosystems, our food and our drinking water. They can even be found in our body. Microplastics are the hardest thing to filter out of our drinking water, so the less we put into the environment, the better. – Kirsten Lima, resident of Breckenridge
“Transportation accounts for about 33% of Summit County’s greenhouse gas emissions. My New Year’s resolution is to walk more to work. Not only will this help reduce my carbon footprint, but it will also give me time to exercise and enjoy the fresh, clean mountain air. – Dominique Giroux, resident of Breckenridge
“It’s easy to fall for the convenience of shopping online. But buying local is so important both for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from shipping and for reinvesting in the local community. My commitment is to buy local in 2022. – Jessie Burley, resident of Frisco
“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 will be a novice gardener, but a person can dream. – Nolan Block, resident of Breckenridge
Small movements, big impact
“1. Keep a list of perishable foods in the fridge to cut down on my wasted leftovers and the crushed cilantro at the bottom of the vegetable drawer. 2. Help my dad cut down on meat by sharing easy vegetarian recipes. 3. After several years of procrastination, I’m finally going to buy studded bicycle tires to extend my cycling season! ”- Hilary Sueoka, Town of Frisco
“Buy more products made from recycled materials and less products made from plastic, even if it means spending a little more. Buying products made from what we call “virgin materials” encourages the production of plastic. By purchasing products made from recycled materials, not only are we keeping those materials out of the landfill, but we are also encouraging companies to consider business models that promote recycling. – Ally Flynn, resident of Silverthorne
“I’m only going to give gifts that are sustainable in 2022. Like experiments or things to help promote sustainability, rather than anything to pick up dust on a shelf or to be thrown away after use.” – Lydia North, resident of Breckenridge
2022 and beyond
Personally, I challenge myself to speak more for sustainability, especially when it’s difficult and goes against the status quo. To change our culture, we need more voices to protect this beautiful planet.
Sometimes making individual resolutions seems small, but those efforts can have a huge impact. Our community has big climate action goals, such as reducing greenhouse gas pollution by 80% by 2050 and increasing our waste diversion rate to 40% by 2035 There are many ways to help Summit County achieve these goals, and we won’t get there without your help! Individual actions can trigger a ripple effect, and I hope these resolutions inspire you to create your own planet-friendly resolutions.
“Ask Eartha Steward” is written by staff at the High Country Conservation Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to waste reduction and resource conservation. Submit your questions to Eartha at [email protected].