Environmental Resolutions and Vision for the New Year

Thoughts for Environmentally-minded Resolutions

Bee with paintbrushIt seems that we are at a crucial point with respect to the environment in that if we take the opportunity to change now, we can avert some major problems on this small planet. We cannot continue with the “business as usual” model lest we find ourselves stuck on a path yielding smaller and smaller returns in terms of health, happiness and prosperity. Before finishing your list of intentions for the New Year, perhaps think about incorporating some environmentally-minded items:

  • See how much you can modify your work week so that you are commuting fewer miles; maybe work three 13 hour days rather than five 8 hour days a week or find a way to work from home more.
  • Bike as often as possible when going out to do chores such as grocery shopping. Bike to social locations as well. Perhaps start with a resolution to bike one day a week to do shopping.
  • Start an organic garden–good for your mood, your health, your pocketbook.
  • Perhaps join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program to help out your local farmers. Buying food that is produced locally is not only good for your local economy but helps minimize the amount of energy spent shipping foods. People in Northeast Ohio can consider joining Geauga Family Farms, an economical CSA with  pickup locations in Lake, Cuyahoga and Geauga Counties.
  • Become a vegetarian: it takes a lot more resources from the land to raise and feed animals than it does to obtain the same number of calories from a plant-based diet.
  • Become familiar with your Representative and Senators–call them on important issues, especially the environment! Perhaps set a schedule of calling periodically.

Environmental Vision for 2012

  • A safe winter for the bees so that they return this spring without a drop in numbers, and a banning of the pesticide clothianidin by the EPA. Clothianidin was adopted in the U.S. in 2003, has a resident life of some years in the soil, and causes symptoms that look like Colony Collapse Disorder so it makes sense that bee populations started declining in 2006 in the U.S. As of June 2011 we were still having honeybee losses in the U.S. After France banned a similar pesticide (in the neonicotinoid family), it saw an increase in honeybee populations. (Beyond Pesticides Fact Sheet)
  • Conversion of the large swaths of monoculture soy and corn crop fields to diversely-planted farms. Monoculture crop farming is not good for bees, not good for the environment, and not good for humans.
  • Cessation of the production of oil from tar sands. This oil produces more greenhouse gas emissions than oil derived in the traditional manner. (Info about tar sands oil)
  • Immediate implementation of worldwide projects to drastically drop CO2 emissions so that we can get below 350 PPM ASAP.

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