My Green New Year’s Resolutions 2012
So 2012 has well and truly arrived and I’m excited to see what it brings; I hope it’s a year that brings about even more environmental action and more commitment from the man on the street along with all us green bloggers and eco peeps.
Now I’m not usually one to make New Year’s resolutions but I’ve made an exception this year and have thought about what things I should have on my green agenda for the coming 12 months. It’s not a complete list and I’ve no doubt that more things will come up that I haven’t yet thought about but these 10 goals should be a good first step.
1. Do the Worm
While I am doing my best to be a waste conscious shopper, I live by myself and find it hard to eat up everything that I buy. At the moment, any food waste goes in my bin and then to landfill where it ends up rotting and producing both CO2 and methane in a largely anaerobic process.
When cared for properly however, a wormery should perform aerobically with both worms and bacteria breaking down food waste. There is a reduced production of greenhouse gases and these are more likely to be trapped in the soil and the worm castings which can be used to feed house plants (which I also intend to buy).
2. Measure My Mains
Recently I bought a couple of plug adapters which you simply place in between the mains and your appliance. These adapters show how much energy is being used by that appliance and you can even programme them to show you how much it costs to run things.
I have only been experimenting with them so far but I intend to measure and document my energy usage as far as possible using these adapters as I believe that a better understanding of where I use energy will highlight potential savings.
For example, I am very interested in the energy usage of electrical items that are left on standby – will turning these things off at the plug make a genuine difference and if so, how much?
3. Eat a More Eco Diet
By no means am I going to become a vegan or even a vegetarian for that matter but I plan to investigate the carbon impact of as many of the foods I eat as possible and shift to a more environmentally friendly diet.
For instance, I know that a diet high in red meats is bad for the environment (let alone for your body) and while I don’t eat red meat too often, it will probably form part of at least 2 dinners per week. I’ll try to cut this down to 1 meal and I’ll try to have at least 1 meat free day.
Aside from this, I will also be more careful about the sustainability of the fish I eat (and I do eat a lot of fish) because if we destroy fish stocks any further then we endanger entire ecosystems of marine life. It would be a terrible shame if future generations couldn’t enjoy the same sea life that we do now and eat the same fish species that we have available to us.
4. Offset My Carbon Footprint Where I Can’t Reduce It
While it may be a slightly controversial topic, I believe that carbon offsetting is a viable option to reduce greenhouse gas emissions where an individual cannot physically reduce his or her carbon footprint anymore.
With this in mind, I intend to offset my carbon footprint by utilizing an offsetting programme. But with so many out there, I will have to investigate which ones really make a difference and which are simply a load of hot air.
5. Educate an Eco Army
In my first two and a half months of writing posts for GreenSteve, I have realised what an absolute minefield of information people are required to navigate their way through to get to the juicy green issues. And the problem is only going to get worse as tens or hundreds of green stories get published each and every day on the internet.
My aim is to sift through the largely irrelevant posts and bring only the most important issues to light. This is not going to be easy and there is an absolute tonne of stuff I want to talk about and there are only 24 hours in the day but I’ll do my best to highlight the things I think are worth knowing.
Not all of this will appear on this blog, I will also use Twitter and Facebook a lot to spread the word so if you are not following me on either of these two sites yet then I’d recommend that you do so now.
6. Connect and Combine
After all the reading and research I have done so far for my posts, I have found loads of fantastic sources of green advice, tips and news and many of these are green blogs written by other people like me who share a passion for all things eco.
So far I have tried to focus my attention on pumping out as many interesting and useful articles as possible and while I intend to continue with this, I also aim to connect with as many of these other green bloggers as possible.
I thoroughly believe that collaboration makes the green cause stronger and by reaching out to other blog owners, I hope to get more of an idea about the causes that they care about and their own thoughts on what actions can be taken to combat climate change.
I started this late last year when I interviewed one prominent green blogger but that is just the tip of the iceberg with regards to the people I would like to talk to.
7. Meet Up With MPs
I’ve got a keen interest in politics whether it is to do with the economy, the health service, foreign aid budgets or education but I believe that the green agenda gets far less attention than it deserves in Westminster.
I want to get in contact with some MPs, particularly those who either hold positions of importance in the environmental scene or who have strong green views. I want to ask them why the environment doesn’t get talked about as much as some of the more vote-winning topics and what I or anyone else can do to change this.
I want to give them suggestions and follow them up to see what, if anything, they have done to act on them; we do after all elect these people and they should be representing our views as members of the voting public.
8. Get to Grips With Business
Other than giving advice to the general public, I think it is very important to talk to businesses, both local and national, to try and get them thinking and working in a green manner too.
I want to educate them on the benefits to their bottom line that acting in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way can have. I want them to realise that the green economy is growing and that it is growing fast, and if they want to have a piece of that pie then they need to act now.
This may sound very capitalist but that’s the world we live in and if a company can see the opportunities to increase its profits then it will surely take them where it can and that can help the entire country reduce its carbon footprint.
9. Give Credit Where Credit is Due
There is every reason to shout about the good work that individuals and companies are doing on the green frontline and I will seek out such instances where I can to show the world just what you can do when you put your mind to it.
Whether it is a recycling champion who has campaigned for better recycling facilities or a company who has given away energy efficient bulbs or appliances to the poorest in the community, I want to find them and tell my readers about them.
If you know of someone or some company that fits the bill and you think that I should be shouting their success out to the world then contact me and I’ll get back to you.
10. Become the Green Sherlock Holmes
Some of the posts that I have most enjoyed researching and writing so far have been the ones where I’ve had to get my deerstalker out and search about like Sherlock Holmes for clues and information that is not always easy to find.
My posts on Parliamentary energy usage, supermarket sustainability and the green car dilemma have all required investigation of some description along with some analysis of the facts and figures I have pulled together but they have been fun to write and hopefully educational to read so I want to go even deeper and hit some more juicy topics.
I hope to not only show people things that they may not already know but also give them information that they can then use to base their buying decisions on or that encourages them to act in a different way. I want to really gather some momentum, get my thoughts and feelings out there so that others may benefit from them and this blog is how I intend to do that.
I hope you’ll find my posts throughout 2012 to be useful, educational and genuinely practical. If you only take one thing from this blog that helps improve the environmental situation we find ourselves in then it will all be worth it.
Here is to a green 2012!
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