New Year’s green resolutions – 2008

by Antonio Pasolini on December 28, 2007

green new year 2008Continuing with our green new year’s resolutions tradition, here are some of our suggestions for a green 2008:

1 – Walk, walk, walk
I can never emphasize enough the importance of walking for our physical, spiritual and the planet’s health. Walking is one of the most low-impact exercises that burns fat, keeps your blood circulation fluid and does wonders to unload all those worrying thoughts that lead to stress. if you need motivation, get a dog – he or she surely will get you out of the house even on the coldest day. If still not convinced, try cycling. It’s cheap and fun and green and cool.

2 – Buy local and preferably organic
We all need to eat and our choice of food is relevant to both our health and the environment. Organic farming avoids the use of pesticides, produces more nutritious food and normally is harvested locally, therefore it has a lighter carbon footprint. Some people say it’s more expensive, which is true for some products. But in my own experience, I find that organic food is a lot more satisfying and you need less of it – remember, we tend to eat more than we should and need (hence the obesity crisis) so use the higher price of organic food as a motivation to eat less, but better, food. And remember to take your own bag to the shop.

3 – Fight the buying addiction
In this age of cheap eletronics made in sweatshops across the globe, it’s very easy to be tempted into buying things that we don’t need at all. As a consequence our carbon footprint goes up and you get all that clutter piling up around the house. So, before buying things on a whim, always ask yourself if you really need them or if you are behaving like a junkie and simply satisfying an addiction. I made an arrangement with a friend of mine whereby we monitor each other on our shopping habits and we promised each other not to do any impulse shopping for a whole year – it’s been six months now and it’s been working so here’s a suggestion.

4 – Say no to bottled and canned drinks
2007 has been the year when bottled water got a lot of bad PR, and rightly so. But let’s not forget that all other bottled drinks have a high carbon footprint, it’s just that bottled water is so morally wrong and decadent that it soaked up all the criticism. So if you like beer, for example, ask for draft beer whenever you can. As to those cans of fizzy drinks, you should know better than to drink them anyway since they are really bad for your health – recently they were even linked to Alzheimer’s.

5 – Good housekeeping
The way we run our houses can have a positive impact on the environment. Create a recycling system that makes the task as painless as possible and remember to unplug eletronics when they are not use – they still suck energy from the outlet even when inactive. And do you really need all those lights on and the heating system (or air conditioning) at full blast? Probably not.

6 – Live collectively
Humans are social beings and part of the spiritual and environmental crisis that we are undergoing now comes from the fact that consumer society has turned us all into isolated cells, individualist creatures used to having everything customized to our own peculiar habits as if that was a recipe for happiness. That is wrong. The more we share, the happier we are and the less impact on the environment we will have – a car ride shared by four people means three fewer cars on the road carrying just one individual in it. So think about it and I’m sure you’ll find several practical situations in your life that can be shared with other people. And most importantly, be happy.

Happy 2008!

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