Resolutions for 2020
The Board of Renewable Juneau has some suggestions for New Year’s resolutions for 2020! Not all are directly renewable energy-focused ideas, but they will all help you to lower your carbon footprint, to be more conscious of the choices available to you, and allow you to set a constructive example for those around you.
Resolution #1: Join together with others to support community and political efforts in support of climate action. We can all be a part of the solution and non profits such as Renewable Juneau, Alaska Heat Smart, the new Zero-Waste Juneau group, 350Juneau, Interfaith Power and Light, are all working hard to make a difference. Talk about the issues with friends, family and neighbors, talk with these groups to learn how you can become more involved.
Resolution #2: Create a sustainable ‘car kit’, containing bamboo eating utensils, cloth shopping bags, reusable produce bags, a reusable drink cup, and a reusable water bottle. The key to such a kit is not only to use it, but to wash it when needed and return it to the car, to reuse plastic bags or avoid using plastic bags when you forget your cloths ones, and to not buy the coffee drink when you forget your cup, etc.
Resolution #3: Be more conscious of packaging and make choices that reduce your packaging consumption. Do not purchase items, such as eggs sold in plastic when there is a paper carton alternative. Many food items sold in plastic bags can be purchased in bulk. Find out which these are and make buying them a new habit.
Resolution #4: Request to use your own “to go” containers when buying food. Many vendors or kitchens are open to this idea. It prevents waste and saves them money.
Resolution #5: Increase your produce awareness and commit to eating ‘closer to home.’ If you have a choice of apples from Washington state or from New Zealand, the closer-grown fruit has a smaller carbon footprint. Find Juneau’s local producers and patronize them, for example, Salt and Soil, Panhandle Produce, and summer farmers’ markets.
Resolution #6: Start a small home veggie garden. You don’t need much space and can actually grow zucchini, carrots and many greens in five-gallon buckets or large flower pots on a deck. Help is available from Juneau’s Coop Extension service (www.uaf.edu/ces/districts/juneau/).
Resolution #7: Think twice before buying new. My family had a ‘used, recycled, and homemade’ Christmas this year! We saved a load of money, decreased shipping, added no increase to any production chain and kept much of our money here in town. Even more, we wrapped gifts in reusable cloth or paper from our recycle bin, such as 2019 calendars, comics from the newspaper, even pillow cases!
Resolution #8: Compost. It’s easy, cuts your waste stream by up to half, reduces off-gassing at the quickly-growing landfill and will make available a nutrient-rich mix for your newly established deck-bucket garden! All meat products aside from egg shells need to go into the trash. The Juneau Coop Extension can help you start composting. If you can’t compost, consider having your fruit and veggie scraps collected weekly by Juneau Compost (www.juneaucomposts.com).
Resolution #9: Commit to carpooling, biking, walking, roller blading, skateboarding or some form of fossil-fuel free transportation for work at least one or two days per week.
Resolution #10: Slash your carbon footprint! Buy a new or used electric car (still some around for under $10K), heat your home with a heat pump, travel a bit less, offset the remainder of your carbon footprint (www.juneaucarbonoffset.org)!
Cheers! Here’s to a more carbon neutral New Year!