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Top green resolutions for 2013

Posted by Jen Coleman at Dec 27, 2012 10:25 PM |
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The world isn’t ending, but it is changing! 2012 may be remembered for climate extremes. Let's make 2013 the year of climate action.

We can be grateful the world isn’t ending. But it is changing. The year 2012 may go down in history for bringing the lessons of global warming home, with record heat across the U.S., a drought-ravaged Midwest, and the tragedy of Hurricane Sandy.  

Let’s make 2013 the year of climate action. We in Oregon can’t solve this problem alone, but we can lead by example. Here’s a pick list of resolutions you can make in five key areas to become a climate steward in 2013: transportation, energy, water, food and community action.

Get around greener:

Transportation is Oregon’s number one source of greenhouse gas pollution. You can change that by driving less, driving smarter, and investing in a better transportation system.

Drive less: Whether you walk, bike, carpool or ride the bus, resolve to cut one car trip out of your week this year.

Drive smart: Going the speed limit is an easy way to use less gas and create less tailpipe pollution (see more green driving tips).

Invest in a better way: 2013 will be a make-or-break year for Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program. Speak up for investing in cleaner alternatives to oil and gas.

Power up:

Electricity is the second largest source of greenhouse gas pollution in Oregon. What can you do to cut pollution from electricity in 2013?  

Waste less: Are your heating or cooling dollars drifting out the cracks? Weatherize your drafty doors, and you may save enough on energy costs to pay for the materials in 2013.

Use less: What habit can you pick up in 2013 to use less energy? Maybe it’s plugging your electronics into a power strip, and turning off that strip at night or when you leave the house.

Learn more: Not sure what’s first on your list for energy-saving activities? Find out about audits, assessments and incentives for saving energy at Energy Trust of Oregon.

Get water wise:

It takes energy—and creates greenhouse gas emissions—to clean and deliver water across our state. When you save water, you also cut pollution.

The dirt on soap: Take a close look at your hand soap and dish soap. If it is “antibacterial,” it contains triclosan, which is toxic to aquatic life. Make a pledge in 2013 to read labels and avoid triclosan.

Toilet running? Catch it! Toilets are one of the biggest water-wasters, especially if they leak. Try this trick. Color the water in your tank with food coloring, instant coffee, or kool-aid. Wait 30 minutes without flushing. Does the water in your bowl show color? If so, you have a flapper, gasket or other leak in need of repair.

Give up bottled water: Can you make 2013 the year of tap water only? You’ll save huge on the energy and fuel it takes to bottle, ship, cool, and recycle all those bottles.

Eat for the climate:

There’s energy tied up in your food—not only in calories, but in the energy it took to create, ship and deliver your food. You can choose food that accounts for less pollution from energy.

Meatless Monday: The higher you eat on the food chain, the more energy it takes to produce that meal. Producing beef, for example, generates 13 times more global warming pollution than chicken. Try cutting meat from one meal a week.

Local lunching: When you choose food made locally, you save the emissions it takes to store and transport food from far away. Nothing is more local than your backyard or windowsill: try growing your own potted herbs, garden vegetables, or a new culinary delight in 2013.

Eat with the seasons: When you eat what’s in season, you get the best food for the best price—and avoid the energy it takes to store and process foods. Fortunately, Oregon has lots of great food in many seasons!

Change the system:

We’re all in this climate together. Part of “doing your part” is to speak up for ways that we can work together--as communities, as a state, and as a world.

Take action: If you’re not already on our Action Alert list, sign up in 2013. We’ll send you an email when there’s a chance to speak up for state policies for a stable climate.

Give a gift: OEC is hard at work with businesses, lawmakers and regional decision-makers finding the biggest ways to save energy and cut pollution. We depend on donations from Oregonians to make this work possible.

Talk it up: Recent polls say that while 67% of Americans believe that the climate is changing, less than half believe human activity is the cause. If you believe that we all need to take responsibility for the climate, OEC challenges you to say it out loud in 2013. 

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