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Monday, January 3, 2011

Green Resolutions for 2011

By: Mary Campbell, Extension Director and Urban Sustainability Agent

Have you set your new “green” resolutions for 2011? Are you still forgetting that reusable bag for the grocery or not quite off the bottled water yet? Each year brings a new opportunity to see how we can push ourselves to implement new, more sustainable practices. This past year, I realized just how hard it is to change practices that I have been doing for years. Happily, I no longer have to take the recyclables to a remote site since St. Petersburg began curbside recycling. That is a huge step forward.

A new year is a good time to think about lifestyle resolutions that are meaningful to us. Due to economic and environmental impacts, more people are thinking about new ways of connecting their lifestyles with their beliefs. Living sustainably can mean a simpler, more economical lifestyle and more focused on reducing impacts to the planet.

One of the challenges of going green and being sustainable is the link between our beliefs and our actions. A recent Yale study notes that 76 % of participants thought it was important to buy locally grown food, but only 26 % did it and 72% of participants thought it was important to use public transportation or carpool, but only 10 % did so. The survey found that for simpler actions, like turning out lights or reusing things, people were more likely to believe the action was important and also do it. Research has shown us that convenience and cost are two important factors for implementing sustainable practices.

So let’s pick a new green practice that we will carry through 2011. I have not been consistent about purchasing locally grown (Florida) fruits and vegetables. So this year I will make sure I check where fruits and vegetables are grown before I buy them and purchase the local choice when available. This may mean not having some of my favorites, but it also means I will learn to love new things and know that I am supporting local food systems and the local economy. Farmer’s markets are a great way to see what is grown in our state and support a local economy. So I will pledge to go to a local farmer’s market once a month and buy local produce. If you want to join me in this commitment, please click here. At the end of 2011, we will see how well we all did.

Thanks for reading the Thinking Green blog and have a very “green” 2011.

Be Green and Buy Local


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