Looking for ways to make 2018 your year of sustainability? A few environment- and life-enhancing tips:
- Read your labels. Choose Fair Trade certified and/or organic products. The price tag may be a bit higher, but you’re getting the peace of mind knowing that these items make a positive impact on workers and communities – while reducing negative impact on the environment. Natura wines, for example, are produced with mindful, clean ingredients and practices.
- Eat local. The less your food has to travel, the better. It not only reduces the use of fossil fuels and preservatives, it tastes great and promotes the local economy. Our region is brimming with delicious options year-round.
- Shop smart both big… If you need to make a big ticket purchase (car, washer, dryer, etc.), opt for energy efficient models. Everything from solar water heaters to hybrid or electric cars can make a big difference.
- And small… Think sustainably whenever you shop. Ask yourself if you really need the product? Can you upcycle something else or make it yourself? Can you look at second-hand stores? Every single shopping trip has an environmental impact.
- Replace plastic. Bring reusable shopping bags, opt for minimally packaged items, get a steel water bottle instead of buying disposables… the list of ways we can ditch polluting plastic is long. Commit to a few.
- Mind your water. Here’s a secret: in most places in the US, tap water is not only drinkable, it tastes virtually the same as bottled. You won’t tell the difference, but you’ll help keep tons of plastic out of the environment. Other water-wise steps: use low-flow appliances, implement drought-resistant landscaping, and harvest rain water.
- Make green changes at home. From programmable thermostats to better insulation, we can all green up our homes – and our wallets. Ask for an energy audit from your utility company and put a few recommendations into action.
- Get an outdoorphin buzz. Keep the car in park and go to the park. Getting out into nature (abundant in our neck of the woods!) reduces your carbon footprint, while improving health and mood.
- Reduce your meat consumption. You don’t have to become a vegetarian (but you can!); you can start with Meatless Monday or swap out meat for other proteins for a few meals per week. Our current culinary obsession: eggplant and porcini “meatballs” perfectly paired with sustainable wines like Natura’s Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Vote! Use your voice and support local, state, and federal candidates who value the environment. Better yet, harness that passion and make a run yourself!
How will you live more sustainably?