Another year is upon us, and it’s resolution time again. Will you join us in making a commitment to a green 2015? Below are just a few suggestions of things we can all do to live sustainably in the coming year, from reducing the amount of waste we generate, to conserving energy, to being good stewards of our water.
As a “Thank you” for including the environment in your New Year’s resolutions, Bluegrass Greensource will enter everyone who completes and submits a resolutions form by Januray 15, 2015 in a drawing for a gift basket valued at more than $350, full of awesome items and gift certificates from local businesses on and around National Avenue – our new neighborhood! Gift basket details here.
2015 New Year’s Resolutions
Use a reusable mug when getting beverages to go
Americans throw away 25 billion styrofoam coffee cups a year, and 2.5 million plastic beverage bottles an hour. One paper coffee cup a day adds up to 23 lbs of waste and 87.6 lbs of CO2 over the course of a year. Reusable water bottles, tumblers, and mugs reduce your waste production and your carbon footprint.
Buy items that are made from post consumer recycled material
Recycled content is good; post consumer recycled content is great. If you already seek out products that contain some percentage of recycled material, take the next step and prioritize post consumer content for extra environmental benefits; and as an added bonus, you’ll be using your purchase power to tell manufacturers that post consumer content is the way to go.
Compost food and yard waste, and use or give away finished compost
133 billion pounds of the available food supply in the United States goes to waste every year, according to a recent study by the USDA, and 21% of that happens right in our homes. Our country also generates 33.4 million pounds of yard waste annually. Don’t wrap up all that biodegradable waste and send it to the landfill – compost it instead! If you don’t have much use for the end product, consider donating your finished compost to community gardening organizations, or give it away to your green-thumbed friends.
Donate unwanted items, including furniture, appliances, and home goods, to thrift and resale organizations
If “out with the old, in with the new” is your New Year’s tradition, don’t send the “old” straight to the landfill – donate it instead! Your used furniture, appliances, home goods, clothes, books, and so much more can be someone else’s “new.” Check out Lexington’s Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and the Friends of the Library Book Cellar.
Use energy-efficient LED or CFL light bulbs (including in holiday decorations!)
Switching to LED or CFL light bulbs from incandescent is one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to cut your energy consumption down to size. Learn more here. LED holiday decorations come in all shapes, colors, and sizes, too – so next year when you’re decking the halls, do it efficiently!
Seek out Energy Star, EPEAT, and WaterSense labeled products when replacing appliances, electronics, and fixtures
There are many eco-friendly labeling systems out there, but these are three of the big ones: Energy Star for efficient appliances, EPEAT for efficient electronics, and WaterSense for efficient bathroom and kitchen fixtures.
Landscape with native plants that require less water and fertilizer to thrive
Because native plants are perfectly suited to our local climate – they’ve grown up here, after all – they are naturally hardy options for your home landscaping, and require less water and fertilizer to thrive. They’re beautiful, too, and attract native wildlife. What’s not to love?
Organize a neighborhood litter clean-up or storm drain stenciling project
Both of these options are about water, when it comes right down to it. Our storm drain system drains directly into live streams – no filtration involved – so it’s up to us to do our best to keep that storm water clean. Litter clean-ups keep cigarette butts, food wrappers, and lots of other trash out of our water. Stenciling storm drains helps raise awareness of where those drains lead. Need help getting started? Contact our Outreach Specialists and we’ll be happy to lend a hand with planning and supplies.
Divert runoff with a rain garden and/or rain barrel
Runoff from rooftops, sidewalks, driveways, and other impervious surfaces carries fertilizers and pesticides, automobile fluids, litter, and more directly into storm drains and from there into our streams. Slow down and filter that runoff with a rain garden, or collect it in a rain barrel for later use watering your garden. You can purchase a rain barrel from Bluegrass Greensource at any time, or build your own at one of our rain barrel workshops (keep an eye on our events calendar or sign up for our monthly e-newsletter).
Make a monetary donation to support the programs and mission of Bluegrass Greensource
Bluegrass Greensource is made up of a small team working tirelessly to make central Kentucky a more sustainable place. We work with schools, businesses, community organizations, and individuals in 19 counties year-round. We can’t do it without you. If you believe, as we do, in living, working, and teaching sustainability, please make a tax-deductible donation today. If you prefer to donate by personal check, please make payable to Bluegrass Greensource and mail to (or stop by in person!):
835 National Avenue
Lexington, KY 40502
What’s in the Gift Basket?
- From Centered, a 2 class card, a 15 minute sauna session, a 15 minute chair massage, and a 60 minute massage with KK Jauco
- From Lucia’s World Emporium, a $20 gift certificate
- From Latitude, a piece by a local artist
- From Dry Art Blow Dry Bar & Salon, a gift certificate for a Styling Lab – a 2-hour styling party for you and at least 8 friends
- From Designs Unlimited, a Debbie Brooks UK cell phone cover
Complete the form to make your resolutions official and be entered to win our gift basket of National Avenue goodies! We will be accepting entries through January 15, 2015.