New Years Resolutions for a Green 2022:

Big changes are made up of little actions and achieving our regional targets around reducing waste, water and energy use are only possible if everybody does their part. Whether your resolution is to eat better, get more exercise, declutter, learn something new or save money – there are simple ways to accomplish these goals while also reducing our impact on the environment.

Here are some simple ways to meet your goals and reduce your environmental impact in 2022:

  1. Rediscover the value of food: Save money and reduce food waste by making a meal plan, shopping in your fridge and pantry first (to avoid buying doubles) and buying only what you know you’ll use. Bonus tip: meal planning can also help reduce those impulse purchases!
  2. Reduce, reuse, then recycle: Reduce the use of single-use items — carry a reusable mug or water bottle, reusable bags, pack a lunch in reusable containers, etc. If you have an item you no longer want, see if it can be donated or reused. If it’s broken, see if it can be repaired before recycling it or throwing it out.
  3. Test your recycling knowledge: Find out if you’re recycling all that you can with our waste sorting game Ready, Set, Sort!, also available on the free RecycleCRD app. Once you know what goes where, it’ll be much easier to keep your house clutter-free! Common household items like batteries, lightbulbs, paint, plastic bags and other flexible plastic packaging (e.g. chip bags and crinkly wrappers) can be dropped off free of charge at many locations, including the Hartland Depot. Find a drop-off near you at www.myrecyclopedia.ca.
  4. Go paperless: Forgo the printed copy of your recycling schedule this year without missing collection day by signing up for recycling reminders or downloading the free RecycleCRD app.
  5. Switch to LED bulbs: Reduce how much energy you use by making the switch to LED lightbulbs. LEDs use 75% less energy than a regular incandescent bulb, save you money on your electricity bill, and they also last much longer. Once you’ve made the switch, don’t forget to recycle the old bulbs!
  6. Take out a Climate Action To-Go Kit from your local library: These free kits contain tools and activities to help you take action on climate change at home, like discovering air leaks or measuring how much electricity your appliances use. Peek inside the kit with this unboxing video from the Greater Victoria Public Library.
  7. Ditch the car one day a week: Driving gas vehicles is our region’s greatest source of carbon pollution. Choosing to walk, bike or take transit to your destination is beneficial for your health, and helps fight climate change.
  8. Save water at home: By striving for 5 minute showers, checking your toilets for leaks once per year and only running full loads in the dishwasher and washing machine, you can help save water at home. Reducing water waste not only helps conserve our region’s water supply, it’ll also save you money.
  9. Clean green: Many household cleaners are hard on the environment and when they go down the drain they can end up in the ocean or in groundwater. This year, why not learn to make your own cleaning products? Find recipes for environmentally-safe and inexpensive alternatives in the Clean Green Cookbook.
  10. Manage rainwater and runoff: Help reduce pollution and impacts from flooding by reducing the amount of rainwater flowing from your property into storm drains. Consider installing a properly designed rain barrel or rain garden or replacing impervious surfaces on your property with more pervious ones (e.g. grass, gravel).
  11. Support biodiversity in your backyard: Supporting biodiversity benefits us all and you can help by planting native plants in your yard, or on your balcony, keeping a fresh source of water outside (e.g. dish, bird bath) and leaving brush piles, sticks, and leaves in your garden to create wildlife shelter.
  12. Join a stewardship group: Help clean, protect and enhance local natural areas by volunteering with a stewardship group in your community to remove invasive species, plant native plants or do a beach cleanup.

Making a difference is just that easy — pick a resolution or two and let’s get started!