New Year’s Resolution: Climate Change Edition

Cover image

The Town of Watertown hopes you had a restful and safe holiday! With the busy holiday season behind us, we are left with the challenge of New Year resolutions. 2021 is the year to consider widening the scope of resolutions to issues beyond just ourselves – thinking of ways our actions can help support a resilient community for all. 

Why not strive to really make an impact with a resolution or two to act on climate change? Even small changes to your everyday life can create a big impact, especially if you make switches. Here’s a little inspiration for making New Year’s resolutions that help you and the planet.

Opt In for Clean Energy: 

  • Sign up for Watertown Electricity Choice, a group electricity purchasing program from the Town for residents and businesses.   Watertown Electricity Choice provides more renewable energy in your electricity supply, stable prices, and protects you from fees.  This is one of the most affordable and accessible ways to reduce your household’s carbon footprint!   If you’re already enrolled, make sure your neighbors also know about this program.

Speak for the Trees: 

  • Before we know it, spring will be here! Watertown offers tree planting programs to support expanding our tree canopy so we can all enjoy the benefits they provide. The Town will plant a tree in your planting strip (between sidewalk and property line) for you to nurture and watch grow! Check out DPW’s best practices for taking care of trees and request one today.

Be Friendly to Bees:

  • Looking to spruce up your backyard this spring? Consider planting a pollinator garden. Gardens full of native plant species help attract and maintain the population of bees, butterflies, and other pollinator insects that keep our local ecosystem diverse and healthy. Here is a link to a list of plants that are recommended for Watertown.

Conserve and Re-use Rainwater:

  • Rain barrels are now available for reduced price at Department of Public Works! These 60-gallon barrels function as green infrastructure that capture rainwater from your roof and save it for when you need it. By keeping water of our sewer system, rain barrels can also prevent overflows and flooding. Use this free water to wash your car, clean tools, and water plants.  

Skip the Fad Diet:

  • Animal agriculture is a huge source of greenhouse gases, contributing as much emissions as any mode of transport on our planet. Eating less meat or even going plant-based (food that comes from plants and doesn’t include animal ingredients such as meat, milk, eggs, or honey) would take a big bite out of your personal carbon footprint. Does this sound a bit intimidating? Not to fear! Just start with one meal a day or one day a week and work your way up.

Read More Books:

  • Knowledge is power and the more you know about the change world around us, the better equipped you will be to act! Here is a link to some must reads on climate change.
Compost:
  • While food waste may not spring to mind as a large contributor to climate change, if food waste were a country, it would be the world’s third-largest emitter after the U.S. and China.  This is in large part due to the amount of methane food produces as it sits in the landfill. Pick up your compost bin at DPW!

Skip the Single Use Plastic:

  • Did you know that those convenient plastic grocery bags are only used for an average of 15-20 minutes? Sadly, they have a lifespan of 500–1,000 years in the landfill. Next time you head to the store, toss a reusable bag in your purse, backpack or car.  

Even small changes like these will make a difference because people all over the world are making changes too. But you may be surprised to know that the most powerful resolution you can make is to keep talking about climate change and the issues affecting our planet.