Monday, January 11, 2010

Greening Your New Year

While trying to decide on my first Eco-Logic article for 2010, I found it difficult to both re-cap the past year and impart lofty resolutions for this year in 1000 words or less. The Green revolution is exploding, which is so exciting and hopeful, this past year having so many "green" firsts for Chestnut Hill (See Amy's GRINCH year in review), yet simultaneously we are at the epicenter of a political, economic and environmental perfect storm. I felt that giving advice such as changing out your regular light bulbs with cfl's just didn't cut it. Although my article is about taking baby steps towards a greener lifestyle, I can't help but think that bigger measures are needed now. Perhaps it's time to bang our drum louder and with more enthusiasm. The following list is about community more than recycling or conscientious consumerism. Community is what will pull us through the coming decade, hopefully into a more environmentally aware green economy. So this is a reprint of the top 10 things to green your new year from my article in the Chestnut Hill Local....

1. Walk more. It’s free, great for your health and while you’re out you can shop and support the local economy.

2. Change from your big, national bank to a small independent bank, Valley Green Bank for example. Let’s put our money where our mouths are and get rid of some of the banks here. See this link on how to “Move Your Money”

3. Host or attend a local food potluck. “One of the best ways to learn what foods are in season and how to prepare them is to invite others to teach you.”

4. Get out in nature more. The University of Rochester in NY has found that nature actually makes us nicer. Other benefits include more rapid healing, stress reduction and improved mental performance and vitality. Join the Andorra Tree House, for one of their guided walks, or the Schuylkill Center by attending their ongoing nature classes and events.

5. Learn how to garden. Look for free classes in the Spring at Laurel Hill Gardens on planting, composting etc. Plant some herbs in a window or fruit trees in your yard.

6. Buy or fix up a bike and start riding. You can walk to Wissahickon Cyclery! Google “Philadelphia bicycle map” to help you find safe bike routes.

7. Meet a new neighbor. Increasing our connectivity to one another improves our social capital, making our community closer and stronger. If you’re a parent and new to the area check out for meet-up groups.

8. Take public transportation more. “Public transportation produces on average 95% less carbon monoxide, 90% less volatile organic compounds, and about 45% less carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide per passenger mile than if people were to travel by private auto.”-Transit Riders for Public Transportation.

9. Attend at least one CHCA meeting. Nothing changes unless we get involved to make change happen.

10. Think and re-think. How can you do what you do greener? For easy step by step help, check out

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