Today's New Year's resolution inspiration comes from Sustainable Newton Vice President Theodosia Wade. Our board members are sharing personal commitments in hopes of giving our followers ideas for meaningful, but realistic actions you might take in your own life.
By Theodosia Wade, Sustainable Newton Vice President
I have never been one to make New Year’s Resolutions -- I just never wanted to set myself up for failure! However, I often think about ways I want to change for the better as the yew year arrives, and others around me are making their own resolutions. So, maybe those “thoughts” are my New Year’s resolutions. Lately I have been thinking it is time to offset my carbon footprint in a tangible way.
My husband Billy and I had a wonderful trip to Italy this fall, but I have been concerned about the carbon footprint created by our flight. Jets have a huge environmental impact. So, do we just stop flying like Greta Thunberg? I am not so sure I'm ready to make that commitment.
The Yale Climate Connections website has a great article for choosing between flying or driving when traveling. But, driving to Italy was not an option. I might be willing to fly less often, but I am not ready to go cold turkey! So what to do???
A friend recently told me about Cool Effect, a non-profit platform allowing folks to offset their carbon footprint by donating to various carbon-sequestering projects. I was thrilled to see the Frances Beidler Forest and Audubon Bird Sanctuary outside of Orangeburg, SC on their list of projects. This particular site has been on my list to visit for years. We pass it driving to visit our son’s family in Charleston and always seem to be in too much of a hurry to stop. Next time I’m stopping for a long overdue hike!
Our air travel to/from Italy generated five tons of CO2 for Billy and me. So I was able to offset that amount by donating $49.45 on the Cool Effect website to help maintain the bird sanctuary. There are many great projects to choose from -- from Native American methane capture in Colorado, to wind turbines in Costa Rica, and many more here in the US and around the globe. But, I was happy to choose someplace close to home that I can soon visit.
With Christmas now past, I will also look into carbon offsets for all the packages delivered to my door during the holidays. That would be a great New Year’s Resolution!