Monday, May 5, 2014
Two green goals
Green Resolution: Two Green Goals
By April Stearns
Eco-friendly habits can be hard to maintain on a regular basis, so choosing attainable green resolutions will help to ensure they are achieved.
Ever since entering college, I have been slowly progressing toward making eco-friendly habits part of my everyday routine. Now, in my final year of undergrad, one of my main focuses in the midst of my busy schedule is to work on being as healthy as possible — and staying that way. Luckily, making both healthy and eco-friendly habits tends to go hand in hand. Walking more, driving less and eating as little meat as possible are habits I have been working on for the past few years and want take a step further this year.
As long as I own a car, it is much easier to make the decision to drive places instead of walk. This is especially true if time is limited. However, taking the time to walk can be extremely rewarding for two important reasons: it is healthier for both the mind and body and it prevents more carbon from being emitted into the environment.
Choosing to take a 10-minute walk to the grocery store instead of a two-minute drive will not make much of a difference for one day, but if I make a daily habit of it I can make my own small difference in the environment. This is why one of my goals for the year is to make time in my schedule to walk whenever and wherever I can, and only drive if it is too far to walk to in a reasonable amount of time. At other times, taking the city bus would be a good option, too.
I have been working on my other goal, which is eating as little meat as possible, for about four years now. I originally started eating less meat when I learned about the corruptions in the industry, such as the cruel farming practices against animals. It was not until recently that I discovered sticking to a vegetarian or vegan diet is very good for the environment as well. The production of animal protein uses vast amounts of natural resources such as water and fossil fuel while polluting water and air. As meat-free diets are becoming more popular, a scaled-back meat industry could make a noticeable improvement for our environment.
Over the past years I have stuck to a completely vegetarian diet for a few months at a time, and other times I have completely ignored this habit and went back to eating regular amounts of meat. Although I am not prepared to completely give up meat for good, I am setting a goal for myself for 2014 to eating any type of meat in a meal only once a week. By starting this habit, I could eventually reach my goal of becoming a vegetarian and make my own small impact on the environment.
Eco-friendly habits can be hard to maintain on a regular basis with a busy or stressful schedule, but with the right determination I believe I can easily keep up with my 2014 goals.
About the author
April Stearns is a writer based in Santa Cruz, CA