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By Mala Rajamani:
As I disentangle from the anticipations, the optimism and the ‘joie de vivre’ of the holiday season, and peer into the year to come, I ponder my resolutions for 2019.
Silly you say? After all a day is any day is any other day isn’t it?
But then…. what’s life without marker moments, to kick start personal changes?
And maybe, just maybe, make a little positive difference.
The issues of climate change loom front and center: the tangible changes where I live, the catastrophic changes in other places. So, I thought to myself, how about resolutions with a eco-friendly twist?
So I dusted off my list and revised:
- Healthy eating: I will stop eating red meat and if that’s too much maybe bring down to eating it once every week. Good for my heart and my mite of contribution to reducing cattle carbon pollution.
- Exercise more: I will walk or bike to anywhere within two miles. Burn calories, improve muscle tone. Reduce carbon footprint.
- Engage in community: Get my friends together in a solar panel project in the neighborhood. Start with the couple down the street I know to be interested and go from there. Volunteer at a community garden project.
- Reduce my carbon footprint: I will recycle more rigorously. Start a compost bin. Grow more plants in my yard. Not use plastic bags. Find reusable options. Stop using mindless amounts of napkins, and cutlery at restaurants. Avoid using paper towels. Carpool to work. Lobby with local restaurants and cafes to stop using plastic. Bring reusable bags to the grocery.
- General: I will not buy too much, own too much, want too much… whatever that means. No idea how this one is going to work, but I am going to work on that with intention.
And while all this will elevate me to angelic, sanctimonious sainthood status, I should save myself the illusion of its value in reversing the planet’s precipitating climate crises. I am only one, after all. This is not to say that I should not do this. Changing our behaviors as consumers is necessary — a minimum prerequisite.
But real, substantive change is going to come from bigger policy changes. Our jobs as citizens just got more serious. There is the thicket of counter purposes, fossil fuel lobbyists, climate deniers and all around silliness to cut through.
So, one more:
- Engaging in a climate lobby organization. Keeping our legislators’ feet to the fire is what it’s going to take to make a significant difference.
So this year, I resolve to get engaged in the climate conversation, learn all I can, join a climate lobby and push every legislator in every way I can to make climate policy changes.
I hope you will do the same.
Happy New Year!
Mala Rajamani is an information management specialist and a member of Hunter Mill District Democratic Committee