Rye Sustainability’s New Year’s Resolutions

It’s that time of year again when we face a new year with hope and determination to do better. This year, consider adding a few environmentally friendly resolutions to your New Year’s resolutions list. For some inspiration, Rye Sustainability members share below some of their own ideas and suggestions.

For more ideas and tips, see Local (Green) Leaders’ 2019 resolutions and RSC’s Tips for Homeowners.

Waste Not Want Not

A metal straw is reusable and looks pretty good too!

A metal straw is reusable and looks pretty good too!

  • Ditch the disposables. Go plastic free for the month of January. Continue your newly acquired, eco-friendly habit by cutting out one single-use, throwaway plastic from your daily life for the duration of 2019 and beyond. Whether it’s avoiding plastic straws, coffee cups, coffee pods, water bottles, plastic snack bags and/or grocery checkout bags, you can make a world of difference for this planet. For more ideas, see the Resources section of RSC’s Reusable Bag page.

  • Make your own fizz. Pass on store (plastic bottle) flavored waters and make them at home, just the way you like them.

  • Party less…

    • Consider “no gift” birthday parties and instead have guests bring books for donation to a local charity.

    • For kids parties, use recyclable goody bags with durable, lasting treats. Some ideas can be found here and here

  • Eat your leftovers! A lot of resources were used to get that food to your plate. Check the shelf-life and how best to store foods at Still Tasty. And almost any food item can be frozen. Visit the USDA page for freezing and food safety guidelines.

  • Paperless holiday cards. Next year, consider a digital holiday card. It dramatically reduces paper use (and it’s a lot less work)!

  • Remember those Three Rs ... Wash and reuse jars from food products and use them as storage containers. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is so satisfying once you get the hang of it.

  • Second time is a charm. Instead of buying new products every time you need something, consider acquiring gently used, pre-owned items instead. From consignments shops, hand-me-downs, pre-owned vehicles, and an array of products made from recycled and post-consumer material, there are many ways to reduce your carbon footprint when you’re out and about shopping.

Shop Smart

  • Reusable is best. When you bring your reusable bag into the grocery store, make sure you include reusable containers for bulk products and protein.

    • Instead of paper or plastic, use glass dishes/containers for fish, meat, cold cuts and cheeses, instead of paper or plastic. It’s an easy way to season or marinate food and then store. When it’s ready, just pop it into the oven.

    • Commit to not using the plastic produce bags at the grocery store.  Use washable mesh bags, paper bags or no bags.  

  • Buy local. Consider joining a CSA or supporting your local farmers’ market.

  • At the dry cleaners … use a green garment bag (one suggestion, here) and schedule a pickup to recycle your hangers curbside.

On the Go

  • Buy a new electric vehicle and save! New York State offers a number of rebates for EV purchases and incentives for EV owners.

  • Take the bus or the train. Next time you’re heading into Manhattan, take Metro North or whatever form of public transportation is available instead of battling those traffic jams and shelling out money for exorbitant parking fees.

  • Take the right turn. When doing your errands take a series of right hand turns to create the most efficient route.

  • Reusable is best (again). Keep reusable straws and utensils in the car for meals on the go. 

  • Borrow local. Rye Free Reading Room is a wonderful haven to sit and take a break to read a book or magazine.

  • Bike, when you can.

At Home

  • Save money by saving energy. Try these simple DIY energy saving projects and save some money in the process.

  • Try air-dry. Try to air dry more clothes this year, especially this winter to capture humidity. 

  • Cool water uses. Use a jug to capture cool water while you’re waiting for your tap to heat up. You can then use that water for house plants, cooking ... anything.

  • Reusable is best (again). Save and reuse your gift wrap paper and bows; open carefully (dramatic anticipation) and fold or roll to store it.

    • Store and reuse same boxes for gifts (some of the tops have wrapping paper on them or have holiday designs on them to look like wrapping paper).

  • Eat/Drink in. Reduce ordering delivery or take out to once a week (including coffee).

  • Cut the meat consumption. Eat less meat and substitute with nutritious, local, organically grown plants including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes.

In the Yard

  • Leaf blowers blow. Retire that smog producing, asthma causing leaf blower and instead mulch, rake or compost your leaves and grass clippings.

  • Rye Healthy Yards are best for all! Learn the why and how of a healthy yard here.

Consider taking the    Rye Healthy Yard Pledge    this year!

Consider taking the Rye Healthy Yard Pledge this year!