Any time a new year starts we all begin thinking about what we can do differently. It’s how the tradition of setting New Year’s resolutions came about.
While most are personal and about how we can improve ourselves, maybe this year, instead of looking inward, we look outward. Rather than resolving to hit the gym more often, meet that special someone, or find the perfect job you could decide to put your attention elsewhere, like the environment.
Not all environmental resolutions have to be big, or hard. Small changes have a great impact over time, so how about considering a few tweaks that could end up helping everyone this year?
Start with your gas tank
Every gallon of gasoline used creates about 8,887 grams of carbon dioxide. Thinking about how many gallons of gas your car holds, and how many times you fill up in even a single month, your car puts a lot of harmful waste into the air.
Creating a New Year’s resolution to cut back on this CO2 contribution to our air is easier than you think. You don’t necessarily have to drive less, but rather can offset the gas you do use in other ways.
For example, where you fill up can help you make a difference thanks to programs like Circle K Conserve. Filling up at a participating Circle K Conserve location near you means you’re automatically offsetting your tank’s emissions by up to 30 percent. Circle K does this by investing in certified carbon reduction projects. We also partner with nonprofits in your own community on additional conservation projects such as:
- Removing trash and restoring local trails in Syracuse, NY at Burnet Park.
- Cleaning up EarthHeart Park in Apache Junction, AZ.
- Planting almost 90 trees to date in Tucson, AZ communities.
- Restoring acres of forest burned by the Elephant Butte Fire in Evergreen, CO.
These projects work in conjunction with the offsetting initiatives of Circle K Conserve, enabling people to put even more effort into building a better world, and giving you plenty of outlets for your own resolutions.
How you drive matters too
Filling up with environmentally-conscious gas is a great way to meet a resolution that helps others, but using less gas can also tie in to your efforts. To do this, without having to make major changes to your day-to-day routine, consider:
- Turning off your car each time you wait for a curbside delivery.
- Planning efficient routes when running a lot of errands, so you don’t double-back.
- Parking and going inside stores rather than waiting in the car.
Each of these little adjustments can help your car use less gasoline.
Modify how you toss your trash
After considering how to let your car help you meet environmental resolutions, the next step is looking inside your own home. The best place to make some changes in the new year is your garbage can.
Even though many of us already recycle as much trash as possible, there are limitations to what our home towns can handle. Throwing out trash in your recycling bin that can’t get recycled can mean spoiling your whole bag, so it all goes to waste. Following your local recycle rules helps ensure that what you do put into the bin gets processed properly.
It’s also beneficial to look at different options of disposing of your garbage. Maybe this year’s resolution to look into composting finally happens, and you begin recycling food waste into usable materials in your own backyard.
Put something green into the ground
Venturing outdoors provides you with another golden opportunity for a resolution that helps the planet. All you need to do is think green. From planning trees to starting your own vegetable garden, each activity that gets more plants into the ground has benefits.
Trees, once they grow, provide shade and make our outdoor spaces more comfortable. Trees also sequester carbon dioxide and never let it go. One mature tree can absorb around 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year. This, on top of offsetting your emissions, is really making an effort to reduce the impact of CO2 in our atmosphere.
Gardening is another great resolution. Doing more of it means more plants, and more opportunity to eat locally. Growing your favorite herbs, fruits, or vegetables means one less trip to the store and fewer pre-packaged items in your cart. You’re making less waste and using less gas all at once.
A new outlook for the new year
We all like making resolutions because when we meet them, we know we’re bettering ourselves. Doing good for the environment is also doing good for you. It’s the little things, even when it comes to our cars, trash, and backyard, that can help us achieve goals that contribute to big impacts. How will you help the environment in 2022?