Radical resolutions for 2009

After a Christmas visit to my hometown of Washington, PA—a living illustration of what happens to a place when environmental concerns get completely ignored for generations—I’m in kind of a slash-and-burn mood. I haven’t decided on any New Year’s resolutions yet, but I’m more excited to think about big sweeping ideas than about small tweaks. How about…

1. No more plastic bottles. None. If it doesn’t come in glass, aluminum or cardboard, don’t buy it. This means learning to live without Odwalla, or perhaps writing numerous letters to Odwalla asking them to switch to glass bottles.

2. No chain stores and no online shopping. Nothing enters the house unless it’s sold by locally-owned stores, and locally-produced goods get first priority. Down with trucking!

3. Greener transportation. I can’t eliminate my long commute, but I could resolve to ride my bike once a week instead of driving. That’d be about 66 miles of pedaling. File this one under the "you can get used to anything" category.

4. Tough love for plants. No watering anybody—houseplants or garden—from the faucet, ever. All water must be collected from gutters or dishwashing.

5. Knowing thy land. If I made it a point to identify every bird and plant species on my property in 2009, I’d greet 2010 with a much richer understanding of where I live and how I can take care of it.

If you’re not feeling quite as ambitious (and I may not be either, when Thursday rolls around), here is a big list of smaller, but no less important, ideas.

What about you? Any green resolutions? Tell us your ideas; no res too small.

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