Environment: Thirteen Resolutions for a Greener Future in 2013

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Is gardening in the cards for 2013? Photo: -0- / CC by 2.0

2012 was a year of drought, hurricanes, and of warnings of rapidly-melting polar icecaps.

Could thirteen be a lucky number this coming year?

As we move into 2013, what actions can you take to make a positive environmental impact and help to shift our planet from ecological crisis to a restorative future?

Environment and Consumption: Think Before You Buy

Think about the impact of the things that you consume in 2013. Whenever possible, rethink your purchases. Support reuse by shopping secondhand or swapping hand-me-downs with friends.

Support local businesses and farmers who do not need to ship their products long distances so you can buy them.

Green Your Trash Can: Treat Waste as a Resource

Throwing things “away” is so 2012. In 2013, think of waste as a resource. Your vegetable scraps can feed your garden. Your secondhand clothes can go to the thrift store. How can you become free of waste this coming year?

Happier Planet: Protect Your Pollinators

From hummingbirds to bumblebees, pollinators are not happy with the environment, yet they enable our food to grow. Of the 100 crops that we rely on the most, bees pollinate more than 70 percent. Be kind to your pollinators. Grow plants that bees love, and be kind to your pollinators by using organic methods to control garden pests instead of harsh pesticides.

Conservation: Manage Water

Water is the key to life, but as the environment shifts, some places have found that they have far too much, while other places suffer from a drought. Look at your own water use and determine how you can become conservation-minded in your home and save water outside it, if drought is a concern. Work in your community to restore wetlands and rivers that keep water in the environment longer, and plan for flood control.

Wildlife Corridors: Grow and Protect Animal Pathways

Even in urban areas, animals need a place to move, and with a shifting climate this need is even more urgent, since the ranges of animals may shift as well. Work to protect wildlife corridors in sensitive ecological areas, and welcome smaller wildlife to urban parks and gardens by growing native plants that local animals rely on.

Urban Redesign: Foster Diversity Within Cities

From growing food in urban areas, to restoring local wetlands, to providing urban green spaces so that people can learn from their ecosystems, urban redesign is where it’s at in 2013. Start a community tool-sharing network, carpool, and reshape your urban landscape this year.

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