Go Green in 2023!
by Natalie Bencivenga
January 16, 2023
Well, you made it. You survived – and I hope thrived! – in 2022. And now that we are moving into the New Year, it only seems fitting that resolutions are on the top of everyone’s mind. But I’m not a fan of those. In fact, did you know most people break their resolution within the first three weeks, leading them down the road to depression and embarrassment? Why do we that to ourselves? Instead, I believe small, incremental changes in our habits over time are more sustainable, provide space for growth and nurture flexibility.
And what better way then to create new habits that not only benefit you – but our Earth – as well?
Check out some tips to go green this year and see how being more eco-friendly can positively impact your health, your wallet and your planet.
Consider an electric vehicle: Looking to buy or lease a car this year? The government has made it a lot easier to look at electric cars as an actual option. In the past, it’s been Tesla and not much else. There weren’t many charging stations, but that is all changing. In fact, no matter what kind of car, truck or SUV you are looking at, nearly every automaker is thinking (and building) electric. Tax credits apply to certain models, are income adjusted and work during certain times of the year. You have to buy American-made cars, as well. The credits are up to $7,500 depending on the vehicle and phase out above $150,000 for single filers and $300,000 for joint filers. The good news, though, is that this is just the beginning. Get curious, get invested in green energy and save some cash in the process. What a great way to start the year!
Eat more plants: As the resident vegan at The Green Voice, I make it my job – literally – to write about the benefits of a plant-based diet. Eating more plants reduces your chance of stroke, cancer, can help manage diabetes, promotes a healthy weight, reduces stress, improves sleep – and sex! – and gets that skin to glow. Now, on a collective level, if you go plant-based for just one day a week, you save 133 gallons of water every time, reduces your carbon footprint by eight pounds – and if you commit to one day free of animal products for the whole year – you save the same amount of emissions as driving 348 miles in a car. Eating plants is easier on the wallet, too! It’s a no-brainer. Also, plants can help cognitive function, so actually it’s a yes-brainer.
Shop secondhand: This column primarily started as a fashion blog focused on sustainable duds, and I have no doubt that one of the biggest trends in fashion for 2023 will continue to be shopping secondhand. Thrift shopping, vintage shopping, renting clothes, upcycling clothes – all of these things will continue to inspire the fashionistas, the high-end designers and street fashion because eco-friendly is oh-so-chic. Check out ways to be more sustainable with your beauty products, as well!
Vote for change: The individual is expected to carry the burdens of society on their shoulders which isn’t fair or realistic. In fact, if we want to see true systemic change in our neighborhoods and around the world, we have to vote for people who believe in a Green New Deal. We have to end fracking. We have to punish corporations who pollute our water and sky. Tax the rich – I’m talking about the really rich. We have to hold the billionaire class accountable and we have to do it now. Research social policies that improve the lives of the many, not just the few. Climate change is here, but it won’t impact everyone equally. Low-income communities and those with limited resources are going to feel the effects first and hardest. If we want to see health problems across the board including childhood asthma and strange cancers decline, we have to take collective action now.
We have the power to make a better, more equitable, cleaner world. We just have to believe in ourselves, in each other, stand together against injustice and use our dollars to push for change. Don’t let anyone tell you your voice and vote aren’t important. A new beginning starts with a single step. Let’s walk together.