This year, I’m focusing my resolutions on how I can continue to act in the face of climate change. Greta Thunberg once said, “No one is too small to make a difference,” yet, it can be difficult to know how to make an impact amongst such a daunting issue. Thankfully, The Alliance Center has many resources and a supportive mission-driven community that empower individuals, including myself, to take climate action.
Resolution #1: Switch My Bank
I’ve banked with the same big-name bank since I was 14 and never batted an eye at the thought. The fossil fuel divestment movement has increased over the last few years, but only recently did I realize my personal bank account was a contributor to the climate crisis.
Fossil fuel divestment encourages people to remove investments from large institutions and organizations that support the fossil fuel industry. The mentality is that if large amounts of people move money from establishments such as banks, universities and retirement funds who support this industry, collectively we can decrease carbon emissions and reduce fossil fuel usage. The alternative is investing assets in values-aligned institutions who support more sustainable practices.
Switching banks has been on my mind. After hearing Greta Thunberg and Thomas Lopez at the Denver Climate March encourage divesting and seeing The Alliance Center better align its finances with its values, I know it’s now my turn to move my account to Amalgamated, one of the Alliance’s amazing tenants.
Resolution #2: Ongoing Battle with Plastic
China stopped recycling the majority of the world’s plastics in 2018, which has resulted in much of it going to landfills, storage and incinerators. Even though plastic is deeply engrained into our daily lives, it’s more important than ever to reduce our reliance on this material.
With the new year I’m continuing my plastic reduction efforts by taking it one item at a time. My plan is to replace a single plastic item in my life each month with a more sustainable option such as bamboo floss, biodegradable hairbands and shampoo bars. The Alliance Center has several amazing Best for Colorado businesses including EarthHero, Simple Switch and JOYFILL who make finding and purchasing sustainable alternatives simple and easy!
Resolution #3: Explore More Sustainable Food Options
My goal is not to commit to one particular diet. Instead I’ll incorporate various sustainable eating habits that fit within my lifestyle. I signed up for GroundworkDenver’s CSA because, conveniently, The Alliance Center serves as a drop-off location for tenants. Additionally, I’ll supplement this with regular trips to farmers markets this summer and fall so I can support local growers and food systems while reducing my food’s environmental impact.
Additionally, since meat and dairy production accounts for 14.5 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, I’ll spend 2020 working on reducing this in my diet. There are many vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians, flexitarians and eco-vores at The Alliance Center. Being surrounded by such a community makes it significantly easier to reduce the amount of meat in my diet since cooking suggestions, ideas and encouragement are constantly circulating throughout the building.
While New Year’s resolutions tend to be short lived, sustainability is an ongoing journey we all can take part in throughout 2020 and beyond. According to the UN International Panel on Climate Change, we have 10 years to cut global emissions in half to prevent 2° Celsius temperature increase. While no one person can accomplish this, collectively we can. Thankfully, The Alliance Center is here to support you on your endeavors. Whether it’s through their sustainability network, tenants, nonprofit or events, this organization has a variety of resources available to ensure you have all of the tools and support you need to take climate action. I’m maximizing my environmental impact in 2020 by taking advantage of what The Alliance Center offers. How can you the Alliance mobilize you in your sustainability resolutions this year?