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Four resolutions to create a healthier environment
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Four resolutions to create a healthier environment

Many people think of resolutions for the new year. They brainstorm ways to improve their lives for the next year. What if we extended those resolutions to include resolutions that are beneficial to our communities, society, or the planet?

Although it might not be the most common approach, it can help you to see other ways you can be of service to others.

These are four top resolutions that will improve your relationship with the natural world in 2022 and beyond.

Take more care to consider how your actions may impact the environment

Each of us has an environmental ethic that reflects how we value, manage, and ultimately relate with nature. This relationship can be improved by balancing the reciprocity between us, nature, and how much we give and take. Our addiction to single-use plastics that end up in landfills, or our dependence on fossil fuels that heat the planet, a poor relationship with nature isn’t doing either of us or the Earth any favors.

We can all take greater responsibility for how we contribute to environmental problems in 2022. We can also encourage businesses and governments to make it easier for people of different socioeconomic backgrounds to protect our environment. This includes making recycled goods more affordable and making public transportation reliable and accessible.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has many resources that will help you reduce waste at work, home, in your community, and during holidays. The website offers tips such as turning off or unplugging lights throughout the day, reusing packaging material, and using online billing instead of paper mail.

You can also lose the burden of social injustice that harms nature.

Social injustice can have a negative impact on many aspects of society. Inequality and racism can lead to health disparities and have negative effects on the natural environment.

Recent research has shown that redlining and residential segregation lead to inequal access to nature, excessive pollution, and biodiversity loss. These practices resulted in the creation of highways, industries, and other activities that can harm environmental quality in marginalized areas. They also made it harder for people to find parks and trees that provide cooling during summer and are beneficial for the planet.

Perpetuating social ills, such as systemic racism and inequitable allocation of resources, is detrimental to the environment and marginalized people as well as society.

You can help turn this around by speaking out in your local community. Join groups that work to protect the environment and promote social justice. Call your elected officials in your state, city, and congressional offices to demand that they take action.

For concrete ways to make diversity initiatives work in your workplace, see the Green 2.0 report.

Learn about nature and how you can reduce harm to the environment.

Although clean air, water, and soil are essential for our survival, research shows that many people lack basic environmental literacy and health literacy to protect themselves.

Learn more about your environmental impact in 2022. Learn more and begin to explore ways to preserve the integrity your area’s natural resources. Find out how you can keep up to date with local land-use decisions that affect the environment and your community.

Local educators can be supported and encouraged to incorporate the environment into their lessons. There are many subjects that relate to environmental issues, such as history and health. This website contains a framework and materials to assist educators in helping students increase their environmental literacy.

Staying connected with media that discuss current research can help increase awareness. You can also tie environmental facts and knowledge to your team-building events and game nights.

Spend more time outdoors with your family and friends

Studies have shown that spending time outdoors, including in urban green spaces can improve your relationship to nature and with others.

Social cohesion can be increased by spending time in nature. Many people found the outdoors a way to relax and reduce stress during the pandemic. Spending more time outdoors can promote social interactions that can benefit health, buffer emotional distress, and encourage the use of these spaces. This can help to protect them for the future.

These tools outline best practices for improving parks and recreation in your area. Here are some ways to make outdoor spaces more inclusive for diverse families.

Collectively, we can be better stewards for the planet by thinking about our relationship to nature and finding ways that we can protect it.

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