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Jan 05

My Sustainable New Year's Resolution

Posted on January 5, 2016 at 11:58 AM by Ryan Dicks

Every year I try and add one sustainable resolution to my permanent lifestyle.  In the past I have stopped eating corporate fast food (No to McDonalds, Frisko Freeze ok), stopped drinking soda and bottled water, stopped driving non-hybrid gas cars, and started buying local food through the Fresh Food Program at work. 

This year I have resolved to take on the toughest one for me personally, reducing my red meat intake.  I am not reducing red meat for personal health reasons alone.  I am reducing red meat because cows have a terrible effect on the environment and are one of the main drivers of Climate Change. If you want to understand this issue read the article or watch the video below.    

Giving up beef will reduce carbon footprint more than cars, says expert 

DID YOU KNOW?  The average American eats 3 hamburgers a week.

When it comes to Climate Change most folks talk about the need for more clean energy, clean electric cars and limiting the use of fossil fuels.  These are all critical steps to take but I believe that eating less red meat follows closely behind these recommendations.  Someday my kids will likely think of their father (hopefully) and the last thing I want them thinking is "Sure he drove an electric vehicle but he ate too many hamburgers and steaks."  

Q: What do you want your Legacy to be to Future Generations?

No I am not giving up all red meat.  I am just trying to dramatically reduce my intake to one serving a week or less.  I am also making an effort to eat grass fed beef because it is much better for the environment and typically more humane for the animal.   

I am not expecting anyone else to participate in this experiment.  Many of you are already way ahead of me on this dietary journey.  If you would like other ideas for your own sustainable journey here are some (non-diet related) ideas for 2016.

- Start using reusable shopping bags or reusable cups.
- Start using your ORCA card once a week or more.
- Join the Fresh Food Program that delivers to many PC facilities.
- Donate your old stuff to Goodwill or other local non-profits.
- Replace old lights with LED lights.
- Purchase a programmable thermostat for your house or apartment.
- Buy more stuff used on Craigslist or at local vintage retailers.
- When replacing vehicles or lawn equipment go electric.

Whatever your resolution is in 2016 I wish you good luck.  It helps to tell your friends, co-workers and family so they can help keep you honest.  I guess I just told thousands of people about my 2016 resolution, oh well. 

Have a great 2016.

Ryan Dicks

Pierce County Sustainability Manager