Friends of the Earth Guernsey

"Green" Resolutions for 2002 and beyond


1. One day each week, use the bus, bicycle or walk, instead of using the car to go to work.

This would result in a twenty-percent reduction in commuter traffic and parking demand. This would make more room on the roads, ease the pressure on parking and provide a meaningful cut in emissions which cause air pollution and global warming. One day a week is all it takes.

2. Eat more organic food and avoid genetically modified products.

Organic farming is safer for wildlife, less damaging to the countryside and produces food with no chemical residues. This is better for the environment and much healthier for us. Organic lines are now available for chocolate, ice cream, coffee, beer, wine - itís not a hard choice to make! Genetic modification of crops is an unnecessary gamble, with great uncertainty over its ecological and health impacts.


3. Buy local, rather than imported, food and products.

Much of the environmental impact of goods is caused by the huge distances traveled between producer and consumer. By buying locally, you cut the use of fuel, keep money and employment locally and strengthen the local economy. Best of all, grow your own. And of course, food is fresher.

4. Improve your energy efficiency.

Energy used in the home is responsible for approximately 50% of carbon dioxide emissions. Each time you change an appliance whether it is a lightbulb, a computer or a fridge, make sure the new one is more efficient than the old one. Have your insulation, heating system and controls checked out. Wasted energy is wasted money.

5. Remember to Reduce, Re-use and Recycle.

Wherever possible, choose recycled goods and avoid excessive packaging. Recycle more of your rubbish - remember kitchen scraps can be composted. Reusable shopping bags can save you countless plastic carriers. Before throwing anything away ask yourself if anyone else could use it. There are many charity shops who would love your old toys, clothes, furniture etc.

6. Choose more "ethical" products such as cruelty-free, organic, free-range, or fairly traded goods.

It is not necessary to give up your favourite things to be Green, just find a source that has good Green credentials. Every purchase we make shows how much or little concern we have for others. If we buy goods that depend on cheap labour, poor health, safety and environmental standards, or unfair trading practices, can we complain when we find ourselves poisoned, cheated or exploited? Be prepared to pay a little more for such goods, if necessary, because low prices are often maintained by taking short-cuts with the environment and people. Not everything cheap is a bargain.

7. Make your garden wildlife friendly.

Much natural habitat has been lost to development and chemical farming practices, and gardens are now an important wildlife refuge. Donít forget bird-boxes, log piles, and garden ponds are all excellent habitat for hundreds of native species. Donít be too tidy over winter - a pile of leaves in the corner could save the life of a hedgehog or a slow worm if left undisturbed. Garden organically - pesticides, herbicides and artificial fertilisers disrupt the whole cycle of life.

8. Take stock once in a while.

Ask yourself how much rubbish do you produce, how much energy do you use, how much water? Is it more or less than last year? Ask what really makes you happy - being surrounded by possessions or people; money in the bank or a wealth of friends?

9. Take time to enjoy the world.

We are all living beings with a limited time on this earth. Donít waste that time. You deserve to breathe clean air, eat wholesome food, drink pure untainted water. Stop to look at the beauty of nature. Take time to gaze at the night sky, walk through forests, sit by the sea and watch the waves. Swim with dolphins, climb mountains, write poems, fall in love, get drunk now and then, sing with your friends, share a good meal with your family, make a garden, paint pictures .... And finally:

10. Get very angry when anyone tries to take this away from you just to make more money.

FoE Guernsey

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