Make a Resolution for Our Common Home

It’s that time of the year when we make resolutions to change various aspects of our lives for personal betterment. Many of us resolve to better our health through more exercise and better eating and perhaps to do more charitable work. You’ll find no argument here with any of those resolutions. But I would also like to encourage you to make a resolution or three for climate action.

Many might say that only big changes on the national or international level will save us from climate change. But I would counter that you can either be part of the problem or part of the solution and that the solution needs to start with each of us. We can’t just sit back and wait for others to save our precious planet; we need to start with personal acts that lower our carbon footprints while simultaneously advocating for change at the larger level. In that vein, I’d like to offer some possible resolutions for our common home (planet earth).

I resolve to…

  1. stop (or at least reduce the frequency of) driving to work in a single occupancy gas-powered vehicle. I will take the bus or train, carpool, telecommute, drive an electric vehicle, walk, run, or bike to work. (These latter choices count as double credit with the exercise resolution.)
  2. drastically reduce my usage of single-use items, especially single-use plastics. In service of this resolution, I will regularly employ a reusable coffee mug and/or water bottle and eat with washable utensils instead of using disposable ones.
  3. turn down the thermostat at home during the winter. 
  4. refuse to use pesticides and other harsh chemicals in my home and yard.
  5. start eating vegetarian (no meat) or vegan (no meat, dairy or eggs) at least one day a week. (This serves as double credit with the eat better resolution.)
  6. write, call, or email my political leaders to let them know I want climate action now. Quoting Pope Francis from Laudato Si, “public pressure has to be exerted in order to bring about decisive political action.”

Other ideas for resolutions can be found at

And make your commitments real by pledging your resolutions at

And why not contact your elected representatives while you are at!

Working together, we can help take care of our common home.

Paul Litwin

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