Traditionally, the 12 Days of Christmas fall between December 25th and January 5th – a time of the season for celebration, hope and inspiration. The Old Farmer’s Almanac put a new twist on tradition with 12 Days of Kindness, and we are taking it a step further… Why not celebrate 12 Days of Kindness to the Earth? A little bit of gift giving, a little bit of lifestyle changing… so pick any day to start, and remember, those twelve days can extend right into the New Year. Let it be joyful!
Day One: The Gift of Belonging
Gift a membership to your local land trust, advocacy or conservation group. Getting to know Nature first hand has proven benefits; and you can be as involved as you like. They all offer wonderful education and volunteering opportunities for the whole family. Here are links to some local favorites:
Aspetuck Land Trust Connecticut Audubon
Earthplace Mill River Wetland Committee
Day Two: Plant a tree
According to Earthday.org , we lost 29 million acres of trees in 2019 alone. The non profit is working with the Canopy Project to reforest some of the most devastated areas. Trees for the Future creates forest gardens, teaching people to grow their own food -fighting climate change and poverty simultaneously. More locally, Fairfield Forestry’s tree planting program should ramp up again in 2021. Contact Forestry@FairfieldCT.org
Day Three: Shop Old School
Everything old is new again. With the clothing industry contributing so much to the planet’s degradation, why not purchase something with flair and history from local thrift or consignment shops? Check the internet… AOC and other celebs are all over this. Remember the 4 R’s of Conservation: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot (that last one we’ll discuss elsewhere).
Day Four: Eat a Meatless Dinner
Animal agriculture is taking a toll on the planet. Even one day a week of going meatless can make a difference. Check out Sustainable Fairfield’s guide to Vegan Roasts and other delights here. If you do eat Seafood, you can download this app from Monterey Bay Aquarium to let you know which are sustainably caught.
Day Five: Feed the Birds
Whether it be breadcrumbs from the kitchen or seed from the store, these tiny creatures are in need of sustenance during these cold winter days. In supporting local habitats, we support biodiversity- key to a healthy planet.
Day Six: Shop Local
Sustainable Connections notes that residents of neighborhoods with more local businesses log 26 percent less automobile miles. Supporting local farms, farmer’s markets, CSA’s and business can help your community. Fairfield Chamber of Commerce’s Love Local gift card is a nice way to love thy neighbor.
Day Seven: Get Efficient
Want to save money and energy? For a limited time, Home Energy Solutions from Energize CT is offering energy audits at no cost for eligible customers. A virtual visit will get you advice from a technician on reducing your energy consumption. Incentives, rebates and savings.
Day Eight: Plant a seed.
Start planning your rain garen or pollinator garden now. Buy organic at your local garden supply store or through Hudson Valley Seed Company, which also has this neat self-watering ceramic seed starter. Come Spring, you can join the Pollinator Pathway and become part of the Aspetuck Land Trust’s amazing Green Corridor!
Day Nine: Shed Some Plastic
No, not credit cards, although that might be a good thing too. We mean keep plastic containers out of the waste stream. It seems daunting at first but try starting with just one room, like the kitchen. We like bulk foods and cleaning products available in sustainable packaging at BD Provisions in Brick Walk. Let’s make 2021 the Zero Waste Year.
Day Ten: Start Composting
Remember the fourth R? One third of our waste is organic, and diverting it before it gets to landfill is key to reducing Methane emissions that contribute to climate change. CT DEEP has lots of info and videos to get you started. The upside is great nutrients for your garden or lawn with no need for synthetic fertilizers. If you can’t have a backyard compost pile, companies like Curbside Compost and Action Waste Solutions are there to do the dirty work.
Day Eleven: New Year-New Car?
Make it electric! CT is getting its electric on, starting with the EV Roadmap, so keep up. Check out our showroom of all the available Electric Vehicles on the Green Wheels Expo site: lots of beauty shots of the cars, and stats. A nice way to plan forward for the coming years!
Day 12: Watch a Movie
Need a New Year’s resolution? These two unmissable films will inspire you to get active for the planet:
David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet (Netflix) is a gripping story and incredible visual memoir, with dire warnings, but not without hope.
I Am Greta (Hulu, Prime) follows Greta Thunberg from her days lone demonstrator in front of the Swedish Parliament to the world stage, inspiring millions to rush to the aid of our “house on fire.”
Happy Holidays! Make them last through the whole year.