resolutions for our blue planetYears begin and end, but some things stay constant in life, like the presence of our Great Lakes and oceans, gifting us with immeasurable riches: the seafood we eat, the air we breathe, and the special wild places that call to us. Your favorite waterside spot might be the corner of a busy urban pier or the endless stretch of windswept dunes along Lake Michigan, and together we can choose sustainable actions that celebrate and protect those places. Now is an ideal time to think about how we can make 2013 a greener year for our blue planet.

Create solutions. We know the environmental challenges facing our world: we have the tools to solve them. Take plastics in our waterways: recycling plastics properly helps, but we can do more.

Get creative: there are plenty of solutions to cut back on the world’s plastic problem. How many disposable items can you replace with longer-lasting choices? Where can you think of ways to reduce plastic at home, at work, or in your community? Together, we can save energy, reduce our waste stream, and keep the world’s waters a little cleaner for the animals who live in them—and for all of us who depend on them.

Go green. “Green List” seafood that is. Eating fish is good for us, and eating sustainable seafood is good for our planet. By choosing fish that are caught or farmed in environmentally responsible ways, we can help ensure that our oceans and lakes remain bountiful for generations to come. Get started with a Right Bite wallet guide, and throw a delicious, ocean-friendly potluck with your friends.

Power up. Green power solutions are good for our waters—and good for your wallet, too. If you own a house, take a home energy audit to find ways to heat, cool, and light your home more efficiently. Whether you rent or own, it may be possible to replace appliances with more efficient models when the old ones need replacing. Maybe your building or block could work together to secure a community grant for LED streetlights.

Together, we all can do a lot to make 2013 a green year for our blue planet. What green resolutions will you make?

—Posted by Meg Matthews, Daniel P. Haerther Center for Conservation and Research