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Earth Friendly: A different type of New Year's resolution

By By Kate Garcia
Jan. 2, 2014 at midnight
Updated Jan. 1, 2014 at 7:02 p.m.


The new year means new things for everyone. For many, it mostly means making a resolution for the upcoming year that will last all of two seconds.

Last year, I made a kind of dual resolution - part of it was to actually stick to the resolution and the other half was for self-betterment.

I'm not sure everyone would agree that I succeeded in my effort, but hey, I gave it a better shot than Tony Romo has of winning a game in December.

Back to the point. Basically, the meaning of a resolution is to firmly decide to do or not do something. Of course, being a self-proclaimed "word nerd," I looked up an even better definition. (Don't laugh; I can hear you snickering.) The term resolution can also mean "the action of solving a problem, dispute or contentious matter."

Now, if you are like me, you generally see the best in things or situations and have a hard time coming up with a problem that needs to be fixed. I can help if you'll just bear with me.

In a nutshell, there is a certain air quality limit that cities all across the United States have to stay in compliance.

While Victoria is under the limit, we aren't too far off from meeting or exceeding it. Don't lose your cool, though.

We are not in immediate danger of big government coming in and imposing regulations. Our status and where we sit in relation to the limit is just something good to keep in the back of your mind.

We have three monitors either in or around Victoria, which constantly collect samples of air. If there were a major problem, we would certainly let you know.

If you've kept reading this long, then, first off, thank you. Second off, here is where I can help you with a possible New Year's resolution.

There are little things we can all do that add up to a big difference; most importantly, those little things will keep us under the limit and out of danger of exceeding it.

So here are some possible New Year's resolutions.

Drive less

A large amount of bad ozone causing particles comes from combustion engines like the one in cars. Driving less means less exhaust. You can do this by carpooling or walking when you can.

Don't use spray paint

If you have to paint, try to do it the old-fashioned way with a bucket of paint and a brush or roller. Heck, this is even a wonderful excuse to finger paint.

Take the bus

Sure, Victoria isn't huge like Austin or San Antonio, but why not give it a shot? Let's make a resolution to ride the bus at least three times this year.

Who doesn't like being driven around?

There you go - three simple things you can adopt as your easy New Year's resolution. I know you can do it.

Kate Garcia is the programs coordinator for the city of Victoria, Environmental Services.

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