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  • Susan Russell

5 Ideas for a Green New Year

Updated: Mar 6

By Katie Archer:

Looking for ways to be a little greener in 2024?  East Aurora, as a Climate Smart Community, is leading the way to take action against climate change through environmental efforts and initiatives.  Adopting a more sustainable lifestyle is something we can all do as individuals to make a greater impact on the planet.  Here are 5 ways to get started:    

  1. Avoid Single-Use Plastics:  Up to 50% of plastics produced are single-use, and are most commonly used for packaging and serviceware, such as plastic and polystyrene food and beverage containers, bottles, wrappers, straws, cups, and cutlery.  While some plastic is recyclable, a staggering 91% of all plastic ends up in landfills or oceans.  To reduce your plastic use, take reusable bags with you when shopping, choose reusable drinkware for beverages, opt for non-plastic cutlery, and bring your own container (BYOC) for restaurant leftovers, take-out orders, and coffee purchases at participating businesses throughout East Aurora.  Look for the BYOC salamander sticker in storefront windows or view the complete list at  

  2. Compost: Composting is an effective way to keep food waste from ending up in landfills. The FDA calculates that 30-40% of the U.S. food supply ends up as waste and is the single largest category of items that end up in landfills, creating methane gas that contributes to climate change.  Instead of throwing out your food scraps, use a compost bin and create your own nutrient-rich soil, or participate in a residential pick up service, such as Farmer Pirates Compost Crew, currently available in the Village of East Aurora. 

  3. Go Electric: Looking to replace your old machines with equipment that is cheaper to run, healthier to use, and better for the environment?  Even if you aren’t quite ready to make the switch to an electric vehicle or install a heat pump, there are plenty of electric alternatives that can drastically reduce emissions, particularly when it comes to yard care. Pound for pound, the inefficient engine technology found in gas-powered lawn equipment produces more pollution than cars and trucks.  Switching to an electric lawn mower, snowblower, chainsaw, and/or leaf blower can be a major benefit to the environment, and, as an added bonus, they tend to be lighter and much quieter. 

  4. Buy Used:  Secondhand shopping, or thrifting, significantly reduces the amount of waste in landfills, lowers our carbon footprint, and conserves water and energy.  Buying used products is now easier than ever thanks to a bustling secondary market on the internet, and an even greener solution is to thrift locally when possible.  East Aurora has several consignment shops nearby, including The Walk In Closet, Southtowns Kids Consignment, and October House Vintage.  When thrifting online, maximize your emissions savings by narrowing your search results to only display listings from local sellers.

  5. Get Involved:  As an individual, you can support big changes in environmental policy and conservation by voting for candidates that align with your environmental values, voicing your concerns to elected officials on important issues, and getting involved with your local organizations. There are plenty of opportunities nearby! Join the Aurorans for Climate and Environmental Sense (ACES) volunteer group and participate in monthly planning meetings, sign up for emails at, and/or follow them on social media for local environmental news and updates.  Attend monthly Climate Smart Communities Task Force meetings and review town decisions for environmental impact. Become a Climate Steward through the Cornell Cooperative Extension.  Seek out volunteer opportunities throughout Erie County and locally with Friends of Knox Farms and Hawk Creek Wildlife Center.  There are so many ways to become involved, help your local community, and give back to the planet!            

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