Sustainable Resolutions

The Green Worcester team wishes you a happy and healthy New Year! To celebrate, we are sharing our top five sustainability resolutions to elevate your environmental impact and help Worcester meet its goals in 2024. It’s the perfect time to make your life more sustainable!

Use Local Public Transit or Low-Impact Mobility 

Transportation makes up 27% of our community's greenhouse gas emissions. Taking public transportation instead of driving a passenger vehicle can help reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMTs) and the resulting emissions. The Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA) operates public transportation routes in the Worcester region, offering bus and shuttle services to local residents for free or at a relatively low cost. The Mass Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) operates state-run trains, buses, shuttles, and ferries out of Boston. The commuter rail, which connects Boston to surrounding cities and towns, runs the Framingham/Worcester Line. Additionally, several MBTA buses run back and forth from Worcester to Boston.  

Also try using low-impact mobility options like walking, biking, or carpooling to get to your destination. Try greening your commute just once a week. After a few weeks, try two days, then three. See how you feel! Challenge yourself to commute sustainably.  

Electrify Your Home 

To really cut your home emissions (and even save some money!) consider electrifying your heating, cooling, and cooking systems. Heat pumps are an efficient alternative to traditional heating and cooling, they regulate indoor temperatures and save a TON of energy. Check out Mass Save heat pump and electrification incentives here. Also, get in touch with our Worcester Energy Advocates who can guide you through the electrification process. 

The recent Inflation Reduction Act established the High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Act (HEEHRA) which is releasing incentives and rebates for purchasing a heat pump or other efficient, electric appliances. Some tax incentives are already available and many of the program rebates are expected to launch in mid 2024 and can cover up to 100 percent of heat pump costs for mid to low-income households! Learn more about the tax incentives here and upcoming rebates here.  

Eat and Shop Local 

Not only does eating and shopping locally support local businesses, but it also reduces the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the transportation of goods. There is an abundance of farmer’s markets with fresh produce and artisan products in Worcester. There are even mobile markets and online pickup options! And why stop there? When eating out, try finding restaurants that serve farm-to-table or source their ingredients sustainably. Make for a greener, healthier year: eat and shop locally.  

Energy-Efficient Upgrades 

Small upgrades can yield significant energy savings. Consider simple changes such as installing LED lighting, improving insulation, and upgrading to energy-efficient appliances. These improvements not only benefit the environment but also contribute to long-term savings on energy bills. 

Check out some other easy, low or no-cost tips for saving energy here. Get in touch with our Energy Advocates who can help you get a home energy assessment and make efficient changes.  

Compost at Home 

Composting is an easy way to reduce your household waste and the associated greenhouse gas emissions. Try using your compost for sustainable yard projects like a rain garden or edible garden.  

The Department of Public Works offers compost bins for home use to Worcester residents at a discounted rate. The "Earth Machine" composter costs $45 and can be purchased by appointment. Remember that yard waste and leaves can be composted by collection too! 

2024 is a great time to build a more sustainable lifestyle here in Worcester. By greening your transportation, electrifying your home, eating and shopping locally, implementing energy-efficient home upgrades and composting, residents like YOU can help our community reach our climate and sustainability goals.  

Happy New Year!