Kicking Off a Sustainable 2024: Five Green New Year’s Resolutions

The Devens Forward team wishes you a happy and healthy new year! As we’re looking out on 2024, now is the perfect time to set some solid sustainability goals and plan for a cleaner, greener, and happier year. Here are the top five sustainability resolutions to elevate your environmental impact and help Devens meet its goals in 2024: 

Explore Electric Vehicles (EVs) 

One of the most significant strides toward sustainability involves transitioning from conventional combustion-engine vehicles to electric. Driving an electric vehicle (EV) is a great way to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Whether considering a new private vehicle, company vehicle, or even a new truck, EVs are an investment that can pay off in the long run and show a deep commitment to being part of the solution to the climate crisis. There are public EV charging stations in Devens that make charging on the go especially convenient and relatively affordable at 0.22/kWh.  

There are currently 8 public charging stations in the community and many businesses have installed them to help meet their sustainability goals and the growing demand among their employees who are making the switch to driving electric. Additionally, Massachusetts incentivizes EV adoption through rebates and tax credits, making it an opportune time to make the switch. Check out the financial incentives for residents here and businesses can explore fleet/truck incentives here.

EV Chargers at 94 Jackson Road

EV Chargers at 33 Andrews Parkway

Utilize Local Public Transit 

Public transit is a sustainable cornerstone of any sustainable community. In Devens, various public transit options serve as an excellent alternative to personal vehicles. The Montachusett Regional Transit Authority (MART) operates shuttle and taxi services connecting Devens with neighboring towns and cities, including the Shirley and Ayer MBTA stations, as well as the Nashoba Valley Medical Center.  This year, try commuting to work by bus, train, bike, or on foot! Plan your routes, utilize MART and MBTA’s services, and reduce your carbon footprint while contributing to our Devens Forward goals.   

Support Local Agriculture: Devens Farmers Market 

Eating and shopping locally not only supports the community but also reduces the greenhouse gas emissions associated with food transportation. Explore local healthy food options from nearby farms in this region such as Dick’s Market Garden. The Devens Farmers Market partners with Dick’s every year, June through October to offer fresh, locally grown produce to residents and businesses, and to support local growers and sustainable eating. Interested in signing you or your business up for our Community Supported Agricultural seasonal share program? Contact us! 

Lend a Helping Hand 

Our community health and well-being is influenced by many factors.  Individuals and businesses in the region who prosper often look for ways to invest and give back to their community.  This is an opportunity to collaborate and help those in need.  This can be as simple as donating some of your spare time and/or resources to local organizations in Devens like Clear Path for Veterans and Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry. These organizations provide food and many social services that support individuals and families in need within the region.  

Energy-Efficient Home and Business 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, and businesses can take advantage of the Devens Forward Climate Action Toolkit for Businesses for more ways to save.

To really cut your home emissions (and even save some money!) consider electrifying your heating and cooling. Heat pumps are an efficient alternative to traditional heating and cooling systems. Heat pumps efficiently regulate indoor temperatures and save a TON of energy – all without burning a drop of fuel! 

The recent Inflation Reduction Act established the High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Act (HEEHRA) which will release incentives and rebates for purchasing a heat pump or other efficient, electric appliances. The program is expected to launch in mid-2024 and can cover up to 100 percent of heat pump costs for mid to low-income households! Additionally, check out the DSIRE database with an easy-to-use search engine that helps you find more incentives to take advantage of in Massachusetts.

Overall, 2024 is an opportune time to build a more sustainable lifestyle here in Devens. By exploring electric vehicle options, utilizing public transit, supporting local agriculture and social services, electrifying your home with a heat pump, and implementing energy-efficient home upgrades, residents like YOU can help our community reach our climate and sustainability goals.  

Happy New Year!