Happy Winter Solstice Eve, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, happy all the things. I’m back from my travels to Costa Rica—a country I highly recommend visiting—embracing the crisp, cool weather and ready to bake cookies . The 70-degree temperature swing between there and here is for real and I have to stay warm somehow.

Here’s my favorite picture from my trip:

This week’s must read: Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard has an unusual plan to reduce the city’s carbon footprint (Indianapolis Star) A longtime favorite EcoRight mayor, Jim Brainard goes into depth in this article about his prioritization of carbon reduction strategies. “Coined both a ‘rogue elephant‘ and an ‘unlikely hero,’ Brainard is not the everyday environmental advocate. So, perhaps fitting, he’s attempting to reduce the city’s carbon footprint in atypical fashion: urban planning,” the article reads. “‘That’s the most important thing mayors can do to create an environmentally friendly city,’ Brainard said of his favorite tool in the fight against climate change.”

This week’s must listen: On this episode of the podcast Political Climate, former New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte discusses the room for middle ground on climate change. The portion of the episode where she is interviewed begins around the 38:00 mark. “If you’re a conservative, you’re for conserving everything,” she says. “The reality is that there’s a lot of conservative sensible Republican policies about conservation that make sense, that are market driven.”

Our EcoRight family is growing: If you’re a regular connoisseur of Week En Review, you have read opinion essays written by members of our spokesperson team. Or maybe you’ve read their thoughts on Twitter, heard them speak on a podcast or the news, seen them testify at a Congressional hearing, or met them at an event. This band of dedicated EcoRight volunteers started off small, blossomed to pass 20 and going into 2020, we have 30 spokespeople from all regions of the U.S. and all walks of life. We’d like to highlight the newest members of the gang. May their names soon be synonymous with other great EcoRight leaders.

Spotlight on spokespeople: Speaking of… one last 2019 word from John Sweeney can be found on our blog. In his essay, Sensible climate action is winner for Republicans, he writes: “As believers in capitalism, Republicans understand the dangers of allowing monopolies to form. Monopolies reduce consumer choice, leading to lower quality output, more waste, and higher prices. These ailments extend to monopolies on ideas. Republican complacency has allowed Democrats to establish such a monopoly on climate action—with predictable results.”

My love letter to recycling: Did you miss my post on my efforts to reduce single-use plastic and other waste? Check out My attempted break up with plastic not just to read about my journey but to maybe spark a behavior change. To quote my essay (is that weird to quote myself?): “I’m not trying to shame anyone into adopting any particular behavior. The only way we can really change is if we feel personally invested in that change. In the work I do here, I spend half my day reading the news, and it isn’t all good. Is my conversion to a plastic-free straight razor going to save the world? No. But these small steps that I take, when added with the small steps others take, can start to make a difference.” Do you have a sustainable product or practice to share? Bring it on! I want to hear all the best ideas. Together we can make a difference.

Baby Yoda years in the EcoRight: Spokesperson Tyler Gillette gets how we feel at times.

My dearest EcoRight, we are taking a little break for the holidays and will be back January 6, 2020 to bring you another big year in the climate movement. May the force be with you.