Embracing a Greener New Year in 2024

aerial view of Santa Fe

Before diving into our January blog – here’s a reminder about Santa Fe’s Christmas tree recycling program: 

If your natural Christmas tree is officially past its prime, start working on your green New Year’s resolutions early by utilizing our Christmas tree recycling program. Santa Fe residents can bring their natural trees (with all lights, decorations, and stands removed) to either Franklin Miles Park or the Buckman Road Recycling & Transfer Station through January 15, 2024. Trees collected by the program are composted into mulch that provides healthy, nutrient-rich soil for our city. Residents interested in using mulch in landscaping or backyard composting can pick up mulch for free at the Buckman Road Transfer Station year-round.


2024 is here, and we have a lot more to celebrate than just the new year! In 2023, the City of Santa Fe saw serious strides towards the goals in our Sustainable Santa Fe 25-Year Plan - and this year will be no different.

This month, we’re reflecting on the progress we saw in 2023 and how we’re continuing our path towards a cleaner, safer, and more sustainable city in the new year. But we can’t reach our goals alone: to create a truly sustainable and resilient future, everyone in Santa Fe needs to take action. As the City of Santa Fe moves through our resilience roadmap for 2024, we’re also spotlighting high-impact opportunities for residents to make a serious difference in the fight against a changing climate and its impacts.

A Greener 2024 in Santa Fe

In the last 12 months, our City saw serious progress on our commitment to clean energy and a healthier community for our residents. As we move into the new year, the City of Santa Fe will continue to work towards the initiatives in our Sustainable Santa Fe 25-Year Plan and track our progress through yearly greenhouse gas emissions. 

Tracking greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – the primary pollutants causing climate change – is a critical step in reducing our community’s contribution to the climate crisis and identifying solutions to make Santa Fe more resilient. This year, we will release a new update of our municipal greenhouse gas inventory, providing an overview of what progress the City has made and which areas we can work on in the future. The new 2022 GHG report demonstrates that our city saw a 27.9% reduction in municipal greenhouse gas emissions from 2018 to 2022: progress we will continue to build upon in the new year.

Individual Action for Collective Impact: High-Impact Green Resolutions

All sustainable actions, no matter how big, contribute to our community’s greener future. However, some actions that target our highest sources of emissions (like fossil fuels that provide power to our homes and vehicles) have exponentially larger impacts on our climate goals and environment.

If you’re ready to take a bigger step in your own individual sustainability journey, we have suggestions for high-impact New Year’s resolutions that will bring your climate commitment to the next level. These actions may require a bit more planning and oversight, but local and federal resources make these changes easier than ever to implement:

1. Level-up your energy efficiency: The appliances that we use to heat and cool our homes, cook in our kitchens, and clean our clothes all have impacts on the environment. Old, outdated appliances lack energy efficiency – meaning they use more energy to do the same job as updated systems. 
If you’re ready to increase efficiency in your home, try using the NM Gas Co. Home Energy Analyzer: an easy online calculator that ranks your energy use and recommends upgrades for cost and energy savings. Next, utilize residential rebates through PNM or NM Gas Co. to save money on your new appliances and systems.

2. Electrify your home: Replacing gas-powered appliances with electric appliances doesn’t just save on emissions – it also can help make your home more efficient, healthy, and comfortable. Explore this Electrify New Mexico guide to learn more about electric appliances like heat pumps, water heaters, and induction ranges, educate yourself on what upgrades are feasible for your home, and find where to start on your electrification project. 

3. Go solar: Even at peak efficiency, the appliances and systems in our homes still use energy that can come from fossil fuel sources and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. The best way to ensure your home is running on 100% clean energy is to install solar panels on your property. Check out Energy Sage to learn more about solar and compare prices in Santa Fe.

4. Consider electric for your next car: In the market for a new vehicle? Consider opting for an electric or hybrid model, reducing carbon emissions and promoting cleaner transportation. If you’re ready to go electric with your next vehicle, see available rebates and credits for new EVs or check out PNM’s incentive programs for EV charger installation at your home.