Protecting our environment makes our communities better and safer places to live. As such, our energy and environmental policy must reflect the needs of today while also ensuring the health and safety of future generations. It is our job as legislators to balance the current energy and economic needs of the Commonwealth with an effective and environmentally responsible path forward, paving the way for our children. In order to accomplish this goal, we must have a strategy that combines energy efficiency, increased utilization of renewable resources, and the conservation of our natural resources.
During my tenure in the Senate, I have been a consistent supporter of legislation aimed at making Massachusetts a national leader on energy policy. In recent years, the Commonwealth has managed to consistently decrease its greenhouse gas emissions, with improvements in energy efficiency being a large part of our success. By continuing to implement effective programs in this area, we can not only drive down heating and electrical costs for consumers, but also maintain our progress towards decreasing our carbon footprint.
We have also taken critical steps to move towards clean energy sources and to combat climate change. This generation is already experiencing the effects of climate change, and we now have a responsibility to work towards mitigating many of its impacts, while preventing further damage to our environment. As a Commonwealth, we must take a holistic approach to energy policy by continuing to invest in alternative energy sources, such as solar and wind, while also actively encouraging energy efficiency.
Furthermore, we must focus on protecting the environment from pollution. My district in particular has a number of natural resources that are of great importance to our Commonwealth, including the Charles and Mystic Rivers. Both of these rivers are vital components of my communities, and I have worked hard to secure funding dedicated to their cleanup, as well as the preservation of the parkways and parklands along the two waterways. I am proud to say that, with support from the Legislature and help from community organizers, we have made incredible improvements towards rejuvenating the ecological integrity of both the Charles and Mystic Rivers. Our Commonwealth has many important natural resources, and we must ensure that they stay pristine for future generations.
Recycling is also an issue that has been very important to me. I was an early supporter and co-sponsor of the updated Bottle Bill, which has taken more of our plastic bottles out of landfills and off our streets. In addition to increasing recycling and decreasing litter in Massachusetts, this bill would save our cities and towns a great deal of money in avoided collection, disposal and recycling costs. This common sense bill is not only beneficial to the environment, it is also cost effective, and I will continue to advocate for the passage of this bill in the Massachusetts Legislature.
Protecting our environment and the quality of life of for our residents should be a top priority for the Legislature. Although we have made vital progress in the area of environmental and energy policy, there is still progress to be made. As your State Senator, I will continue to advocate for environmental legislation aimed at mitigating climate change, improving energy efficiency, as well as preserving our natural resources.