10 Green New Year’s Resolutions for 2013

If you are like millions of Americans, you have either made or will make a New Year’s resolution for 2013. This year make your resolution a green one. Try one of the following 10 green New Year’s Resolutions or come up with your own.


Just say NO to bottled water and bring your own reusable water bottle (BYORWB) wherever you go.

CSA Organic StrawberriesSupport Your Local Farmer

Become a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) member or purchase a CSA share. Enjoy delicious, healthy, fresh-picked, seasonal produce and other products while getting to know and support a local farmer or two. Up the ante and buy organic.

Kick the Bag Habit

If you have not already converted to reusable bags for grocery marketing and shopping, there is no time like the present. Then the next time you are asked the question, “paper or plastic?” You can proudly say, “Neither” and whip out your reusable bags.

Engage in Efficiency

Tackle an energy or water efficiency project or two. Install a programmable thermostat (or learn to use the one you have) then set it at 68°F in the winter and 78°F in summer. Seal air leaks in your home yourself or ask someone else to help you do it. Save water and money by installing a low-flow showerhead in every shower in your home.

You Can Compost

Stainless Steel Compost PailGo outside your comfort zone and start composting. With a small investment and a few minutes a day you will be astonished at how much waste is diverted from your garbage disposal and trash can. There are many rewards. You can reduce waste, water, and energy, nurture your garden (or someone else’s), learn new things, and feel a sense of accomplishment for taking positive action. Even squeamish people, like me, can compost.

What’s Fair is Fair

Use your buying power to promote equality in trade and safeguard the environment. Make a choice to switch one or more items you normally buy to a brand that carries the Fair Trade label.

Pedometer with Tape Measure10,000 Steps

You know walking is good for the environment and good for you so as the saying goes “just do it.” If you are not used to walking much then set an interim goal of say 3,000 steps a day and work up to 10,000 or more. An inexpensive pedometer will help you keep track of your steps.

Brown is Beautiful

Start buying unbleached (yes brown or beige) napkins, paper towels, facial tissue, and toilet paper made with recycled paper fibers with minimum packaging that is made from recycled material. Try various brands until you find one that meets your standards for quality and price. Better yet stop buying paper towels, napkins, and facial tissue and switch to their reusable counterparts.

Shop Smart

Everything we buy uses resources and impacts the environment during production, transportation, storage, distribution, disposal, and even recycling. Make a pledge to yourself to shop smart by thinking twice before you buy more stuff.

Pay It Forward

Action Clapboard - Call to ActionTake action. Get the word out. Share your knowledge. Engage your family and friends in dialogue about green topics. Talk with your boss and coworkers. Work on green projects. Begin a blog. Write or call your local, state, and national elected officials. Make a video or podcast and post it online. Create a website. Join and participate in a green organization or start your own.

The New Year is a time for new beginnings so what better way to start off the New Year than taking personal action to adopt a sustainable way of living, working, and sharing the earth.

Already living a green, people and planet friendly lifestyle? Tackle a challenging green project you have been putting off.

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Author: Linda Poppenheimer

Linda researches and writes about environmental topics to share information and to spark conversation. Her mission is to live more lightly on Earth and to persuade everyone else to do the same.

3 thoughts on “10 Green New Year’s Resolutions for 2013”

  1. How refreshing to see a list of resolutions without mentioning “dieting”. I see that I am already doing several of the suggestions. Don’t think I have seen the brown items metioned but will start looking for them. It will take some getting used to like “blue jello”. I really feel smart when I can whip out my small and large reuseable bags when out and about. The real challenge is finding anything made in the U.S.A. I always look at the labels on clothing and am almost always disappointed. Do hope that the next decade will see manufacturing return to our country.

  2. Happy New Year Everyone!

    This comment is directed to the Pay It Forward component of the 10 Green New Year’s Resolutions: Pay It Forward may be similar in nature to Feed Forward Control, and: Feed Forward Control (which Decouples the Input from the Output) may be an essential component of the Emerging post-industrial Economy, which may devalue speculation and other major sources of global anxiety.

    Thanks for this reading comment.


  3. I enjoyed all these reminders. It came to mind how I used to love shopping at the Farmers markets. For a number of years I lived across the street from a Sunday morning one. And then made a Saturday morning one a routine when living in San Jose. Now I know of a couple but I rarely go. Thanks for reminding me of this very nice community activity when is healthy.

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