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.
Support 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
Go 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.
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.
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
Take 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.
- 10 Green New Year’s Resolutions for 2015
- A New Take on the Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for 2014
- Bags – Paper, Plastic, or Reusable?
- Bottled Water Alternatives
- Community Supported Agriculture – Good for Farmers, Good for You
- Composting Part 1 – You’re Going to Do What?
- Eco-Friendly and Ethical Chocolate – Fair Trade
- Green Investing – New Year’s Resolution
- I am an American Citizen not just an American Consumer
- New Year’s Celebrations – Go Green
- New Year’s Resolution – Make it SMARTER
- Paper vs. Cloth Table Napkins – Which are Greener?
- Use Your Thermostat to Save Energy and Money
- Walking – Good for the Planet and Good for You – Benefits