New Year's Day is fast approaching, and along with it, all those resolutions. This year why not resolve to make a few simple lifestyle changes that could have a huge impact on the earth? To help you get started, here are 10 easy "green" New Year's resolutions:
1. Ditch the plastic. Carry a reusable bag with you for groceries, shopping and take-out food.
2. Tuck in your computer at night. Turn off your screen saver and cut even more energy that your computer uses by putting it in sleep mode when it isn't in use.
3. Clean with green. Clean your home with non-toxic and natural cleaning products. Just about anything can be cleaned with white vinegar, baking soda and a few drops of lemon.
4. Be good to your vehicle, and it will be good to you. Inflate your tires once a month or as necessary. Replace the air filter and tune up your engine regularly. A new air filter can get you 10 percent more miles per gallon, and a tune-up can boost miles per gallon from 4 percent to 40 percent.
5. Think globally, buy locally. Buy locally grown food that's in season. Food that hasn't traveled thousands of miles to your plate is fresher and tastier, and buying local food drastically cuts down on global-warming pollution.
6. Coffee — it's not just for drinking anymore. The next time you brew a cup of fresh coffee at home, don't toss the used coffee grounds into the trash. First, spoon some warm grounds into your hands and mix it with your favorite hand soap, then scrub away. The grounds will exfoliate dead skin and the soap will render your hands squeaky clean. Scatter remaining grounds around your evergreen shrubs and trees — it's an energizing fertilizer for them.
7. Start composting today. A compost pile or composter turns your food and lawn wastes into rich mulch. It's a great way to reduce your trash production, and if you start today, you'll have rich compost in time for spring planting.
8. Don't be a drip. Fix leaky faucets. A faucet that drips once each second can waste over 8 gallons of water per day and more than 3,000 gallons per year.
9. Turn dollars into sense. Save on energy consumption and your electric bill by turning down your thermometer and throwing on your favorite fuzzy pajamas.
10. Ease up on the pedal. Slowing down from 75 to 65 miles per hour will drop your highway gas consumption by about 15 percent.
*"Tips for a Green New Year", (n.d.). Home and Garden Television. Retrieved from, http://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/clean-and-organize/tips-for-a-green-new-year
Green is one of the traditional colors of the Christmas season, but the green we have in mind is the environmentally friendly kind. Here’s a list of some eco-friendly, energy saving tips that will put you at the top of Santa’s nice list this holiday season.
1. Use LED LightsThese small Light Emitting Diodes use 80% less energy and last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, plus they’re cool to the touch. Look for the Energy Star seal for ones with the highest energy efficiency rating.
2. Limit LightingTurn Christmas trees on only when you’re in the room to enjoy them. Turn outside decorations off before you go to bed at night, or put them on a timer that will remember to do it for you.
3. Send E-CardsReplace snail mail cards and letters with e-cards and e-mails to save paper and mailing expense. It also will reduce your carbon footprint since it eliminates the fuel used for transporting standard mail.
4. Shop OnlineRather than burning gas driving around searching for that perfect Christmas present, shop online instead. Having your gifts shipped directly to out of town recipients saves even more energy by minimizing transportation costs.
5. Give Green GiftsConsider giving eco-friendly or homemade gifts to those on your shopping list. Purchased green presents include:
An even greener option is to buy a live Christmas tree then plant it in your yard after the holidays are over.
8. Make Natural DecorationsRather than buying plastic ornaments, wreaths, and decorations shipped from overseas, make your own from pine cones, holly, seashells, river stones, and evergreen branches. Christmas tree lots often will give away branches they’ve trimmed off the bottom of trees.
9. Recycle DecorationsAfter the holidays, but sure to recyle your Christmas tree and other natural decorations rather than sending them to the landfill.
10. Reduce TravelBetween shopping, trips to visit relatives, and the flurry of parties and other activities, the holiday season often involves a lot of travel, which in turn adds more pollutants to the atmosphere. Every gallon of gasoline used by your car releases 19.4 pounds of CO2, and air travel is equally bad. So if you really want to go green, consider limiting your travel plans this year.
11. Save EnergyWhile saving energy is a good idea anytime of year, it’s especially important to address during the holidays with a long winter ahead. Here are some ways to reduce your energy bills while helping the environment at the same time:
*Erickson, Ben. (n.d.). How to Have an Ec0-Friendly Green Christmas Holiday. Retrieved from, https://www.todayshomeowner.com/how-to-have-a-green-eco-friendly-christmas/