First come the New Year, and then comes the resolutions. With eco awareness on the rise, it’s not surprising that many New Year’s resolutions are to live a cleaner and more sustainable life. While green living may be the new buzz word, to start doing it may take some definition and direction. Here are a few ideas that may help you move toward a more green 2014:
1. Practice the 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.
2. Buy organics: Shop your local farmer’s market for organic fruits and veggies and look for natural personal care and clothing made from natural fibers.
3. Bring your own reusable bags when you go shopping.
4. Composting as much as possible. Collect your table scraps and lawn clippings in a yard composter to make free fertilizer! Use it on your plants, gardens, tree pits, anywhere!
5. Recycling: recycle everything! Paper, materials, home items, and more!
6. Energy efficiency: purchase energy star certified appliances. Buy and use renewable or wind energy and monitor your use of energy.
7. Water: Reduce you water usage with xeriscaping and using sprinkler systems in the yard. Use shower timers and other water conservation tools to reduce your daily water usage.
8. Indoor air quality: use chemical free cleaners, live plants, sustainable fabrics and paint in your home. Your indoor air quality will improve and you’ll support sustainable businesses producing green products.
9. Wash your clothes in cold water. You will reduce your energy consumption by reducing the amount of heated water needs. Also, instead of using the dryer, try to hang your clothes outside or indoors on a folding rack .
10. Play outside. Have fun and keep fit by appreciating all that nature has to offer: parks, trails, gardens, etc.
11. Green your travel. Try a eco trip this year for your vacation.
12. Get an Energy Audit: Find an energy audit company in your area to analyze the energy efficiency of your home. An audit can potentially save you thousands of dollars by making a few changes.
Have a Happy (Green) New Year!!!
Here are a few ways to repurpose plastic cereal box liners:
- As a sandwich baggie. Place your sandwich in the liner, wrap and go.
- Use as a dog waste bag. Take them along of walks with your dog to handle their dog waste.
- Carry them with you to use them as a small trash bag.
- Use as shipping packing material. You can bunch to use as padding or fill with air and close to make an air pillow.
- Use as a wet/soiled clothes divider in your suit case or gym bag.
- Bags can be used as a portable food container, such as packing trail mix or snacks on outdoor excursions.
Kick-off he New Year right with a these green living tips:
A new year is starting; it is now time to reflect on the past and look to the future and set new resolutions. Some of these green tips you may already know or already integrate them into your daily daily life. If you are currently not doing any of the following, even if you only follow a few of these easy tips, you will save money, time and energy. You will find that these eco-friendly green resolutions are surprisingly simple to implement.
- Replacing Appliances – When your next appliance breaks down and can not be repaired, be buy an energy efficient replacement.
- CFL Light Bulbs—You can save over 50% of your energy use for lighting by replacing traditional, incandescent light bulbs with a Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb (CFL).
- Reduce Vampire Power Loss – Never leave anything on standby. Switch off PCs and TVs when not in use. And unplug your mobile phone charger when you’re not using it. Leaving appliances on standby wastes at least 6% of domestic electricity use. Also look into the use of smart power management products.
- Use Re-usable Water Bottle – Utilize refillable bottles for drinking water to help reduce the millions of gallons in crude oil required to produce and distribute plastic bottles, that otherwise would take thousands of years to decompose.
- Reduce, Reuse & Recycle – The new year usually means out with the old and in with the new – but don’t be so hasty. Don’t let those items end up in the waste stream by recycling and reusing what you already have – one of the most eco friendly things you can do is look after what you already have or finding a new home for the item.
- Better Thermostat Use – In many parts of the country, the heating and cooling portion of your utility bill makes up over 50% of your utility bill. Reduce you bills by 10%-15% by adjusting the thermostat by 2 – 3 degrees. You can can also reduce your cooling costs by 30% in the summer by implementing a flash evaporation system.
- Buy Organic and Local – As a partial replacement to fast food and chain supermarkets, try organic and local produce from your local farmer’s market. The production of organic food causes much less environmental damage than conventional agriculture and also helps to reduce pollution by cutting down on food miles which contribute to climate change.
- Use Green Household Cleaning Products – Eliminate the use of cleaners that utilize Phosphates, which have known environmental negative impact.Many conventional household cleaning products contain chemicals and phosphates.
- Reduce Car Use and Cut Car Pollution – Over 50% of all car trips are less than 4 miles, which is an ideal distance to be covered by bicycle.
- Use Re-usable Grocery Bags – Plastic bags cause as much, if not more economic damage of plastic water bottles, showing up in water ways and landfills. By using a re-usable grocery bag, you can reduce the amount of plastic bags that end up in the landfill by 5 – 8 bags per trip.
- Re-use plastic bags— It may be hard to completely avoid ever buying or having plastic bags around, but to minimize using more you can do a few simple things. If you have pets you can keep a drawer full of these bags and take them with you when you venture out with Fido. Another use for plastic bags is using them as trash bags in the smaller waste pails like the laundry room or the bathroom.
- Composting – Composting is nature’s recycling program, a process by which natural materials decompose as a result of natural chemical reactions or be aided by fungi, bacteria and insects. An excellent way to reduce the amount of food waste that will end up in the landfill by using an outdoor composter. If you live in an apartment or have limited space, a indoor composting system may be a good solution.