Green Resolutions: Little Steps Toward Saving the Earth

New Year’s resolutions can benefit both individuals and the planet. Learn how to go green at the grocery store, at home and for the environment of the future.

Resolutions are often made by thinking about individual change. One pledges to lose weight, stop smoking or pay off debts in the New Year. However, resolutions can also be made for collective gain. Beginning January with resolutions to go green in simple ways contributes to reducing ecological footprints on the earth. In the process, by making green choices at the grocery store, around the home and in the world one will lose pounds, lessen pollution and even save money!

Greening the World
The best resolution to make for the earth is to use the car less or get rid of it altogether. Walk, bike, use public transit or car share. The emissions and money saved will be immense. Recycle much more than is thrown away and buy recycled or used products. Simply buy less. Ask if you really need this consumer item or not. Lighten expenditures and relieve stress. Make a contribution to an environmental cause like Greenpeace, the Sierra Club or the Rainforest Action Network. Choosing to try even a few of these ideas, one will start the New Year with resolutions that will benefit the environment we all live in.

Green Groceries
Many of us don’t live near an organic grocery store or have the space to grow our own vegetables. In Canada, fortunately, there are now organically certified items available at most grocery stores. Choose the recycled toilet paper, the biodegradable soap and the locally grown produce. Look for bird friendly, sustainably-grown coffee beans. Buy certain package-heavy goods in bulk to save on garbage. Live near a farmer’s market? Shop there in summertime. Bring canvas bags or a basket. Start a community garden and turn leftovers into rich-soil producing compost. Barbeque more than using the stove; it produces fewer harmful emissions. Better yet, eat raw for the highest level of nutrients. Vegetarian cooking is getting tastier and more varied all the time. Try for at least one meatless meal a week. Saves vital resources and helps one lose weight.

Green Homes
Enjoy showers more than baths, saving water with an efficient showerhead. Clothes get clean just as well in cold water, especially when using a biodegradable detergent. Speaking of cold water, avoid buying bottles of it; instead, install a tap filter and take a reusable thermos of it with you. Lower the thermostat a bit and get snuggly in sweaters, making sure the insulation lacks gaps through which heat quickly leaks. Making the house sparkle is easy with baking soda and vinegar mixtures; no need for Mr Clean! Replace lightbulbs with energy and dollar saving LED bulbs. Use re-chargeable batteries for toys, gadgets and tools. Steer clear of leaf blowers and weed eaters for yard work. A manual mower and a trowel does the job just as well, and gives one valuable exercise in the process.

Read more at Suite101: Green Resolutions: Little Steps Towards Saving the Earth

Dec 22, 2007 Catherine Owen


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