A lot of us make New Year Resolutions each year, always having the best intentions. Most have to do with personally bettering ourselves… becoming more fit, eating healthy, losing weight etc. This year, in addition to personal well-being, why not consider doing something with a more global impact? The catch phrase “Going Green” is everywhere these days and with good reason. With 7 billion people on Earth, we need to start focusing on what we can do to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy a healthy, thriving planet.
In addition to simply trying to do the right thing, there are many ways to save money by being more environmentally conscience. The Worldwide Institute recently published a list of simple things you can do today to help reduce your environmental impact, save money, and live a happier, healthier life.
- There is little excuse these days. Most local municipalities offer some type of pick-up or drop off service.
- Check for specific items including plastics, paper, glass, aluminum at the minimum.
- Keep electronics out of the trash as well, such as cell phones, computers and other E-waste. These products contain mercury and other toxins which are a growing environmental danger. Donate them or find a recycling center.
Eat and drink smarter
- Buy local, organic meat, eggs, dairy and produce. Visit your local farmers’ markets.
- Eat “low” on the food chain so as to not deplete resources. Seafood, for example, has become highly over fished leading to a dangerously low supply of certain species.
- Don’t buy bottled water when there are so many water filtration alternatives that allow you to save money and reduce container waste. Visit Filtersfast.com for a variety of choices from filtered pitchers and water bottles, refrigerator water filters, faucet mount filters to whole house filtration systems.
Make your own cleaning supplies
- By using a few simple sustainable ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, and olive oil, to name a few, you can make your own non-toxic cleaning supplies. There are recipes available online.
- By making your own, you will reduce environmental pollution created by the manufacturing and disposal of chemically, mass produced cleaning supplies.
- Invest in a programmable thermostat.
- Switch to CFL light bulbs.
- Wash laundry in cold water (heating water uses 85% more energy). Air dry clothes instead of using the dryer.
- Unplug appliances when not using them or use a smart power strip. Appliances can drain energy even when turned off!
- Take shorter showers and use a low-flow shower head.
- Use a faucet aerator on each faucet. This will keep pressure high while conserving heat and water.
- Consider landscaping with drought tolerant plants – reducing amount of water needed.
- Enjoy the health benefits of walking or biking – this reduces cost of gas and parking
- Telecommute if possible
Going Green in the New Year is a great way to help the environment. There are so many small things we can do that will have a positive impact. This time, when thinking about your New Year’s resolutions, consider not only bettering yourself personally, but also bettering the world we live in. Cheers to a happy 2014!