New Year’s Resolutions that Everyone Can Keep

Going green for the New Year.  It sounds daunting and expensive – solar heating, energy efficient cars, tankless hot water heaters and so much more.  Yes, it can be.  But you don’t have to break the budget to reduce your impact upon the environment and adopt a greener lifestyle.  It mostly has to do with the way we think, or actually don’t think, about the many ways in which we waste resources and damage the environment.

Going green can start with small steps.  If we all change our lifestyles to adopt small changes the cumulative impact would certainly be positive.  Here are a few suggestions for your New Year’s resolutions.  Start small.  Work on one or two and then a few more.  Add a few of the more expensive options at the end.  Before long, you will have conquered the list.

  1.  I will bring my own reusable bags when I go shopping.  This is not only at the grocery store, but wherever I shop.  If I forget and leave them in the car, I will go back and get them!
  2. I will buy more organic and local produce. I will shop at the local Farmer’s Market or support a farmer by buying a share at a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).
  3. I will tear up more lawn this year and grow some of my own veggies!  Then I will know that they are pesticide free and organically grown.
  4. I will use less plastic!  I will use containers that I can wash and reuse.
  5. I will use cloth napkins instead of paper.
  6. I will recycle faithfully and find more to put in the recycling cans every 2 weeks rather than putting it in the regular trash.
  7. I will shred all of the paper garbage that I can.  I can add this to my compost pile.  Don’t have one?  Oops.  Go to #8.
  8. I will build a compost pile in the yard for my vegetative debris.  This includes many food items from the kitchen such as vegetable peels, coffee grounds, used tea bags, melon rinds, peelings, corn cobs, egg shells, fruits and vegetables, in addition to vegetative matter from my yard.  Don’t have a yard?  Set up a worm bin instead.
  9. I will leave my grass clippings (from what lawn I have left) on the lawn.
  10. I will shred my leaves in the fall and keep them for mulch in my garden.
  11. I will replace my old light bulbs with LED bulbs. They last 15 times longer and use 75 percent less energy.
  12. I will buy low flow shower heads.   They can save up to 15 percent on water heating costs and reduce water usage by as much as 20,000 gallons a year.
  13. I will not use bottled water.  It takes around 1.5 million barrels of oil used to make plastic water bottles each year.   Far too much unnecessary plastic is also added to the waste stream at the other end of the bottle’s life cycle.  I can buy reusable bottles for my family and get a water filter.
  14. I will plant a tree.  Trees take C02 from the air and add Oxygen.  One tree produces nearly 260 pounds of oxygen each year. One acre of trees removes up to 2.6 tons of carbon dioxide each year.
  15. I will try to cut back on the paper towel usage and use washable rags instead.
  16. I will use more environmentally friendly cleaning products.  more info…
  17. I will Freecycle instead of buying new.
  18. I will reduce the number of appliances and gadgets that are constantly plugged in so they are continually using power.  I will use power strips to turn off my appliances at once.  I can also put them on timers so that they automatically shut off.
  19. I will have a home energy audit done to see where I can make home improvements to save energy.
  20. If I have to buy a new appliance I will make sure that it is Energy Star rated and the most energy efficient I can afford.

Some of these New Year’s resolutions are so easy there is no excuse not to keep them.  Not only will they help you save money, reduce waste, and cut your carbon footprint; they will also contribute to a greener Ewing, Mercer County, New Jersey…  You get the picture.  By the end of the year, you’ll be glad to have made resolutions that you can keep.

We welcome additional suggestions for a greener New Year.  Happy New Year from the Ewing Green Team!