New Year’s Resolutions for the Environmentally-Minded

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The new year is upon us and while many people have set their sights on New Year’s resolutions that simply give them a new chance to get back into old habits, many others are looking for a way to become more environmentally-minded in the new year. For those of you who are either already incorporating green actions in their day-to-day routine, or they want to begin doing more, here are some New Year’s resolutions that may be right up your alley.

Start simple. Simplicity is not always given the credit it is rightfully due. Rather than figuring out complex figures, quotas and goals, try going simple. Do one environmentally-friendly action or activity per day. Just one.

Eat fresh, not processed. This one is environmentally-friendly on so many levels. Instead of wasting plastic and other packaging, instead of subjecting yourself to the danger of BPA and GMOs, instead of filling your body with fillers and chemicals, go fresh. Eat more fresh, natural, organic foods. More fruits, more vegetables, more foods that do not need to be processed before you can put them in your body. Start off small and ramp it up over as you go throughout the year. You and your body will be thankful you did.

Reduce the amount of food you purchase by figuring out a weekly/monthly meal plan and sticking to it. Save your leftovers in reusable containers and reuse them later for snacks or as part of another meal. Recycle any “trash” or leftovers that cannot be used by setting up a compost bin either in your kitchen or in your yard. (See…a simple example of reduce, reuse, recycle.)

Ditch the bottled water and buy yourself a reusable container.

When you have to go short distances, put on your walking shoes or hop on your bicycle. There is no need to waste gasoline or spew out exhaust if you can get where you need to go simply by walking. When you do have to travel, adding a little Green Plus® fuel additive into your tank will help you improve your fuel economy and lower your harmful emissions.

Get in the habit of turning off lights when you leave a room. Even your kids can get in on that game. In my house anyone who leaves a light on when they leave a room has to contribute $0.25 to the family fund. A simple, albeit effective, way to cut down on unnecessary energy usage.

Set a time in your daily, weekly and monthly schedule to unplug. By powering down you will save money, cut down on your energy usage, allow your mind to relax and recoup, as well as give you a chance to enjoy your family and the great outdoors.

Since you are scheduling in a little “downtime”, you should also schedule in a little time with nature. Get outdoors. Smell the fresh, clean air. Look at the trees. Plants some trees for that matter. Maybe do a little gardening. Go hiking, biking, camping, kayaking, or whatever activity you want that gets you outside enjoying nature.

If you are one of the many who wants to get into better shape in the new year, you might read this and learn why physical fitness is a terrible goal.

Instead of contributing to indoor air pollution and increasing the chemicals that you put into your home and body, try opting for some natural cleaners such using one of these 5 foods that make eco-friendly cleaners.

Cut down on your water waste by doing any one of these few simple steps; take shorter showers, turn off the faucet while you are brushing your teeth, wash/rinse off dishes by filling up the sink rather than letting the water run continuously down the drain, run your washer and dishwasher only when they are full, and make good use of greywater to water your plants.

If the above actions seem like they may be more than you want focus on right here and now, check out this blog and video on why you should focus on just one day at a time rather than the entire year.

All in all, the key is to decide to make a change, then follow through with making that change. You do not want to set yourself up for a loss, but set realistic goals and take the steps necessary to attain them. Here’s wishing that the new year brings you happiness, a new clarity and joy for life, an increased environmental awareness and an overall biofriendly lifestyle. Happy New Year to you and yours!

Above image by Trey Ratcliffe aka StuckinCustoms / Flickr Creative Commons

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