The holidays are over, have you made your New Year’s resolutions? The start of a new year is the perfect time to think about easy ways to green your home and start new traditions.
In 2014, I resolve to… Change the world, one room at a time… to decrease my footprint and increase my imprint…
- Reduce waste to landfills.
The United States goes through 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour, and only one in four are recycled. Enough plastic bottles are thrown away each year to circle the globe four times. Make the switch to reusable bottles; pick up the S’well One Bottle = One Tree to do the planet an even bigger favor.
- Recycle… really recycle.
The average American throws away about 4.5 pounds of trash every day. Much of what we throw out can be recycled or composted. Instead of tossing kitchen trimmings, put them to eco-friendly use with a Stainless Steel Compost Bin for your countertop to make composting quick and easy.
Reconfigure your recycling set up to make it easy for the whole family—if it’s easy, you’re more likely to do it and stick to it.
- Eat organic and become a locavore.
Find your local farmers market or organic producers and make the switch to organic and/or locally produced foods. You’ll be amazed at the difference. Local Harvest provides tools for finding sources in your area. Eating locally supports small farmers and the local economy and reduces carbon emissions from shipping.
- Serve the perfect protein.
If you choose to eat meat, pick the more sustainable, earth-friendly choices. In The Perfect Protein, Andrew Sharpless, CEO of Oceana reveals how eating more seafood is not only good for our health but can also help to save the planet. You’ll be amazed at the resources required to produce different proteins! Let’s give one fact. This is fascinating people. Did you know that it takes 10,000 gallons of water to produce one hamburger?
- Say no to plastic.
Did you know that a plastic bag takes about 1,000 years to biodegrade in the landfill? The best way to deal with plastic bags is to never use them in the first place. Stock up on Handmade Recycled Rice Bag Totes and similar reusable bags and keep them in your car, at your desk and everywhere you might need a handy bag.
- Turn it off.
Did you know the average household spends on average $160 per year for electricity from idle running equipment? Turn off lights if you’re not using them, and plug your electronics into surge protectors you can easily switch off. Make the switch to LEDs. They’re more efficient and last longer than traditional bulbs.
- Use less water.
On average, Americans are using 2,842 cubic meters of water each year; that’s twice the world average. Turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth can save approximately 200 gallons per person per month. Take shorter showers. With the Water Pebble, it indicates when you have exceeded the water goal and encourages you to take shorter showers. Think about what you buy. Water is used to produce most products we buy and consume. Did you know it takes 1,000 gallons of water to produce one pair of jeans?
- Use the car less.
Resolve to walk, bike, carpool, or take public transit more. If you have a 5-mile commute, biking to work just one day a week would save over 400 pounds of carbon emission over the course of a year. Imagine what it could be if you upped that to twice a week, and convinced others to do the same.
- Go paperless.
Plan parties with e-vite.com and save on the paper. Smart, savvy and sustainable. One tree produces about 8,500 pieces of paper; by using electronic invites, you’re reducing your carbon footprint by saving trees and reducing the carbon emissions from delivery. Did you know the average tree eliminates 48 carbon per year? And that’s just the start.
- Support environmental projects.
Donate to a charity, help build a community agricultural garden, or help on a clean-up day in your neighborhood. Do something that makes you feel good, and that’s good for the planet. Some of my favorite environmental agencies are…
- The Nature Conservancy
- World Wildlife Fund
- Chesapeake Bay Foundation
- Environmental Defense Fund