Top 10 Eco-Friendly and Green New Year Resolutions
When you are thinking about the changes you want to see in your life in 2009, don’t forget about the environment. If you are really serious about turning a green resolution in to a goal, check out our goal setting worksheet.
There are many easy and money saving steps that you can take to help everyone live in a greener, and more environmentally friendly world. Setting eco-friendly goals not only helps the environment, you can save money, be healthier and benefit you local economy.
Starting to be informed on environmental issues is a good beginning. Taking action on even one of the Top 10 Eco-Friendly and Green New Year Resolutions will make a huge impact by December of 2009.
1. Wash (and rinse) your clothes with cold water. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “about 90% of the energy used for washing clothes is for heating the water.” This tip will keep your energy bill and carbon emissions down.
2. Bring your own reusable bags when you go shopping. Ask if your grocery store gives a discount for using a reusable bag. As an added bonus, you won’t have to take as many trips to the car when unloading since more items fit into the sturdier cloth bag that paper or plastic. If you forget your bag when running an errand, ask yourself at the check out counter if you really need a bag for this purchase and tell the clerk to skip the bag.
3. Use revolving doors instead of swing doors when possible. According to an MIT study “a single person walking through a revolving door in February [in a cold climate] saves enough energy to light a 60-watt light bulb for 23 minutes.” Similar results can be seen in warm climates during the summer months. This is a tiny change in behavior that, over the course of a lifetime, can change the world.
4. By your food locally whenever possible. Each pound of local food you purchase prevents a quarter pound of global warming (C02) emissions that result from transportation.
5. Kick the water bottle habit. According to Wikipedia, Americans buy 28 billion water bottles a year. Yes that is billion with a B. Use a reusable water bottle and tap water to “drink green.” By using a refillable cup, either for water, coffee, juice or soda, you cut down on oil need to manufacture plastic and save space in landfills. If you are looking for a GREAT reusable water bottle, Freedom Personal Development has a super cool water bottle that our staff members rave about.
6. Use less paper. One way to accomplish this is to use both sides of the paper. If one side is still clean, put it back in the printer or fax. Second, only print out materials or emails if you absolutely must have a hard copy of the item. Lastly, use “Print Preview” before printing. You may not need the entire document printed or realize that the last page doesn’t contain anything of value.
7. Car pool, bike, walk or take public transportation at least once a week. According to the American Public Transportation Association, public transportation use saves 1.4 billion gallons of gasoline each year, and can reduce household expenses by $6,200. Plus you’ll get a day off from road rage.
8. Call the catalog companies that mail you and ask to be taken off their mailing lists. You can stop receiving junk mail using a free service like Catalog Choice http://www.catalogchoice.org/ Another organization that can stop the flow of junk mail to your house or office is http://www.41pounds.org/ According to their website, the average American adult receives 41 lbs of junk mail a year and junk mail produces more C02 than 9 million cars annually.
9. Unplug or use power strips that can be turned off for appliances and electronic devices such as computers, chargers, printers, televisions, cable set top boxes, microwave ovens, DVD players and coffee makers, to avoid energy vampires. Energy vampires can be spotted by walking through your home at night with the lights off. If you see the “standby” lights and digital displays on various appliances and electronic devices, these devices are using power and act like vampires silently sucking away energy even when they are turned “off.” Across all U.S. households, energy vampires account for an estimated 65 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity each year. This extra electricity costs consumers more than $5.8 billion annually and sends more than 87 billion pounds of heat-trapping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year.
10. Reduce energy consumption at your home and office. Turn off the lights and TV when no one is in the room and if you haven’t replaced your light bulbs with florescent bulbs get with the program and buy some today. The energy savings are more than make up for the costs of the bulbs.
The following pages provide tips on how to save energy:
- Tips from StopGlobalWarming.org
- EPA Global Warming Site: Actions for Individuals
- Personal Emissions Calculator
- Home Energy Saver
- Energy Star energy efficient appliances
- Choosing Energy Efficient Products
- Energy Efficient Windows
- Consumer Energy Information
- Power Smart
- Home Improvement Toolbox
- Energy Efficiency: First Things First
- Energy Efficient Home Articles
So which one of these green New Year Resolutions are you committed to? Any others that you would suggest?
Post your commitments, comments and suggestions below.
Be Free and Be Green!
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