Have a Happy (Greener) New Year!

— Written By Trudy Beirise and last updated by
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It’s almost here: a brand new year, 2016! For most people that means dedicating themselves to New Year’s resolutions. But let’s face it, we all make a lot of resolutions that we don’t keep. We’re either too busy with work or too consumed with our personal lives to truly stick to our goals.

This year make New Year’s resolutions that will benefit everyone and the planet. Here are ten eco friendly resolutions that you can make this year to have a happy and greener new year. Perhaps it is also time to renew your family’s commitment to greener living.

  1. Instead of buying a pack of bottled water and creating more plastic waste, how about using a water bottle designed to be washed and reused? Make it fun for children by personalizing their bottles with names and colorful designs.
  2. Recycle empty containers! Get rid of your waste in an eco- friendly way and help reduce landfill usage. Rededicate your family and workmates to a recycling campaign for the New Year!
  3. Switch to Reusable Shopping Bags -You can purchase organic and eco friendly reusable shopping bags at many checkout counters. You can also take used plastic bags to the store for reuse.
  4. Drive Less -You may not be able to afford a hybrid vehicle but you CAN afford to reduce your carbon footprint by driving less. Combine errands into one trip.
  5. Green Your Work Area – You spend 40 hours and more a week at your place of employment, so how about making it a bit more eco friendly? Not only will you be more productive at work, but you’ll also be helping out the environment.
  6. Stay in Touch with Family and Friends -You can reduce paper waste by sending them an email or a free e-card, or you can purchase cards made from recycled paper.
  7. Shop second hand stores, antique shops, yard sales and consignment shops for your next purchase. Children’s toys, furniture, small appliances and more are available at bargain prices. You will be REUSING what someone else can no longer use and saving money too!
  8. Green Your Computer – Even if you turned your laptop off, it still consumed energy if it was plugged into the wall! Cut back on your computer’s energy consumption by unplugging the cord when it’s not in use.
  9. Start a Garden – Nothing is more fulfilling and healthier than eating your own home grown food. Start small with container gardening if digging a garden plot is too daunting.
  10. Use Less Water – There are many ways that you can reduce your water consumption, from turning off the water when you’re brushing your teeth to taking shorter showers.

Resource: Trish Smith