15 Green New Year’s Resolutions Worth Adopting

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Happy New Year flower

New Year’s resolutions bring hope of new beginnings and a fresh start. As this year comes to a close, many people are beginning to look at what they would like to achieve in the New Year. While there are a number of traditional resolutions adopted from year to year (lose weight, get a new job, buy a home, etc.), there are also various non-traditional resolutions which can be made.

As you sit and ponder what the upcoming year may hold, take a few minutes to look over the following list of 15 green New Year’s resolutions worth adopting. Whether you adopt one, a few or all 15 of them, resolving to be greener in the upcoming year is  something worth doing.

  1. Figure out how to generate less waste and do so.
  2. Separate your waste into materials that can be recycled, those that can be composted and those to throw away.
  3. Set up a garden, either indoors or out, so you can grow your own fruit, vegetables and/or herbs (Your compost can help you get started.)
  4. Spend at least 30 minutes a day outdoors.
  5. Schedule time each day or week where you and your family go unplugged.
  6. Commit to saving energy during the winter by setting your thermostat no higher than 68° F during the day and lower at night or when you are away. Once temperatures begin to rise, set your thermostat no lower than 78° F when you are home and 85° F or more when you are away.
  7. Vow to avoid running your appliances during peak hours.
  8. Make sure your washing machine, dryer and dishwasher are full before you run a load.
  9. Reduce water consumption by limiting shower time, making your toilets low-flow, turning off water while brushing your teeth, etc.
  10. Opt for some type of renewable energy. Many residential areas have options for solar panels, wind turbine, hydro power and more.
  11. Drive less. Leave your vehicle at home at least one day a week (or more). Walk, bike, take the train or opt for other means of public transportation to get where you need to go.
  12. Reduce your meat consumption, by adjusting your weekly meal plan to include Meatless Mondays.
  13. Improve your overall health by resolving to eat more fresh, raw foods and less pre-packaged, processed foods.
  14. Switch to reusable products. Ditch one-use or disposable products.
  15. Lower the level of indoor air pollution in your home by adding more plants, airing out your home regularly, using natural homemade cleaners and making your own candles or air fresheners.

Adding these to your resolutions for the upcoming year will get you off to a good start on living a greener, more sustainable life. Remember to keep this in mind too:

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates

Here’s hoping the upcoming year is your greenest yet!

Happy New Year flower image by tanakawho and sunrise on the beach image by Ines Hegedus-Garcia via Flickr Creative Commons license.

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