Well, we’re approaching the end of the first week of 2010. If you are like me, you probably have both big and little green resolutions for the upcoming year. One of the obstacles we can run into, in accomplishing our resolutions, is not laying out some of the smaller steps needed to reach the bigger goals.
Along that line I thought I would lay out 7 little green choices that could help you in your resolution to be more environmentally-aware and eco-friendly this year. And…if you didn’t make a resolution along those lines, maybe these little steps will help encourage you to do so.
1) Turn off the running water. When you wash dishes, turn off the water while you scrub them. When you brush your teeth, turn off the water while you are brushing. When you take a shower, turn off the shower while you soap up or shampoo your hair. Did you know that a four-minute shower uses approximately 20 to 40 gallons of water? There are many water conservation tips that can begin with turning off the running water.
2) Adjust your thermostat. Adjusting your thermostat by just 1-2 degrees could potentially save you over a hundred dollars in heating and/or electric bills over the year.
3) Eat healthy. That little statement can have many green aspects from buying and eating organic fruits and vegetables, to eating less meat or even cutting meat out of your diet all together, to eating less fast food or processed food, to eliminating sweets and more. No matter which one is right for you, each one is a green choice that helps not just you, but the environment too.
4) Stop buying plastic plates, cutlery and straws and invest in re-usable and/or nature-friendly supplies. Did you know there are disposable plates made from fallen leaves? Or have you ever thought of switching to glass straws? GlassDharma has a line of microwave- and dishwasher-safe glass straws. So rather than using and tossing plastic straw after plastic straw, you can have a strong, sturdy straw build to last. Both are greener choices.
5) Take proper care of your vehicle (if you have one). Regular maintenance is something we don’t always consider a necessity, but if you expect your vehicle to run properly, it is a must. Getting regular oil changes, rotating and keeping your tires properly inflated, using a proven fuel additive, etc. are all steps that can help prolong the life of your vehicle as well as improve fuel economy and lower emissions.
6) Recycle/Re-use or donate. Now is a good time to look around your home and see if there are any items you don’t use, need or want anymore. Whether it’s old toys the kids no longer play with or clothes you no longer wear or even a Christmas gift you know you’ll never use. Be smart and get rid of them…but if you can avoid it, don’t trash them. Donate them, recycle them, re-gift them, even sell them. Just do yourself the favor of getting them out of your hands and into the hands of someone who could find good use for them.
7) And finally, make your own natural cleaning supplies. One thing you definitely don’t need more of this year are toxins. You get enough from car exhausts, existing chemicals already in your home, pollution, etc. Don’t make it worse by cleaning with chemicals/toxins. There are many simple recipes out there for effective, natural cleaners, try some.
In our busy day-to-day activities, simple choices are often what we need. I hope these simple, green choices can help get you on your way to a greener, more eco-friendly year! What little, green choice are you going to make today?