A New Year, A New You: 25 Green Resolutions for the New Year, Pt. 2

by deborah on January 20, 2014 · 7 comments

in Living Green

A New Year, A New You: 25 Green Resolutions for the New Year, Pt. 2

A New Year, A New You: 25 Green Resolutions for the New Year, Pt. 2

It’s a new year.

Time for “tweaking” my life a bit.

Or in other words, assessing where I am, where I want to be and how I am going

to get there.

For me, that means “making new resolutions” for the coming year.

And my most important quality of life resolutions have to be “green”.

What about you?

What commitments will you–and ideally, your friends and family–choose 

to make toward a greener new year?

A New Year, A New You: 25 Green Resolutions for the New Year, Pt. 2

What commitments will you–and ideally, your friends and family–choose
to make toward a greener new year?

By implementing some of these green resolutions (or others of your own), we will

save money, help protect the environment, support better health.

and gain satisfaction from the knowledge that we are making the world a

better place for future generations.

In part one of this green resolution series, we explored 10 important ways to live greener.

Now, let’s continue with 15 more suggestions for green resolutions that can

really make a difference…

#11. Borrow or Barter Instead of Buying

A New Year, A New You: 25 Green Resolutions for the New Year, Pt. 2

Go green and save green by bartering, borrowing and trading work instead of buying.

This year, try to identify alternatives to buying new things.

Try borrowing things you need rather than buying them–especially

if you are only going to be using that item for one project.

You’ll save money while helping to save the environment.

For example, if you are refurbishing a piece of furniture you bought at a thrift store,

it’s probably a one-time deal.

See if you can borrow an electric sander and some of the other tools you will need to

refinish the piece.

You can trade work with neighbors, too.

Maybe your neighbor needs someone to watch his or her pets while he or she goes on vacation.

Then that neighbor can help you out by doing yard work or something else you need.

Trading work in this old-fashioned way forges community connections and fosters friendships.

#12. Save More Water This Year

A New Year, A New You: 25 Green Resolutions for the New Year, Pt. 2

One way to save water is to install a rain barrel. You can use the water to water your garden and lawn, and wash your car among other uses.

Cutting back on water waste is a great, green New Year’s resolution.

Here are some actions to commit to this year to save water:

-Install a rain barrel

You can use the water to water your garden, lawn, and container plants.

Wash your car and hair with it (rain water makes hair very soft).

Rain water can also  be used to wash your pets (don’t give them rain water to drink,

however).

-Time your showers

– 10 minutes should suffice.

-Install low-flow aerators on your faucets, including the shower.

This is cheap and easy to do, but the savings can be significant.

-Mind your toilets

-Consider getting a low-flow toilet or upgrading your existing one.

-Don’t flush the toilet every time you use it.

Liquid waste does not have to be flushed away each time.

#13. Green Your Lawn

A New Year, A New You: 25 Green Resolutions for the New Year, Pt. 2

Green your lawn. Allow some of the valuable “weeds” and wildflowers grow.

This may be an easy resolution to keep – don’t keep a manicured, perfectly-mowed

lawn this spring and summer.

Instead, let some of the valuable “weeds” and wildflowers grow.

This increases diversity and provides sources of food for insects and animals.

It may even provide food for you!

#14. Start a Garden

A New Year, A New You: 25 Green Resolutions for the New Year, Pt. 2

Growing organic herbs such as lavender in a garden–or containers–
is another great way to go green in the coming year.

January is a great time to begin planning a garden and ordering seeds.

If you are going for flowers, try to plant native species that will benefit local insects

and birds.

Bees will also appreciate abundant flowers.

A vegetable garden is another way to go green.

You can give away your surplus to friends.

If a whole vegetable garden seems overwhelming, maybe try growing one thing this

year, like tomatoes.

You can even grow those in containers.

Summer squash and cucumbers are also easy for beginners.

If vegetables aren’t possible, try some easy fruit-bearing shrubs and plants.

Raspberries and blackberries are hardy and easy to grow.

Strawberries are not too difficult, either.

Blueberries grow well if you are in a high mountain climate.

Growing herbs in a garden or containers is another way to go green in the coming year.

Many medicinal and culinary herbs do well in pots, or you can cultivate a small piece of

ground for your herb garden.

#15. Exchange Disposables for Reusables

A New Year, A New You: 25 Green Resolutions for the New Year, Pt. 2

Reusable water bottles are a safer, greener alternative to disposable cups.

From napkins to water bottles, look around your home and resolve to replace at least half

of your disposable items with reusable ones.

Some items to consider are:

-Paper napkins (use cloth napkins)

-Paper towels (use rags or cloths)

-Plastic water bottles (get a filter for your sink or a water filtering pitcher, and from that

fill a reusable water bottle of glass or stainless steel)

-Brown paper bags (replace with reusable lunch totes)

-Paper and plastic bags should be replaced with your own reusable tote bags.

#16. Fix It Instead of Tossing

A New Year, A New You: 25 Green Resolutions for the New Year, Pt. 2

Try to repair broken items such as your ice skates, before throwing them out and buying new.

Resolve to at least try to salvage items before throwing them out.

From appliances to kids’ toys to furniture, we are often too quick to throw things away to

make room for the latest and the best.

If something gets scratched or damaged, try to find creative fixes for the problem.

Sometimes, even getting a professional to fix something is more economical than

throwing it out and buying new.

#17. Donate, Do not Throw Away

A New Year, A New You: 25 Green Resolutions for the New Year, Pt. 2

Donate items you no longer need or use at your local charitable thrift shop–instead of discarding them.

Whether it’s your old computer, eyeglasses in a prescription you no longer use, or

clothing you no longer wear, donating used items to your local charity is a great way to

start the New Year.

Maybe promise you’ll clean out a closet and donate anything you haven’t worn within

the last 2 years.

Or perhaps you could resolve to clean out your basement and donate unused items.

#18. Reduce Your Use of Paper

A New Year, A New You: 25 Green Resolutions for the New Year, Pt. 2

Replace paper napkins with hemp organic napkins like this one from Reuseit.com.

-Commit to paying at least some of your bills online this year.

This avoids the hassle of mailing a payment, and it also saves an envelope, printed bill,

stamp, and check – all paper items.

-Send e-cards and e-invitations rather than paper ones.

-Recycle your newspapers and magazines, and read online as much as you can.

-Use handkerchiefs instead of tissues.

-Use a travel mug instead of paper coffee cups.

#20. Plant a Tree

A New Year, A New You: 25 Green Resolutions for the New Year, Pt. 2

Resolving to plant a tree is the simplest of green acts.

Perhaps the simplest of green acts is to plant a tree–or plant several.

This is a great green New Year’s resolution!

Plant species that are native to the area where you are planting.

#21. Put Away the Power Tools

A New Year, A New You: 25 Green Resolutions for the New Year, Pt. 2

Rake the leaves by hand instead of using the electric leaf blower.

Why not resolve to do more things by hand this year?

Rake instead of using a leaf blower;

Shovel snow by hand (it’s good exercise!);

-Invest in a reel mower instead of a gas-powered one.

-Sweep the floor with a broom to reduce the time and frequency of electric vacuum use.

#19. Get Around Green

A New Year, A New You: 25 Green Resolutions for the New Year, Pt. 2

Bike or walk to your destination instead of driving your car, whenever possible.

If you have been driving yourself everywhere in your car, alone, make some changes

this year.

Carpool at least once a week, and take public transit at least that often.

Walk or bike instead of driving whenever possible.

#22. Turn It Off

A New Year, A New You: 25 Green Resolutions for the New Year, Pt. 2

Make a commitment to turn off all electronic visual media at least one day a week. Or try to designate an electricity-free day!

Consider committing yourself to one night per week where you are not partaking of visual

media.

Turn off the computer, television, and anything with a screen.

Spend time with your family and/or outdoors.

Read books from the library.

You and your family may come to look forward to your night “off.”

Another green resolution along these lines is to spend some time each week

“electricity-free.”

Act as if there is a power outage.

#23. Feed the Birds

A New Year, A New You: 25 Green Resolutions for the New Year, Pt. 2

By feeding birds you are contributing to the health of the local ecosystem and habitat.

In January, the birds will be glad you chose this resolution!

Put out seed in various containers to create a feeding station.

A non-freezing water source is also essential.

In the spring, consider planting shrubs and plants that birds enjoy for shelter and food.

Examples include: American holly, Purple Cornflower, Cottoneaster, Boxwood and Juniper.

There are many more – research the birds in your area and see what sorts of plants and birds

are native.

Then plant accordingly.

This is a very green resolution, because you are contributing to the health of the

local ecosystem and habitat.

Song birds are decreasing in numbers in many places.

#24. Support Local Businesses

A New Year, A New You: 25 Green Resolutions for the New Year, Pt. 2

Shop locally and support local businesses.

If you have a habit of going to the “big box store” or “everything-mart” when you need

something, resolve to try to meet that need via local businesses first.

From food to clothes to furniture, it’s likely that there is a local business selling just

what you need.

Supporting local business reduces the use of fossil fuels; items do not have

to be shipped so far.

It also supports your local community.

#25. Green Your Gift Giving

A New Year, A New You: 25 Green Resolutions for the New Year, Pt. 2

Recycled gifts like this handmade, recycled cement packaging tote bags make great green gifts.

When it comes to giving gifts, resolve to give the folks on your list items that

are used, refurbished or homemade.

Used gifts do not have to be shoddy; think antique stores.

Antiques have a lot of character and are often very affordable.

Table linens, interesting china, collectibles, and various odds and ends are plentiful in

antique stores.

Second-hand stores and thrift stores are also great places to pick up gifts.

And if that isn’t your style, make gifts this year.

All kinds of things can be made from recyclables around the home, or you can give

the gift of dried flowers or herbs from your garden.

Make your own tea blend and give it in pretty containers along with a tea infuser.

Candy and baked goods are also popular homemade gifts.

Other ideas for homemade gifts include:

A New Year, A New You: 25 Green Resolutions for the New Year, Pt. 2

Resolve to give green gifts this year such as organic, handmade soaps.

-Handmade soaps, moisturizers, and “misters” (spray scents).

Handmade pillows

You can just sew buttons or a felt cut-out design onto a used pillow for

a quick, unique gift.

Candle holders

Use decoupage medium to adhere pieces of colored tissue paper to

inexpensive, bulk glass holders or recycled bottles and jars.

-Hand painted glass or china

Use green, non-toxic paint that is made for ceramics and glass that can

be baked in the oven to make it permanent.

Paint glasses, cups, bowls, and so forth that you pick up at yard sales and

flea markets.

Want More Green Resolutions?

Click the link below to read resolutions  #1 – 10 of

 “A New Year, A New You: 25 Green Resolutions for the New Year”.

Now it’s your turn: what are your most important green resolutions this year?

Urban Naturale.com: Living healthy, green and natural by design

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