Green Resolutions

Blue Marble (Planet Earth)

Creative Commons License Photo credit: woodleywonderworks

Chances are, you already do quite a few of these already. These ideas certainly aren’t new or ingenious. However, they are simple, easy and attainable. So if you see something new on the list, give it a go. There are always things we can work on.

Your Two New Best Friends...

...are your reusable shopping bag and stainless steel thermos, of course. The thing about shopping trips and coffee runs is that they’re often unplanned, so you can’t realistically say no to plastic bags or paper cups. The problem is that these one time slip-ups really add up for the planet. But its easy to avoid if you always keep these two essentials with you. Never leave home without them!

Go Veggie Once a Week

It’s probably no surprise that meat production and processing requires an immense amount of water and land—more than is required to produce any other form of food. So even if it’s just once a week, eating a vegetarian meal makes a difference. As an added bonus, a plant-based diet has countless health benefits, including lower cholesterol and a reduced chance of heart disease.

If fussy family members don’t approve, try to make it exciting for them. Homemade pizzas (meat free), tacos and falafels are all great options that are both fun to make and eat.

Printing

At school and work, printing can often be unavoidable. But there are ways of making it a little better. First, try to suggest ways of avoiding printing to your boss or teacher. Other suggestions: go for recycled paper if you have the choice; print on both sides of the page; set your printer on the “draft†mode so it uses less ink; copy and paste only the essential parts of the document you want to print; and make sure to carefully proofread your work beforehand, so you won’t have to print it all out again.

Eco-Friendly Shopping

Although shopping really isn’t eco-friendly, at some point, things do need to be purchased. So replace your essential items (when they need to be replaced) with environmentally-friendly alternatives.  

For food, get to know your community by visiting farmers markets and sampling local eggs, produce, baking and more. Clothing can be purchased second-hand, produced locally, or made with environmentally friendly hemp, soy, bamboo, or organic cotton. Clothing-swap parties are also a fun way to get new clothes free and have fun in the process. Of course, choosing new appliances that use less energy is essential. Finally, try to purchase things (clothing, accessories, appliances, etc) that are meant to stand the test of time. The motto “Quality over Quantity†may not be part of our disposable society, but it’s important to embrace this values of previous generations.

No More Junk Mail!

Say no to paper junk mail by adding a simple red dot sticker to your mailbox. Check out the Red Dot Campaign’s website to get involved: http://www.reddotcampaign.ca/

Try Container Gardening

Even if you live in a condo. Even if they’re just herbs. Even if its just one container on your windowsill. There are tons of low-maintenance plants that require little water, and very little space. No green thumb required! Plus, there’s nothing like sprinkling your own parsley on top of your favourite spaghetti, knowing exactly where it came from, and that it’s 100% pesticide-free. Start with herbs like basil and chives, and veggies like cherry tomatoes and peppers.

Hang Dry Your Laundry

Why waste the energy when it’s so easy to let your clothes hang dry? There’s something charming about that rustic, country look of a clothes line flapping in the summer breeze. Plus, it saves money.

Talk About It!

This may be the most important one. It’s great if we make choices ourselves, but we have to promote these ideas to others. And since you’re reading this blog, you probably already know that. So spread the word and try to get others involved.

Preaching and nagging can get annoying, so attempt it in fun, creative ways. Have family members over for an organic, 100-mile, vegetarian meal; ask your friend to help you garden; brag to your co-workers about the awesome organic cotton t-shirt you just bought; or ask your neighbour if she’d like some free-range eggs you got from the local farmer.

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and green new year!


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Leah
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Guest EcoBold

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Great resolutions list! If everyone went vegetarian once a week, we'd make a huge difference on climate change...

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Guest gabecross

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You should also mention that meat production, in addition to using large amounts of land and water, contributes tons of CO2, NOx and Methane, all three are green house gasses. And since you recommend that we talk about it, check out my blog for lots of vegetarian recipes and tips on how to stretch the meat that you do eat! gabe-greencross.blogspot.com

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Guest Mississippi_Queen

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Fantastic! Right now I can handle 6 of these 8 resolutions, and I'll work my way up from there ;).

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Guest Natalie Eccleshall

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The 'eco-friendly shopping' idea is the same as that employed by the recent 'fairtrade fortnight' project, which i believed to be very successful. I work in a huge Sainsbury's and i know we saw sales of fairtrade goods rocket through the roof!

The container plants idea is also a good one! I think i will make a concious effort to grow something! My goldfish are still alive after a few months and so now i feel i'm ready for the next stage! :)

Great blogging!

Nat

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Guest Joy Ruiz

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An easy way to use less disposable plastic and avoid single use products is to invest in some good reusable substitutes. I take all potluck food to parties in my own dishware – it’s not that difficult to bring it home or pick it up later. That also cuts down on food waste – since you are more likely to bring it home that way.

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Another easy idea is re-using. By re-using goods or buying refurbished goods, there is no need for producing new products. This has an enormous positive impact on the carbon footprint. We at DURABILIT have proven this for example for hardware. For more information: http://www.durabilit.com Greetings from Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Europe.

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