I am looking forward to some much needed down time in the coming weeks. There has been so much baking and shopping and wrapping going on and I am tired! As we bring this year to a closer, however, I wanted to encourage you to think about your resolutions for next year. I thought I would share a few green New Year Resolutions ideas to help you start your year off with a small carbon footprint. Even if you can’t afford to get solar panels installed, you can definitely afford these green living tips!
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When you are making your green New Year Resolutions ideas, remember that nobody is perfect. We all yell at our kids, eat fast food, forget important dates and make mistakes. I am no exception to that, believe me! Consider these resolutions to be long term goals rather than hard and fast rules. If you are considering making a New Years resolution this year, I would like to encourage you to make one that benefits both you AND our environment.
Green New Year Resolutions Ideas
Many changes that we make in our lives to reduce our carbon footprint will also save us money, make us healthier, and reduce our stress levels considerably. Here are just a few of my ideas for a New Years resolution that will help you go green, get healthy and simplify your life.
Eat out less:
It is incredibly easy to pick up the phone or hit the drive-thru when we are pressed for time and hungry. I have a weakness for salty French fries and spicy Thai food myself. Cutting back on how often you eat out will save you a ton of money and probably calories as well. Fast food also comes with an abundance of packaging that is filling up our landfills. Invest in a few good cookbooks and a crock-pot. Crock-pot cooking can save you a ton of time in the kitchen and there are no Styrofoam containers to throw away. Find a few easy dinner recipes and eating family dinner in your home.
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Learn to garden:
Spring is just around the corner (really…I promise!) and now is the perfect time to start planning your garden. Spending time outside gardening is great for your health and there is nothing greener than going into your backyard to pick your own organic produce. If you don’t have a lot of space, consider putting some pots on your patio or out by the mailbox. Even just a few herbs and fresh tomatoes are a great start. If you want to make edible gardening your New Years resolution, check out my gardening posts and follow my blog this spring to see what I am up to. I am not always the most successful gardener but hopefully we can learn together!
Donate to Environmental Charities
As you work on saving money and cutting back on purchasing new things, you may find that you have enough money to donate to a cause. Check out my post about environmental charities to learn how to find a green cause to support!
Buy one thing that is organic:
While I love organic food, I realize that it is extremely pricy compared to conventionally raised produce. I spend hundreds of dollars a week feeding my family and only a small portion of that is organic. Make a New Years resolution to add just ONE organic item to your grocery cart each week. Do not succumb to the idea that going green means a 100% change in your grocery shopping! Even just purchasing a few organic items a week is a step in the right direction. Check out my article on how to save money on organic food for a few tips to help you not ruin your budget completely. Even if you are feeding hungry teenagers like I am! Consider a subscription to Thrive Market if you don’t have a good selection of organic food at your grocery store.
Throw out less stuff:
I am often appalled when I drive down the road in my neighborhood on trash day. Some families (who I know only have 4 or 5 people in them) have trash bins that are completely overflowing with garbage. Much of it is stuff that is clearly recyclable. If you are considering green New Year Resolutions ideas, throwing out less stuff is an important one. Learn to compost your organic waste like carrot peelings or coffee grounds. Find new ways to use old things. If you enjoy crafting, try a few eco friendly crafts like my yogurt cup bracelets or my Altoid tin tic tac toe game. Buy less STUFF and when you do buy something try to find it second hand. Just reducing your trash output is a great way to go green! And make sure you recycle, recycle, recycle!
Support green businesses:
Our collective buying power as Americans is HUGE. And companies often only make changes when they know it is what consumers are willing to spend money on. Choosing to spend your money on companies with a smaller carbon footprint is a great step along the road to green living. Whether you choose to support your local thrift shop, a small local business, or a company that makes environmentally friendly products this is a great New Years resolution to make. Shop farmers markets and Etsy rather than your big box store whenever possible.
Remember, these green New Year Resolutions ideas are merely guidelines to strive for as you live your life. Small changes, every day, are easier to make and are more likely to become a lasting lifestyle. Switching to hemp and tofu January first may be a shock to your wallet and mind. Take baby steps this year on the road to green living!
What are YOUR Green New Year Resolutions Ideas?
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Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.