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Here are some green New Years resolutions
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It’s the time of year when we start thinking of how we’ll change ourselves in the upcoming New Year. We look for ways to make a change in our lives, hoping better health or less stress. Some resolutions are small; others are big life-changing challenges. Going green is a great way to start off the New Year, but instead of making a broad generalization, choose a few specific ways to green your life in 2012. Below are some suggestions to get you started:
• Make it a goal to decrease the amount of disposable shopping bags you take in 2012. It’s a simple step that helps reduce the millions of bags that are filling up our landfills. Remember to always put the bags back in your car after you unload. If you take disposable bags, repurpose them for trashcan liners or dog pick up bags.
• Switch your monthly bills to electronic billing. Even if you print them out at home, you’ll eliminate the postage and reduce paper use (no envelopes and annoying “special offer” inserts).
• Start composting – it’s simple and you get free fertilizer.
• Before you throw anything away, ask yourself if you can use it in a new way or if someone else could use it.
• Use earth-friendly cleaners. Throw out all of your old cleaning supplies that contain harmful chemicals which can contaminate the air quality in your home. These days, you should have no problem finding eco-friendly cleaning supplies or you can make your own.
• Recycle anything and everything you can. If you have to take your recycling somewhere, combine it with a trip you are making for other reasons.
• If you’re replacing appliances in 2012, pay a little more for the most efficient Energy Star models – they’ll save you money in the long run.
• Start buying and eating local food. Support local, organic agriculture in your community and go to the local farmers markets. Choose to pay a little extra to support the folks growing food in your area. It will help your health and the health of your area’s economy.
• Stop buying plastic water bottles. Last year, in the United States alone, consumers used over 50 billion plastic water bottles. That is a lot of plastic, a percentage of which ends up in our landfills.
• Walk more, particularly if your destination is less than 30 minutes on foot. It’s good for your health and the environment.
• Build a rain barrel to get free water for your garden and plants.
• Check for leaks in your toilet. A leaking toilet can waste anywhere between 30 and 500 gallons of water every day, so any leak should be repaired. To see if your toilet is leaking, put a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. If the dye shows up in the toilet bowl after 15 minutes or so, the toilet has a leak.