This year we are throwing it out there and challenging all of you to commit to 1 or more green New Years’ Resolution from our list below. Many are very simple, some take effort, some take will and determination – all are baby steps to a better lifestyle, a healthier lifestyle, a greener lifestyle.
I will volunteer to participate in a local environmental cleanup or restoration project.
I will visit a national wildlife refuge, wildlife rehabilitation clinic or wildlife sanctuary. I will support the regeneration of wildlife species, endangered species and injured species. Most refuges, clinics and sanctuaries charge a small fee and some are free and appreciate a small donation.
I will start a recycling program in my household.
I will start using cloth shopping bags and not plastic bags when I go shopping.
I will shut the lights off when I leave a room.
I will not leave the tap running when I brush my teeth, shave or remove my make-up.
Instead of walking with my head down avoiding eye contact, I will share a smile with a complete stranger.
I will reduce my showers to under 5 minutes.
I will fix that leaky faucet, draft under the door or replace that single pane window. I will start to make my home more energy efficient.
I will park my car and enter the coffee shop or restaurant on foot instead of waiting in a long drive thru line up with my motor running.
I will spade or neuter my pet this year.
I will donate some time or resources to a cause saving wildlife, forests, parks, trails, historic sites, rivers, lakes, oceans or something else dear to my heart.
I will stop buying bottled water and start using water bottles.
I will plant a vegetable garden this year and eat healthier.
I will commit to a car pool program or make an effort to work public transit into my weekly routine.
I will walk or ride a bike instead of using my car for short distances.
I will bring a coffee mug into a coffee shop instead of using a paper coffee cup from the cafe.
I will be a big enough person to pick up after an idiot who litters on the streets of my community.
I will reduce putting harmful chemicals into the water system by switching my laundry detergent to an environmental brand which are plant-based, concentrated or biodegradable.
I will use “safe” salts on my driveway and walkway this winter so that animals won’t get their feet burned and harmful chemicals will not be washed down into the sewer system.
I will wash more clothes in cold water. If the clothes are real dirty I will wash them in warm instead of hot. Over 90 percent of the energy to run your washer is used for heating the water.
I will set up a clothes line in the back yard for drying clothes in the summer. In many households the second largest energy wasting device is your clothes dryer.
I will not flush any old and unused prescription drugs down the toilet and be one of those people who contributes to an already overmedicated environment. I will return my unused drugs to my pharmacist.
I will add a sweater or bundle up with my loved one under a blanket instead of turning up the thermostat a few degrees in the winter and… I will create a cool breeze from a fan instead of turning on the air conditioner in the summer.
I will switch from a bank to a credit union. The idea is that many big banks invest your money in dirty projects like mines in developing nations and that credit unions invest your money locally promoting greener projects.
I will buy locally-grown food and support local farmers.
I will enjoy the great outdoors more this year by visiting a community, regional, provincial or national park that I have never been to or… I will visit one that is located in a neighboring community.
I will clean up every spill of harmful fluids like radiator fluid and oil from my car to prevent animals from drinking the poison.
If I decide on adopting a pet I will visit the animal shelter first to see if I can save a life.
I will shop consignment stores, garage sales and thrift shops. Drop the ego… I think it’s time to grow up as a society and be responsible and get past that mental blockage that it’s “not cool” to purchase pre-owned items. It is time to reuse, reuse and reuse.
I will plant a tree. Trees remove CO2 from the air and produce oxygen. One acre of forest absorbs six tons of CO2 and produces 4 tons of oxygen. This is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people.
I will start a backyard compost. Did you know mixing all garbage into one garbage bag makes the paper un-recyclable. Garbage in a landfill turns into methane gas. Garbage sent to an incinerator turns into carbon dioxide. Both methane and carbon dioxide are greenhouse gases. Garbage which is composted returns carbon and plant nutrients back into the earth where they belong.
I will do something about the junk mail I receive like unwanted catalogues and flyers. I will make a request to be put on a no mailing list for junk mail.
And most important, I will remind myself every day that I am not the only person on this planet that matters.