December 30, 2011 at 11:27 am
Sustainable Living Guest Blogger: Kate Ruffing
New Year’s is not a blow-the-doors-off party for us. We take time with the family and enjoy a quiet evening together and a bonfire (weather permitting, of course). After all the busy rushing around, it is our time to reflect on the past year and ponder how we want to approach the fresh start that the New Year offers.
Beyond the traditional diet promises that we all make only to abandon them two weeks later, we look for one little thing we can do for the planet. Your resolution choice is completely up to you, but to make things easy, we have listed some of our favorite, simple things you could commit to. After all, no point in starting really big and feeling like you have a mountain to climb.
1. Change your bulbs: Save energy by converting your incandescent light bulbs to CLF (Compact Florescent Lights) or LED.
2. Plant food: If it is a windowsill with herbs or a full-fledged veggie garden, become an urban micro-farmer by growing something you can eat.
3. Say “no thanks” to bottled water: Approximately 1,500 disposable bottles are consumed every second in the United States. Saying “no” even once makes an impact, but work up to not using at all by using a reusable water bottle.
4. Reduce your paper product usage: Give up paper towels by using cloth or products like Skoy cloths, or substitute paper napkins and tissues for cloth.
5. Pick a day of service: Find one day out of the year the family can volunteer in the community and give back in a meaningful way.
6. Buy local: Commit to making a purchase of a product or from a small, local business at least once a week. It is easier than you think!
7. Bring your bag: Use reusable canvas grocery bags and cloth produce bags for all your purchases. When you have to use plastic, make sure to recycle or reuse.
8. Turn off the water: Running your faucet for a minute uses the same energy as leaving a 60-watt bulb on for an hour. Reduce energy and waste by not letting faucets drip or run.
9. Help the honeybee: Buy local honey (check labels to make sure it is not coming from abroad) and/or eliminate your use of pesticides.
10. Get around differently: Find one occasion in the next year to use public transportation or a “self-powered” way to get around (walking, biking, etc).
So “cheers” to 2012 and living a life with less impact. It can be easier than you think to add “Save the Planet” to your list of New Year’s resolutions.
Follow Kate Ruffing’s Sustainable Living adventures and discover solutions for your family at www.KateRuffing.com