This is the list of my top “Green Resolutions” for the New Year. Remember, it’s all about taking baby steps. Any action you take will benefit your health and the health of this planet we call home.
- Reduce the amount of meat and dairy you eat, especially red meat. Adopt Meatless Mondays or even better, become a WEEKDAY VEGETARIAN.
- Start collecting your food scraps at home and compost them or bring them to a Community Composting Facility near you.
- Reduce the amount of disposable plastics you use. Replace plastic plates, cups and utensils with reusable ones like ceramic plates, cups and silverware. HAVE MINIMAL WASTE PARTIES.
- Reduce your junk mail by going to any of these websites and following instructions: https://dmachoice.thedma.org or www.catalogchoice.org.
- Recycle right and when in doubt throw it out. Go to your town website and get updated information, print it and put it next to your recycling bin.
- Bring your own reusable bags when you go shopping. Keep them in your handbag and in your car. If you forget, ask for a cardboard box or skip the bag and carry your own item to the car. AVOID PLASTIC BAGS.
- Choose local and organic foods whenever possible and try to buy food with less packaging. For example: choose loose corn instead of corn wrapped in Styrofoam and plastic. AND BUY JUST THE FOOD YOU’LL EAT.
- Use full loads of dishes and clothes on a short cycle if possible and use half the amount of detergent as recommended.
- Bring Your Own Mug to the coffee shop or ask for a ceramic mug and sit down and enjoy your coffee. AND SKIP THE STRAW.
- Use kitchen cloths in the kitchen instead of paper towels. Try the Super Amazing Reusable Kitchen Cloth from Trader Joe’s.
- Use newspaper and paper bags to wrap presents, decorate with dried plants and raffia and re-use gift bags. Gift wrapping paper is not recyclable.
- Bring your own containers for take out and avoid toxic Styrofoam and extra trash.
- Filter your own water and home and carry a reusable water bottle. AVOID PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES.
- Replace paper napkins with beautiful and colorful cloth ones.
- Think before you print and always print double sided.
- When you buy paper goods: toilet paper, paper towels and print paper, choose paper with high post consumer recycled content. That way, you are helping to maintain market demand for recyclables.
- Buy only good quality clothing so it lasts a long time. Ideally buy in consignment stores. Avoid cheap clothing that will soon break apart and will end up in landfills.
At Home Actions
- Install a clothesline in your yard to dry your clothes in the summer and one in your basement to dry your clothes in the winter. OR GET A STAND UP RACK.
- When something breaks try fixing it first. If you need to buy a new item consider buying it second hand. Check www.boston.craiglist.org.
- Watch a video on sustainability: “Bag It”, “Before the Flood”, “Food Inc”, “Cowspiracy”, “Time to Choose”, “The True Cost”, “Forks Over Knives”.
- Turn off the lights. If you’re not using a room, there’s no need for the light to be on.
- Consider installing solar panels on your home or purchasing renewable electricity from a reliable supplier. Contact Mass Energy: www.massenergy.org.
- Replace your conventional bulbs with LED bulbs when they break.
- Turn off electronic devices when not in use.
- Contact Mass Save: www.masssave.com for a home energy assessment to save money and energy in your home.
- Adjust your water heater to 120 degrees.
- Next time you buy a new appliance, choose one with the Energy Star label.
- Turn your thermostat down and put on an extra layer. Or get a programmable thermostat.
- Use re-chargeable batteries only and when they die, recycle them properly.
- Next time you need to buy a new car, consider a hybrid, electric or super fuel-efficient car: https://www.massenergy.org/drivegreen
- Maximize fuel efficiency of your car, no matter what model you drive: Keep tires inflated, avoid speeding, and keep your trunk free of excess weight.
Actions In Your Community
- Support locally owned businesses, shop in farmer’s markets and consider becoming a member of a local CSA farm.
- Carpool whenever possible – especially if you have a long drive to work or for kids’ sports games.
- Support safe biking in your community and be careful and respectful with bikers.
- Do not idle, it wastes fuel and pollutes the air.
- Learn more about climate change and share what you learn with others, especially with your children.
- Support local climate action organizations.