When making new year’s resolutions, you probably don’t think about environmentally-conscious lifestyle changes, but eco-changes can have a far greater impact than watching your diet or exercising regularly. As the world gets warmer and resources diminish, small steps by single individuals taken together can protect and preserve our world. It is time to make a change. Here are some easy and efficient suggestions to help motivate sound ecological resolutions for an environmentally-friendly year!
- Start composting!
About 50% of all US produce is thrown away! Composting, recycling old food scraps into a garden fertilizer, is one of the easiest ways to reduce waste. In addition to food scraps, leaves, newspaper, and even eggshells can be composted. Put all additions into a compost bin (a garbage can will do) and wait until it decomposes and becomes brown and dry. Composting can continue all winter. Just put the compost bin in a sunny spot and insulate it against the cold, and you will be ready to add your compost to spring gardens for a natural fertilizer. Look online to see if there’s a composting program near you!
2) Use Color Changing Shower Heads!
We expect clean water to flow endlessly, but it is a luxury, and it should be conserved. One easy, fun way to remind ourselves to conserve is to invest in a shower head with built-in LED lights that change color during the progression of your shower for every 20 L of water used. When the water turns red, turn off the tap and towel-dry. It is that easy with this water-saving tech to save liters and liters of clean water. A super cute and aesthetically pleasing way to make your shower time greener.
3) Invest in Reusable Grocery Bags!
Want more oreos and tortilla chips!?! Try to reduce plastic use by eliminating plastic bags in your weekly grocery shopping. Only 1 out of 200 plastic bags are recycled, and the bags still take a long time to biodegrade. Plastic materials, including bags, end up in the ocean threatening sea life. Reusable bags typically cost no more than 99¢, and are a cost-efficient, good ecological option. There’s really no reason to keep getting plastic bags, if you’ve ever shopped at Urban Outfitters or Lululemon they give you a reusable bag with your purchase!!
4) Bike! Walk! Carpool!
Get your buddies together to travel to and from. When the temperatures are frigid, walking or biking to school may not be appealing, but you can still help the environment by carpooling with friends or taking public transportation to reduce pollution from carbon emissions. When the temperature starts to rise, biking and walking into town or school provides exercise, companionship, and zero carbon emission!
5) Keep Your Beach Clean!
Friends, the beach, and helping the environment — a perfect trifecta! Beginning in the spring, grab a group of buddies and some biodegradable trash bags and head to the beach. Collect those plastic bottles, food scraps and discarded toys so that the beach is ready for summer fun!
3) Hit Up the Farmers Market!
Buy local! Starting in the spring, farmers markets start to pop up all over local communities. Farmers markets benefit the environment and consumers. The need for pollution-causing transport to distant markets is eliminated, and preservative and pesticide use is not necessary due to the quick produce turnover. You might be shocked to find out the prices are way lower, the produce has so much more flavor, and you get to meet the people that grow the food going into your body! Good for you, good for the earth, good for the soul. Go meet your local farmers!
These are just a few ways to make an environmental difference. Take the first step. Encourage your friends and family to do the same. New year, new you — go green!