Five Easy Ways to Start off the New Year a Little Greener

Happy New Year!

A new year always brings excitement and hope, quickly followed by a sense of feeling overwhelmed by all the things you resolved to change, start, or do more of. So the last thing I want to do is add more to your list! Hopefully one of your resolutions this year is to be a little “greener” in your everyday life, but even if it’s not, here are 5 quick and easy things you can do that will make an impact!

1. Recycle your Christmas Tree.

If you are anything like me, you enjoy keeping your Christmas tree and decorations up a little after the holidays end to enjoy the happiness that they bring. Or, if you are even more like me, you keep putting off taking all the decorations down until it’s the end of January! If this sounds like you, don’t worry, there is still plenty of time to find a place to recycle your Christmas tree. Checkout this website to find a place close to you.

2. Give Away, Give Back.

It’s likely you bought or were gifted new clothes or housewares during the holidays. Instead of throwing away that old toaster or that older pink sweater that was recently replaced, think about donating! Plan a clothing swap with your close friends – everyone brings items they want to get rid of or no longer fit. Throw in a bottle of wine just for fun! 🙂 Take the items that no one picks to Goodwill to give back to community while also lightening your load.

3. Go Vegetarian Once a Week.

So much bang for your buck with this one! Reducing your meat intake and increasing your plant based food intake is good for your health and the environment! A diet with too much meat can contribute to health issues and if you’ve forgotten how I feel about plant based eating, re-read this post. According to Scientific American, a report from 2006 showed that “our diets and, specifically, the meat in them cause more greenhouse gases…than either transportation or industry.” If you’re feeling spunky, try one meal a day without meat.

4. Replace your Light Bulbs.

Go ahead and take the plunge if you haven’t already! Replace all the regular light bulbs in your home with compact florescent bulbs (CFLs). You won’t notice much of a difference until the Fall or this time next year, since that’s the first time you will have to replace them! CFLs last 10-25 times longer than regular bulbs and require 70-90% less energy to run over their lifetime, meaning you’ll also notice a difference in your electric bills. You’re welcome. 🙂

5. Take 20 Minutes to Watch “The Story of Stuff.”

This is a short video that points out how our consumerism and consumption patterns are connected to current environmental issues. After you’ve watched it, share it with your friends or on social media! Help spread the word and educate others!

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