For Fun / Holiday

New Year’s Resolutions (for the environment)

Happy New Year! Image from here.

Happy New Year! Image from here.

3….2….1….HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Fine, so maybe I’m a little early here on the US east coast, but in a mere number of hours millions of people will be ringing in 2016 with that very mantra. And in the midst of falling confetti, popping champagne (or sparkling grape juice), and renditions of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ people across the world will be making the (dreaded, celebrated?) New Year’s Resolutions. With the now concluded Paris Climate Talks in the back of our minds, we’d like to present our twist on the time honored tradition: 10 Eco-conscious Resolutions (that everybody can adhere to!):

  1. You’ve, hopefully, heard this and the next two many, many times, but it’s worth repeating (and are so, so easy). The first, REDUCE! Think about it. When you go shopping, bring your own bags (don’t use new ones!). Get the receipt e-mailed to you. Small things like that. Just be conscious of what you are using, and when possible, cut out things you really don’t need.
  2. When you can’t reduce, REUSE. You can’t always reduce (it’s kind of hard to buy sugar without a bag…), so reuse. As my roommates can attest to, I have quite the jar collection from items purchased (and then used) from the grocery store. They’re really great for storing leftovers, using as a travel mug, or storing things in!
  3. And when you can’t reduce or reuse, RECYCLE. Sometimes you can’t always reuse either, so if all else fails, recycle. Always. It takes two seconds to rinse it out and throw it in the recycling bin. For real.
  4. Turn off the lights! This is SO easy. It takes two seconds, saves a ton of energy, AND will save you money. If you’re scared of the dark (like I am sometimes…) turn on a light with ONE light bulb or better yet, use a night light.
  5. Walk, bike, or take the bus. This is one I definitely need to start working on, but is so good not only for the environment, but for the waist line and your wallet. It’s often hard to do, but even making one small change, say, walking to the grocery store once a week, will make a difference.
  6. Read those scientific papers online! I’ve been getting better about this, especially with all the new technology that makes writing notes and highlighting so much easier. Plus, by reading papers on your computer you have less* likelihood of losing them (and your notes).

*Unless your computer is horribly unorganized, like mine, or your hard drive crashes and you were too ‘busy’ to back it up….

  1. Watch water usage. Take one minute shorter showers (if you take a shower everyday you’ll end up saving 766 gallons per year – that’s a lot!!), don’t water your grass, don’t leave the tap running while you brush your teeth…you get the idea. This is probably really, really important given the recent drought scares and increased water scarcity around the world.
  2. COMPOST!This is probably my number one New Year’s Resolution. For the easiest how to guide ever, see a recent post by one of our very own.
  3. Plant a garden! You can then use your newly composted soil to plant your own garden! Ok, this one would require a lot of effort with little reward, but, nothing is more gratifying than raising your own food (even part of it!). My recommendation: lettuce. It’s so easy, can grow both in the spring/early summer and late summer/fall, and yields a TON (even for a salad crazed person like me). It’s also super yummy.
  4. Start a conversation. I think this last resolution often gets overlooked. To make a real difference in the future of our planet we really need to get EVERYBODY involved, and getting everybody involved is something that needs to get done on the street level. So spread these resolutions far and wide! Challenge your friends to join you in the pursuit of a greener lifestyle! Tweet, facebook, and insta (is that a thing?) your changes! And let us know if you have any other ‘green’ resolutions. Together I sincerely think we CAN make a difference in the future of our planet. Are you ready to get on board?!
Image of earth from .

Image of earth from here.

Inspiration from the Paris Climate Talks and fellow UNdertheC bloggers.

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