6 Green Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

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The New Year is nearly here, and it’s time to start thinking about those dreaded resolutions. We want you to get this year off on the right foot, so here are some suggestions for super-easy green resolutions that won’t be hard to keep.

The Dane County farmers' market in Madison, Wis. is the largest producer-only farmers

1. Eat and shop local

There are so many benefits to eating local; you’re helping your local economy, food is fresher and stays fresh longer and fewer chemicals are needed to prolong life.

Also, studies have found that food could travel 1,500 miles before it reaches your plate. That means a lot of pollution. Eating and shopping closer to home helps cut down on that pollution.

Check out local farmers’ markets and artisan shops.

If you live in the West, see if the  Bountiful Baskets Co-Op works for you. Each week you pick up a basket of local, organic vegetables and foodstuffs usually at a lower price than the grocery store.

2. Start a compost pile

Compost is magical. It improves soil quality physically, chemically and biologically. It also reduces the estimated 1.3 pounds of food scraps that Americans throw away daily.

The best part is you can compost no matter where you live and make huge, but simple strides to be more green in 2011. Bonus: Use the nutrient-rich soil to grow herbs and vegetables, and you keep your eating local resolution, too.

3. Reduce your footprint

Almost everything we do contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, but there are a lot of little things you can do to reduce your footprint. An added benefit is that these things will also save you money.

In the winter, try to keep your thermostat at 68 degrees or lower and during summer months, try for 78 degrees or higher. For each degree you vary from these recommended settings, you can increase your energy bill by four percent. Plus, less energy use means fewer emissions.

Make every Friday carpool day to work or school. This simple act will this bring you closer with your neighbors and help cut down on pollution.

4. Start recycling

Recycling is not only one of the greenest things you can do, it’s also one of the easiest. If your community doesn’t offer a curbside recycling program, you’ll have to drop off recyclables at a collection center nearest you.

Try storing recyclables in plastic tub with a lid and handles. This will make carrying everything to the center much easier. Bonus: Consolidate your trips, and you can also keep the reducing your footprint resolution.

5. Throw monthly reuse parties

How often have you cleaned out the garage and just thrown out what you don’t want or can’t use anymore? Remember, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Set up clothing and item swaps with your friends once a month. Invite everyone over for an afternoon and have them bring usable items and clothes to trade or give away. It’s fun to get together, and you can feel good knowing the things you don’t want won’t go to waste.

6. Simply use less

It’s so easy and convenient to use paper plates, paper towels and single-use mops, but think about all the waste you have to throw away.

This year try to avoid single-use products and excessive packaging. Invest in plates, mops and towels that you can reuse over and over, instead of ones you throw away after only a few uses.

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