We at NC GreenPower hope you had wonderful holidays! Now that we have welcomed the New Year, it’s time to reflect on some ways you can make small changes to live more environmentally friendly. We’ve compiled a list of ideas for New Year’s Resolutions you can make that will help you live a greener life. A lot of the time, small behavioral changes make a big difference!
1) Pledge to never buy bottled water again! Ok, you can in a pinch, but make a real effort to remember to bring your own bottle. This will not only be good for the environment, it will help your wallet, too. Watch this video from the Story of Stuff to learn more.
2) If you live close enough to work, resolve to make an effort to bike or walk to work (if you don’t already!). It depends on your own personal biking experience and level of athleticism, but you could aim to bike to work once a week, once a month, or even just a few times a year. Biking or walking to work accomplishes two things at once: it cuts down on pollution and it gives you a little exercise, which boosts your mood. Studies have shown that those who commute to work by bicycles are the happiest of all commuter transportation groups (verses single person cars, carpooling, or taking public transportation). Visit bikeleague.org to learn about biking safely.
3) Resolve to buy more locally produced food. Visit your local farmers’ market more often! Buying local not only reduces the transportation impact of the food, it also helps support the local economy. And you get yummy food out of it – sounds like a good deal to me! Find a market near you at NCFarmFresh.com
4) Transition to using only LED lighting. It would be pretty wasteful to throw out all of your current incandescent light bulbs if they still work, but whenever you replace a bulb or install new lighting, resolve to use LED.
5) Make your own home cleaners. This can save you money and greatly improve the air quality in your home in addition to keep unwanted chemicals out of the water supply (notice a theme here? A lot of these changes have many additional benefits, not just for the environment!
6) Eat less meat (or become vegetarian/vegan/pescetarian). Many countries have introduced meatless Fridays in their public schools in an effort to teach kids about the negative impacts that meat production and consumption has on our environment. Why not embrace that message and adopt a similar policy yourself? Choosing one day to go meatless is a very small commitment but if followed consistently it could have significant effects environmentally, financially (saves you money!), and for your health.
To me, New Year’s Resolutions are best when they are rather small and manageable. Then it’s much more likely that you will actually follow them! I hope you have gotten some good ideas of how you can make your 2015 more green.