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15 New Year’s Resolutions

We are just hours away from the new year so it’s time to make promises about how we’ll better ourselves in the year ahead. Some resolutions are small and others are a lifelong challenge.

More New Year’s resolutions are broken than kept every year, especially if they are not whole hearted decisions. Going green is a great way to start off the new year. Choose a few specific ways to green your life in 2013.

Below are 15 suggestions to get you started.

1. Stop using paper and plastic bags all together. Start carrying at least one reusable bag with you and it will become as routine as grabbing your keys when you leave the house.

2. Switch your monthly bills to e-billing. Even if you print them out at home, you’ll eliminate the postage carbon footprint and reduce paper use.

3. Before throwing anything away, stop and think. Ask yourself if you can use it in a new way or if someone else could use it.

4. Recycle anything and everything possible. Even if you have to drive items to a recycling center once a month, you’ll still be saving raw materials.

5. Start a compost pile. It’s simple and you get free fertilizer.

6. Paint only with no-VOC formulas.

7. If you’re replacing appliances in 2013, pay a little more for the most efficient energy saving models. They’ll save you money in the long run.

8. Walk or ride more. There is no need to drive if your destination is less than 30 minutes away on foot, bike, skateboard, or roller blades. It’s good for your health and the environment.

9. Take public transit. Students often have a transit pass included in their fees, and some cities even have free public transit, so use it. It isn’t necessary to ditch the car, but if you can live without a car, do it. In most cities, the cost of a transit pass is still less than you’d shell out for insurance, gas, and maintenance or car payments.

10. Go vegetarian or eat all-natural one day a week. It may not be nutritionally superior, but it’s a lot better for the planet.

11. Refuse to buy foods that are unnecessarily packaged, such as fruits and vegetables.

12. Grow your own fruits, veggies, and herbs.

13. Commit to buying green fashions. Consider buying organic cotton, bamboo, hemp and other sustainable, natural fibers, as well as recycled fabrics.

14. Switch to all-natural cosmetics. If the ingredients list looks like a lesson in chemistry, stay away. Look for the names of plants.

15. Shop at secondhand and charity shops before going to the mall or your favorite boutiques. You can usually find some great gems.

These are just a few of the ways you can commit to going green in the new year. It can be a challenge to adjust to a new way of thinking, but it’s worth sticking with.

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