It's that time again! This year, all of us at VivaTerra are making a sincere resolution to consider the environment and go green in as many ways as possible in the coming year—and they may be in ways you wouldn't expect. Here are some of our favorite green New Year's resolutions:

 

Cut down on water waste

Water is a precious global resource—and one that we often don't consider. Being conscious of the way that we use water is a great way to bring green practices to each and every day. Consider using reusing dishes and glasses—it takes roughly three glasses of water to clean just one dish! An even more creative way to cut down on the amount of water your household uses is to put a brick (or other heavy item) in the back of your toilet to displace water and decrease the amount used with each flush.

 

Go all-natural with cleaning products and cosmetics

Many conventional cleaning products and cosmetics include harmful toxins, chemicals and petroleum by-products, all of which go right down the drain and into our water supply. Consider investing in store-bought green products, or, even better make your own! It's easier than you think, and there are many alternatives that are great for the environment and even better for your wallet. For example, you can use diluted vinegar as a great all-natural window cleaner, and a combination of baking soda, vinegar, water and a little dish soap makes an amazing all-purpose cleaner. For cosmetics, you'd be amazed at the wonderful concoctions you can make for you hair and skin right out of your kitchen cabinet—like an amazing face scrub with just chopped apples, honey and salt, or a refreshing and conditioning hair mask made simply from honey, coconut oil and bananas.

 

Buy fresh, buy local

Did you know that on average, the food we buy travels 1500-2500 miles before it makes it to our table? That amount of transit has a drastic, devastating effect on taste and nutrition—not to mention on the environment. We're sure you've heard it before, but there's no better way to bring eco-friendly fare to your table and your life than by buying fresh and local. The amount of precious energy and resources invested in shipping produce across the globe is astronomical. Making a resolution to buy food produced locally is not only a great way to spur your local economy, it's also a fantastic way to decrease your carbon footprint. And, you'll be amazed by the difference in taste! Attend your local farmer's market, join a CSA, or plant your own garden—there are so many ways to bring local and fresh food into your daily routine.

 

Change the way you wash

With a few simple changes, you can make an incredible impact on home energy use—a great thing for the environment and for your wallet! 90 percent of the energy used in a laundry load is from heating the water. Simply by washing your clothes in cold water, you can eliminate as many as 350 pounds of carbon dioxide in one year. And, don't worry—your clothes are sure to be clean. Advances in technology both for machines and for detergents mean that your clothes will come out clean regardless of the water temperature. What's more, line drying is a fantastic option for decreasing your home's carbon footprint. At Viva Terra, we love line drying! Learn even more here.

 

Don't forget your reusable bags!

Cut harmful plastic waste out of your shopping trips. Simply by keeping a reusable bag (or several!) in your car or tucked away in your purse, you can cut down on the more than 1 trillion plastic bags that are used and discarded every year. Each of these plastic bags takes over 1,000 years to degrade, leaving a toxic vestige of our own generation for many to come.

 

Switch to green power

Become part of the solution! Many power companies offer the option to switch your home from a fossil-fuel-based energy source to a renewable energy source. With just a simple call to your energy provider, your home could be running on solar, wind or hydroelectric energy.

 

Check out our other post for new eco New Years Resolutions.

Sources: https://www.buylocalvirginia.org/about-buy-fresh-buy-local/why-buy-local

http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/cleaning/laundry/does-washing-clothes-in-cold-water-really-get-them-clean

http://www.reuseit.com/facts-and-myths/facts-about-the-plastic-bag-pandemic.htm