As the busy holiday season ends, we begin recollecting ourselves and turn to the goals, plans, and ambitions of the New Year. For 2015 we've come up with a few eco-resolutions that we believe are some easy steps towards a more earth conscious and mindful existence.
1. Start Meat-less Mondays or be a Weekend or Weekday Vegetarians. These are all variations of new health conscious and earth conscious diets. By eating less red meat, we can reduce our carbon footprint and improve overall health while still maintaining flexibility for special occasions.
2. For every item of clothing you buy, donate an item you no longer wear. You'll be surprised at how much less you may need or how much you no longer need!
3. Use public transit. Make a resolution to carpool or use public transit to work. If you live in a bike-friendly community, biking is an eco and heart healthy alternative to driving.
4. Unplug unused appliances to reduce phantom power usage. Simply remember to unplug after charging your cell phone or computer and keep seldom used appliances unplugged until you use them. Power strips and timers make this an even easier way to start off your New Year.
5. On average, 1,500 plastic bottles are used every second in the U.S. By simply bringing a reusable water bottle or travel mug with you everywhere you go can dramatically reduce these numbers. We love this resolution because it's a simple way we can tread lighter on Mother Earth in 2015.
6. Reduce plastic use in the kitchen. Other than water bottles, trash bags, Ziploc bags, and plastic wrap are all large sources of non-biodegradable kitchen waste. This year, we've resolved to reduce our usage of plastic in the kitchen by storing leftovers in reusable containers, buying compostable trash bags and using reusable snack bags.
7. Begin composting. What's a better way to reuse kitchen scraps than to return it to the earth? Begin composting this New Year and by the time the warmer months come around, there will be plenty of all-natural fertilizer for your summer herb garden!
8. Going abroad or traveling around the U.S.? 2015 is the perfect time to research eco-tourism alternatives for travel. More and more countries have started offering green alternatives to lodging, transportation, tours and even cuisine so that you can still enjoy the wonder of exploration while preserving these places for future generations. Visit the International Ecotourism Society to learn more.
9. Build your own recycling station at home. Every locality has different recycling policies. Visit your local recycling center's website and learn what can and cannot be recycled. Then tailor your in-home recycling station by marking separate bins for plastics, paper, glass, compost, etc. Share this project with the family and create a small "landfill" demo where you take a days worth of trash and sort them in your new recycling station. You'll be surprised at how much can be re-purposed or recycled for future use.
10. Make a pledge to spend at least an hour every day outdoors. While not a typical "eco" New Years resolution, we believe that the more time people spend admiring mother nature's wonders, the greater their desire to protect and preserve our precious resources for future generations.