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January 20, 2016

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint in 2016: 10 Green Resolutions

As you begin to think about obligatory New Year’s goals to eat healthier and hit the gym, you might take a moment to consider resolutions that extend beyond your body. Looking after your physical health is of course vital, but remember you can also contribute to the health of the world around you.

Why not make some green resolutions for a great start to the year 2016? Below are ten excellent possibilities.

1. Start at Home

Right now, many of the most popular home trends also happen to be green. You could switch to LED light bulbs, downsize your space, install smart-home features, and opt for bamboo flooring … all in the name of a more eco-friendly as well as trendy property.

2. Walk to Work

One gallon of gasoline consumed to power your car puts 20 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air. If you can avoid driving your car to work even some days, you can significantly reduce your carbon footprint.

3. Forgo Plastic Shopping Bags

The question in stores used to be: “Paper or plastic?” But more recently retailers have turned to reusable shopping bags. For just a dollar, you can purchase a cloth shopping bag that you may reuse every time you shop.

4. Hang Your Laundry

A clothes dryer is convenient, but it’s also a terrible source of emissions into the environment. According to studies, residential clothes dryers are responsible for as much as 20 percent of energy use in the U.S. alone. Hanging your clothes to dry instead of running them through a drying cycle is an admirable way to cut down on your personal emissions.

5. Research Alternative Energy

If you don’t know a lot about alternative energy sources such as wind power or solar panels, make 2016 your year to learn. Research the ins and outs of each of these clean energy options, and plan to be proactive in recognizing opportunities to use these sources as a result of your education.

6. Use Sustainable Cleaning Products

After you’ve used up your conventional cleaners, switch to more eco-friendly choices. This can substantially improve your indoor air by reducing the amount of toxins released into it. Natural ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and Borax offer great ways to green your cleaning and save on traditional cleaning supplies.

7. Plant a Tree

For cleaner air and a better feeling about your role in the environment, plant a tree this spring. (Or plant two or more!) Use this as an opportunity to beautify your surroundings as well as setting a good example for those around you.

8. Shop Organic

There are two major benefits to eating organic. The first is that it reduces the amount of GMOs and chemicals that get released into the environment. The second is that it makes you more mindful about the world around you, and promotes a more environmentally friendly attitude in the future.

9. Buy a Reusable Water Bottle

The oil used to produce plastic water bottles in the U.S. every year is actually enough to fuel a million cars. Worse, many of these bottles end up getting dumped in landfills, where they’ll take decades to decompose. Buying a reusable water bottle will help you do your part to cut the amount of plastic used and converted into waste. 

10. Give Public Transportation a Whirl

Daily transportation accounts for nearly 30 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. You can help to telescope that percentage down by reducing the number of cars on the road. It might not sound very appealing if you’ve always driven to work, but it would be a significant step in the right direction to do your part for reducing noxious emissions.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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