New Year’s resolutions are fun to make, but can be very hard to keep. You start out fired up and ready to tackle your new goals, but as the days turn to weeks and the weeks turn to months you find your enthusiasm waning. For many people the problem boils down to overambitious resolutions. Making extreme changes in your lifestyle can be too hard to keep up in the long run. So this year try taking small steps to achieve your goal.
If you want to shift to a more eco-friendly green lifestyle here are a few simple steps you can take:
Stop junk mail
Mail advertisements and catalogs take up a lot of resources. Billions of pieces of junk mail are sent out every year in America and most of it will end up in landfills unread and unopened. You can remove yourself from this cycle of waste by registering on the CatalogChoice.org and DMAchoice.org websites.
Replace your light bulbs
Replacing your traditional light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs will save both energy and money.
Adjust the thermostat
Spend less money and energy by changing the settings on your thermostat. During winter wear extra layers around the house so you won’t need to have the heat set too high and during the summer months use overhead fans and dark curtains to help keep the house’s temperature cooler without resorting to air conditioning 24 hours a day.
Bring your own bags
Bringing reusable bags to the grocery store not only helps cut down on waste from paper and plastic bags but may save you money too. Some cities across America now charge for the use of disposal bags.
Visit your local farmer’s market or co-op this year. Buying locally not only helps support your community, but it cuts down on the pollution caused by shipping the products.
Try taking public transportation or walking more. You may not be able to do this on a daily basis, but even switching up your routine one day a week helps. You can also check if your job has a carpool program which may be a better alternative for you than public transportation.
Only run full loads
Dishwashers are more eco-friendly than hand washing dishes, but only if you run your dishwasher when it is full. This year only run your dishwasher and washer machine when you have full loads. Also use cold water for the washer machine, this will save energy and money.
Sign up for online bill pay services
It’s easier than ever to pay your bills online, so ditch the paper bills and go electronic. It saves paper, money for stamps and is super convenient. You can set up a direct debit for most bills so you won’t even have to logon each month to pay a bill; it will automatically be deducted.
Get in the habit of unplugging unused electronics. Phone chargers, toasters, coffeemakers and any other device not in use should be unplugged to prevent it from using electricity. Even when electronics are turned off they still generate was is known as “phantom loads” of electricity. To make it easier on yourself use connect your electronics to powerstrips so you can simply switch a button to disconnect them.
Stop buying bottled water
Bottled water is not only wasteful for the environment, but also for your pocketbook. Save hundreds of dollars a year by forgoing bottled water for tap water. Buy a filtering system like Brita or Pur to improve the taste of your tap water.
Going green doesn’t have to be a dramatic change. Slowly incorporate these tips into your life and you’ll have met your New Year’s resolution.