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Making Green New Year Resolutions for 2014

Original post made by Anne Staley, Pleasanton Valley, on Jan 3, 2014

The Christmas tree is up. Champagne bottles are popping. The whole city is wearing a festive look. There’s a spirit of revelry everywhere you go. The Holiday season is well and truly in full gear. The time from Thanksgiving right through the New Year has to be one of the most awaited times of the year for everyone. I know it is for me.

But did you know the Holiday season puts a lot of extra pressure on this planet that we share with billions of other people?

In fact, Americans generate 25% more trash during the Holiday season. That’s a lot of additional trash that finds its way to landfills and incinerators, eventually harming our air, water, and soil. What’s worse, we can easily avoid generating majority of this trash if we are a little waste-wise.

I don’t want to dampen your Holiday spirit, believe me I don’t. But after all the celebration and the partying and the post Holiday cleanup and before you head back to your regular lives, it might be a good idea to think about your green resolutions for the New Year. I have a list of resolutions that might be worth considering:

1. Compost your food& yard trimmings

Do you know that we waste around 28 billion pounds of edible food every year? That’s a whopping 100 pounds of food wasted per person, according to statistics on this website. If you think your leftovers are good enough to be consumed, consider donating them at a soup kitchen. Someone less fortunate may thank you for it. If not, then don’t trash it because it may take a long time to disintegrate in the natural environment. Compost you food scraps along with your coffee grounds, tea leaves, and yard trimmings. That way, you’ll also provide nutrient-rich fertilizer to your soil.

2. Ditch the use and throw plastic water bottle

Bottled-water manufacturers go out on a limb to prove that packaged water is healthy water. In reality, packaged water is no healthier than your tap water. Even if you don’t think you can rely on the safety of the water supply in your city, you can always invest in a water purifying system. By using bottled water, you’re also contributing to waste generation. About 1.5 million tons of plastic waste per year is produced by packaged water bottles. Majority of these bottles never see the inside of a recycling facility and in landfills, where they are shielded from direct sunlight, they can take from 100 to 1000 years to disintegrate. So, come 2014, buy yourself a stylish reusable bottle or canteen and start a new trend.

3. Give up meat…at least the red kind

I know you’re probably thinking the “crazy lady’s” gone too far with this one, but hear me out. I am not saying you become a sworn vegetarian overnight. All I am saying is, cut back on the amount of red meat you consume as an individual and a family and I have my reasons for suggesting that. The red meat industry, particularly beef, is a leading producer of waste and greenhouse gas emissions. Not only does the industry have a high carbon footprint, but it is also known for its controversial treatment of animals. Food for thought?

4. Practice fuel economy

We all know by now that the Obama administration is pretty big on fuel economy and not without reason. The U.S. is the largest consumer of oil, much of which it has to import from oil-rich countries. According to the Energy Information Administration, we consumed 18.6 million barrels of oil per day in 2012. You can do your bit to help President Obama realize his fuel conservation goals by driving less. Try alternatives like biking, walking, using the public transit system, or simply car pooling. Not only will you save yourself the stress of driving through heavy traffic, it will also prove beneficial for your health.

5.Recycle more

Let’s face it. Recycling can be quite confusing for a lot of people. It’s at times hard to understand the do’s and don’ts of recycling and admittedly, there are a lot of them. I know many of us think we don’t do enough when it comes to recycling and that’s something we should change in the coming year. Every U.S. state has a recycling program and we should do all we can to make sure we become active participants in it. Set up your recycling bins, sort out your trash, segregate your metal scrap and e-waste and sell it to a private recycler like SIMS Metal Management, and make sure you dispose your hazardous waste properly.

These New Year resolutions may sound a lot more difficult than they actually are. All you need is a little bit of self-control and deep sense of commitment. So, are you ready to make a new beginning in 2014?

The New Year is almost here. In the middle of all the revelry and party hopping, let’s take out some time to make a few green New Year resolutions. Read this post to find out a few easy to incorporate green resolutions for 2014.


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