The New Year has finally arrived after a long 2015 and many people are kicking off the 2016 with their New Year’s Resolutions. Whether it be hitting the gym or reading a book a week, everyone will be trying to improve their lives. But what about the environment? There are many things you can start to do this year in order to protect the environment such as volunteering at a creek clean up or riding a bike. So, if you’re still thinking about your list, consider these environmentally friendly resolutions to start off the new year.
Now, I have always been inclined to do anything eco-friendly, but there are little things that slip my mind that can have major effects on the environment such as using paper towels. So, for New Year I’m going to put more effort into considering my actions and try to lower my carbon footprint.
This New Year I will go green by vowing to…
1. Go paper towel-less.
According to the Paperless Project, Americans use over 13 billion pounds of paper towels each year. Keep in mind that paper towels are not recyclable. In order to cut down on paper towels, use dish and hand towels and cloth napkins in your kitchen. If you’re always out and about, put a couple in your bag to dry your hands in public restrooms. You can buy them or even make them out of old bed sheets!
2. Remember to bring my reusable bags to the grocery store.
Back in 2013, the City of Austin implemented the plastic bag ban in an effort to protect the environment. Two years have passed, but I always forget to bring my reusable bags to the grocery store. If you’re like me and forget to bring your bags, leave a couple of bags in your car or place them on your front door handle as a reminder to bring them before you leave your home. You can also opt out of using bags when shopping for things other than groceries.
3. Pack my own lunch instead of buying.
I either forget to pack a lunch or am just lazy and I end up purchasing over-priced lunches on campus. There are a lot of benefits by bringing your own lunch to school or work. You have more choices and most of the time it’s healthier and overall cheaper. Additionally, by using reusable tupperware or glass jars, less waste will end up in the landfill.
4. Clean out my closet and donate my clothes.
I have to admit, I love to shop for new clothes. Over the years, I’ve accumulated so much that my closet is now overflowing with outfits I barely wear. It’s unbelievable that 13.3 tons of textiles were discarded (EPA). Therefore, it’s better to donate as much gently worn clothes as possible to not only make room in my closet but to allow others to wear.
So what are you waiting for? 2016 has just begun and it’s not too late to revise your list of New Year’s Resolutions with eco-friendly goals. These are just suggestions and of course there are other ways to help the environment that you can add to your New Year’s Resolutions. Just remember to think about what attainable for you. For instance, I personally, wanted to add these goals to my resolution list because they are feasible especially for a college student like me and will be easy to continue throughout my life.
What are your green resolutions for the New Year?