Another year is upon us, which means that for many people, it’s time once again to bring out the usual set of New Year’s resolutions—new year, new me, after all. But aside from getting more exercise, eating healthier food, and saving more money, how about doing something good for the environment?
Listed below are 6 “green” resolutions for 2018, with practices/habits you can easily do in the comfort of your [city] home.
Ditch Bottled Water
Disposable water bottles are among the biggest contributors to plastic waste. We see bottled water as a necessity for staying hydrated, but the majority of these plastic bottles end up in landfills and even make their way into the ocean. Instead of purchasing a bottle of water every time you’re thirsty, save time and money by using a reusable water bottle. Keep it with you and just refill it throughout the day.
Bring a Reusable Bag with You
As much as possible, say no to single-use plastic bags whenever you buy something. Whether you’re buying groceries or doing your shopping, a reusable bag is an eco-friendlier alternative to single-use plastic bags, which are hard to recycle and end up in landfills, where they literally take hundreds of years to break down and decompose.
Switch to LED Lights
Your lighting system accounts for a significant percentage of the electricity we use at home. In fact, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), residential lighting consumption accounted for 10% of total residential sector electricity consumption in 2016.
You can slash down your electricity consumption by switching to LED light bulbs, which use a fraction of the energy required by traditional incandescent light bulbs. For example, a 100-watt incandescent bulb can be replaced with a 12- to 15-watt LED bulb, which generates the same intensity or brightness of light. In addition, the solid-state technology of LEDs means they are extremely long-lived, with an average-rated lifespan of 15,000 hours and up.
Support Local Products
Many people don’t realize the environmental impact of purchasing imported goods. But the process of packing, shipping, and delivering imported items to local stores and supermarkets uses a lot of fuel and generates a lot of waste. In contrast, local businesses that source their raw materials, ingredients, and equipment locally have a smaller carbon footprint on the environment.
So, the next time you really want to buy your favorite imported fruit, why not wait when it’s in season so you can buy it locally?
Save Water, Save Money
Reduce the time you spend in your shower to reduce your water consumption. Doing so also reduces your electricity consumption because you won’t be using the water heater as much. You can also install a low-flow showerhead and/or a faucet aerator, which will help you control your water consumption when bathing or washing.
DIY Fixes Help Save the Environment
Instead of buying cleaning supplies in plastic bottles, try making homemade cleaning products from sustainable alternatives like lemon, vinegar, and baking soda. These items can clean up any mess and are usually just lying around in your kitchen. In a spray bottle, mix equal parts vinegar and water and add a few tablespoons of lemon juice. You’ve just made an effective cleaning agent, recycled a spray bottle, minimized waste, and saved money at the same time.
So, there you have it. Six simple ways you can lead an eco-friendlier lifestyle in 2018. There are several other habits you can embrace but the tips listed above should get you off to a great start.