Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Green Goals for 2012

As you create and evaluate your New Year's resolutions for the coming year, remember to take time to set some green goals for yourself, to help do your part to reduce your carbon footprint and to develop environmentally responsible habit. To help you get started, we have created a list of green goals for the coming year. Feel free to add to the list, and if you're already working on some of these goals, consider this positive reinforcement to encourage you to continue these responsible habits.

Eat Local, Whole Foods
Commercially grown and processed foods use a significant amount of natural resources, including land to raise corn and other commodities, diesel and other fossil fuels for production and transportation, and plastic and cardboard for packaging. The production of these foods also results in a significant amount of waste and emissions. Choosing local sources of food helps to reduce the amount of fuels used and emissions created. Choosing whole foods also helps to reduce the resources used in creating processed foods -- and it's healthier for you! Help your body and the environment by shopping at local farmers' markets, co-ops, and shops.

Park Your Car

Cut your mileage this year by choosing alternative methods of transportation. Take advantage of public transportation like the bus or subway to go to work or run errands. If you live close enough, take a bike or walk to work or the grocery store. If you live in a city with unreliable public transportation, or if you live too far from work to ride a bike, create a carpool arrangement. Any of these choices can limit the amount of driving you do in your personal vehicle, cutting down on your personal emissions.

Go Virtual
The online era has created many environmentally friendly options, from education to entertainment. If you are a student or are considering continuing education, look into taking courses online to cut your commute and your need to utilize physical resources such as classroom space and textbooks. If you want to watch a movie or listen to music, consider downloading a version of the movie or CD instead of purchasing a physical copy. If you want to read a new book, consider downloading an electronic version or reading it online. Whatever it is you want to do, look into whether there is a way to do it online so that you can eliminate the need to purchase or produce tangible items.

Choose Organic, Sustainable Goods

If you do have to purchase something tangible, be sure you choose products that are made from organic or sustainable items. For example, you can choose clothes that are made from organic cotton, which does not use chemicals that are harmful for the environment. Better, you can choose clothes made of bamboo, which is a sustainable resource. Look for goods that are made of renewable, sustainable items and that do not use harmful chemicals or non-biodegradable materials.

Cut Out Plastic
Plastic is not biodegradable and its production is responsible for putting tons of harmful chemicals into the ground and water sources. Look for ways to cut out plastic in every area of your life. Choose a reusable metal water bottle instead of purchasing disposable plastic water bottles. Buy toys made of wood for your children instead of cheap, plastic items -- plastic which is also harmful for your children because of its hormone-disrupting properties. Choose glass and metal dishware instead of plastic cups, bowls, or tupperware. The more plastic you can eliminate from your environment, the healthier you will be and the healthier the earth will be.

Recycle Electronics
Technology changes so fast that items purchased a year ago can already be considered obsolete. If you need to update your devices, be sure that you are recycling your old gadgets responsibly. Some retailers offer electronic recycling programs, even offering a discount on new purchases for the trade-in of old models. Other programs accept used computers, cell phones, and other items to refurbish for charitable groups. Look into options for your old electronics instead of throwing them into the landfill, where they can leak hazardous chemicals into the environment.
What other green goals have you set for yourself in the new year? Tell us about them in the comments!

About the author:

Amanda Tradwick is a grant researcher and writer for CollegeGrants.org. She has a Bachelor's degrees from the University of Delaware, and has recently finished research on free college funds and grants and federal grants for nursing students.

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Luray Caverns Cabins said...

Select a green hotels that has Green Seal Certification. be responsible on parks, beaches and similar ones and don't make them dirty.

juliangreenfield said...

Best of eco trends and tips for those who want to take a green way this year. Not to forget these tips will help save some big bucks too.

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rose ivy said...

Nice sharing,this is really informative,nice history. Really impressive.Thanks
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Eco Friendly Cleaning Products said...

When we travel for multiple days, we always reuse the towels from the shower. I mean, you don't take a fresh towel every day at home!

best colleges for computer science said...

Nice read. Liked your tips, recycle electronics was good one, very informative. Thanks for sharing.

solanarecyclers said...

Eco travel aims at to explore the nature with out harming it. Our tourism industry focusing on the eco travel to maintain the bio diversity of the eco system.

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