One way to set eco-friendly New Years resolutions is to add or enlarge your vegetable garden

Eco-friendly Ways to Keep New Years Resolutions

Consider green lifestyle changes to help keep New Years resolutions

Did you resolve to lose weight, save more money, live healthier, and make a smaller footprint on our environment? Not much time has passed since those New Year Resolutions were made, and it is already becoming a challenge to stay true to the commitment to do better this year. Maybe its time to shake things up a bit and take try some new ideas to stay on course with some eco-friendly New Years resolutions.

Here are some ideas to help keep you motivated and moving in the right direction.

Think outdoors

Time to start planning that vegetable garden. Pull out those seed catalogs and decide what to plant. While waiting for your seed order to arrive, design the garden layout. Follow the planting instructions for starting indoors at the right time for harvest.

While you are thinking about the vegetable garden, think about ways to diversify your landscaping as well. Replace invasive species with natives and invite the pollinators into your yard. Proper landscaping can boost biodiversity, reducing maintenance costs and pollutants.

Cook your own healthy foods

Processed foods contain little nutrition and usually have to be sweetened, fortified, and preserved. Preparing your food from scratch gives you control over what goes into each meal. Experiment with online recipe sites or take a cooking class. Start small – cooking one or two days a week – and work up from there. If cooking seems to be a time-consuming effort for you, enroll in a batch-cooking session or organize one yourself. Take the opportunity to spend time with family or friends and enjoy taking care of yourself.

Hang your laundry

As the days become warmer and sunnier, hang your laundry to dry.
According to Department of Energy, the clothes dryer is responsible for more than 5 percent of electricity used in your home. Using a clothesline reduces the need for energy derived from fossil fuels and saves money. If your neighborhood does not allow line drying, research options for collapsable racks and other alternatives.

Walk, bike, or take public transportation

According to the EPA, transportation accounts for more than 27 percent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions. Reducing your transportation footprint this year by walking, biking, taking public transportation or telecommuting would protect the environment and decrease our dependence on oil, and keep more money in your pocket.

Cut down on paper waste

Small steps combine to make big changes. Print emails only when necessary, pay bills on-line, use an e-vite service for invitation events, cut down on the excess use of household paper towels and toilet paper.

Remember, the best way to stay on track is to keep it simple. Make small changes to reach your long term goals, like adding 30 minutes of bike riding to your daily routine or using your own reusable shopping bags. Choose one or two goals and focus on those. Reducing, re-using, recycling are a great approach to a healthier lifestyle for all of us.

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