Here's another good one from our Centerville Intern, Erica Coulter. Hope you are all looking forward to a happy, healthy, and sustainable 2012!
year I make a list of New Year’s resolutions, just like many other
people, except I usually forget about them after a month or two. It
always goes a little something like this: exercise more, spend more
time with the family, get organized, create world peace, etc. (Alright,
the last one was a bit far-fetched, I know, but the New Year is supposed
to be the best one yet, right?). In January I manage to do 30 minutes
of yoga each day, I eat dinner with my parents every night, I clean out
my closet, but my list always magically disappears in the clothes pile
that I should have picked up before February. So, I began to wonder why
this always seems to happen to me. Could it be that I am unmotivated?
No, I tend to throw myself into my work. Could it be that I have set
my goals too high? No, I at least managed to complete the list for a
month, plus this is the time for dreaming big. So this leaves me with
one more option: my goals are boring.
it! Every year I simply copy last year’s list, hoping that it will get
itself done, and so, I have got to change it up. Once I had this
epiphany, then I had to come up with some ideas. Not surprisingly, due
to being a volunteer at CEC, I decided that this list should include
new, exciting ways to “green” my life. We all know that we should
recycle and car pool, but I mean I need fresh ways to be a environmental
warrior. One warrior cannot do it all by herself, so I am enlisting
you. Here are some ideas:
the switch to reusable tote bags each time that you go to the store.
Cute designs are available now, right in the check-out line, so it
should be easy to purchase one each time that you make the trip to the
grocery. In a flash your cart will be filled with a fashionable and
environmentally-friendly way to transport your goodies.
a houseplant! I do not have the greenest thumb, but putting a live
plant in your home can reduce harmful chemicals and improve the air
quality in your home, so I figure I will at least try. Some ideal
plants to choose are daisies, aloe, and herbs (these can be used in
cooking, which is a plus if you ask me!).
using coffee stirrers. This may sound ridiculous to ban such a tiny
item, but every year Americans throw away 138 billion of them and they
go straight to the landfill for the next few hundreds of years.
Instead, pour your coffee in after the cream and sugar. If you must
stir your Cup o’ Joe, make your own with long pieces of pasta.
your cruise control whenever possible. You can improve your gas mileage
by up to 15% just by doing this. What an easy way to save at the pump
and prevent the unnecessary use of this resource!
one fewer napkin when eating out. The average American uses an average
of 6 napkins per day and if every person decreased this number to 5, we
could save more than one billion pounds of napkins each year. That is a
lot more space in the landfill and many more trees standing.
each one of us could make these five ideas a habit, just think of the
impact we could have on the environment! So this year, in between the
house-cleaning and healthy-eating goals, don’t forget about Mother
Nature. Stick with these tips and you will be a lean, “green”, cleaning
machine in 2012.