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Here’s what New Year’s resolutions have meant to me: it’s nearly impossible to get on a machine at the gym between New Year’s Day and Groundhog Day. By early February most people have given up on trying to do something they never really wanted to do in the first place.

So this year I thought it would be good to get some ideas for resolutions that might actually work. Simple things that are easy to do and are eco-conscious at the same time. For inspiration I reached out to the brilliant people that work here at The Nature Conservancy. 

Here are 5 of my favorites. Check them out and then leave a comment at the bottom to let us know which you like best.

1. Maddy Breen, web writer/editor
My resolution: To green my sister’s wedding. She’s getting married in April and we’re right in the middle of all the planning. So far we’re the most excited about greening the flowers—the venue’s gardener is planting a ton of daffodils now that we’ll use for our bouquets, tables, etc. Talk about shopping local!

2. Jon Fisher, data management specialist
My goal is to never take a new plastic bag from a grocery store. I’m trying to either wash/reuse those thin little plastic bags for produce (and bulk goods and bread), or just take them home in a tote bag and then figure out how to store them. I’m making progress but still forget sometimes or don’t bring as many bags as I need (I always have enough tote bags/panniers but I have trouble with the produce bags).

3. Sanjayan, lead scientist
My biggest impact is my travel. Not only does it add tons of carbon but it also gets in the way of doing work. When I travel I don’t actually work; I COLLECT work to do later.  So the simple thing is create a couple of no travel months and stick to that. It will allow me to do that rarest of things for conservation scientists always rushing from one crisis to another—and that is—THINK.

4. Steph Wear, marine scientist
It is going to be the Year of the Bike for me! I just got a new Dutch bike that has cargo space and plan to use it to run all my errands and go to my appointments (within reason). I always like to find things that accomplish two things at once. In this case it does three: lower fuel costs, reduce emissions, and good exercise. It’s so easy to hop in the car and go, so this one is going to be a big challenge for me.

5. Dave Connell, associate director for marketing
Make sure my kids aren’t “indoor only.” A common refrain from my four-and-a-half year-old is, “Can I watch a show?” Another is some version of “EEK, there’s a bug” followed by running, hiding and pleas to “kill it.” Also, he knows how to work my iPhone.

I don’t want my kids to be indoor only children, watching TV and afraid of insects. My New Year’s resolution, starting with skiing in January, is to make sure my kids get outside, appreciate nature and stay active. After all, we can’t love (and save) what we don’t know. My kids need to know nature and the only way that’s going to happen is for us to get them out there to experience it first hand.

So, which is your favorite green resolution for 2011? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

And what will you be doing to green your 2011? Leave a comment with your resolution.

— Text by Brad Parker, Cool Green Science Blog