How to green your 2011
Here's a list of my top 10 green new year's resolutions for 2011 (or any year, really). Remember, it's all about taking baby steps!
Sunday, January 9, 2011 - 12:36
ROUND AND ROUND: Choosing the revolving door is just one simple baby step you can take toward being greener. (Photo: lrargerich/Flickr)
Hello, my dear readers!
Although Christmas just passed, I'm looking forward to the free pine clippings the New York Times wrote about last week for next year's holiday decorations.
As we approach 2011, to some it will mean the International Year of Forests as declared by the United Nations. (FYI: Learn about the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Billion Tree Campaign here.)
For others, it will be trying to "live our best life" (thank you, Oprah Winfrey) by living a greener one. I'm listing my top 10 green new year's resolutions for the new year, but really for any year. Remember, it's all about taking baby steps:
1. Wash your clothes in cold water. There's lots of energy used in heating the water for a warm wash. Also, instead of using the dryer, try to hang your clothes outside, or indoors on a folding rack.
2. Bring your own reusable bags when you go shopping. Ask if your grocery store gives a discount for using a reusable bag. Whole Foods Market takes 10 cents off your purchase, and Trader Joe's gives you a raffle ticket for a chance to win some money in the following week's drawing.
3. Use revolving doors instead of swinging doors — it saves on heating and air conditioning expenses. Who knew?
4. Composting = free fertilizer! Use it on your plants, gardens, tree pits — anywhere!
5. Save some trees. Use less paper by using both sides of the paper and don't forget to "Print Preview" before printing so you can avoid printing unnecessary stuff. Get off mailing lists by contacting catalog companies, or anyplace for that matter. It really works.
6. Try out a carbon footprint detox with challenges such as No Impact Man's experiment of living low impact for a week. I will be participating in No Impact Week, which is in partnership with YES! Magazine, beginning Jan. 2. Register here to join in!
7. Quoting Michael Pollan, "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."
8. Play outside. Have fun and keep fit by appreciating all that nature has to offer: parks, trails, gardens and so on. New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation lists some exciting outdoor activities here.
9. You've heard of the three R's — reduce, reuse and recycle — but did you know there are six of them?! You'll appreciate Burning Man's Six R's here.
10. Now what to do with that holiday tree? Not sure what's going to happen to that big one at Rockefeller Center, but YOU can contact your local NYS DEC Forester here and ask about tree recycling, or if you can, chip the tree to use as mulch in your garden. In NYC, thanks to the Parks Department, you can mulch your tree for free at 70 designated sites as part of MulchFest, which will take place on Jan. 8-9, 2011. Residents can take home their very own bag of mulch or to make a winter bed for a street tree.
Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!