I waited a few weeks for this resolution blog. This is about the time we all start thinking about dropping every resolution we made, even the ones we vowed to never give up. But, let me remind you, in the grand scheme of things, a year can fly by. There is a lush land on the other side of this urge to quit. Sticking with a few impactful changes in the first few months of a year often carry over through the remaining months. Refine your resolutions, create some new ones, and continue to develop yourself and your life into what you truly want it to be.
Here are the top five basic green resolutions to make a difference in your life and the world around you. They’re simple yet effective and accomplishable. Get started today and hold your head up high when you consider your efforts for making the world more in tune with our environment.
5. Change the margins on your documents. Right now. Go to your document settings and set your margins to 0.5” (half the size of the default 1”). According to a study done by Penn State Green Destiny Council, reducing margins to .75” on all sides results in a total reduction of paper by 4.75 percent. This correlates to saving 19 reams of paper and 1.14 trees on every ton of paper, using a .75” margin. American offices use about 4 million tons of copy paper alone every year. Use .5” and the tree, energy, and money savings grow. Think about printing on both sides of the paper as well, and forgo paper at all when you can!
4. Make your coffee at home. This simple task uses less water, less energy and less waste than your morning coffee shop run. Still want a strong cup? Buy a French press. Pour hot water over your coffee grinds into the inexpensive glassware and in a few minutes you’ll have a powerful cup of joe. Want the frothy “latte?” Use the French press to froth the milk or order a small nonelectric milk frother from Amazon.
3. Stock your car with reusable bags or any bag. If you don’t have enough reusable bags, grab a stack of paper and plastic bags and shove them under your seat for your next grocery store visit. If you forget the bags in the car, park your cart for three minutes and run back to your car. Is it really a big deal to have to burn some extra calories walking back out to your car?
2. Eat less red meat. Notice, I didn’t write become vegan, I wrote eat less. Make choices. Cattle take up more resources than smaller animals, so choosing chicken over red meat often will reduce your ecological footprint. Reducing your meat intake altogether is impactful. Michael Pollan, author of “The Omnivores Dilemma” stated that if Americans went meatless one night a week, it would be equivalent to taking 30-40 million cars off the road for a year.
1. Educate yourself and share what you learn with others. One of the most frequent questions I’m asked is, “Where can I find good information.” A good one-stop-shop for science information covering a wide variety of topics is climatecentral.org. Climate Central is an independent organization of leading scientists and journalists researching and reporting the facts about our changing climate and its impact on the public. They post on social media making it easy to find articles you’re interested in, share them and engage in a conversation with your friends.
One of my resolutions lands heavily on the number one listed here. Join me in my education beyond the internet, newspapers, radio, podcasts and magazines. I’ve made a goal to read five books this year. A small goal compared to Zuckerberg’s 2015 Book Club in which he read a new book every two weeks! First up is The Blue Zones — Lessons for Living Longer From The People Who’ve Lived The Longest by Dan Buettner. I’ve seen Buettner speak, read his ar
ticles in National Geographic and now it’s time to get the full story from the book. What books are you reading this year?
As seen in the Katy Trail Weekly.