Gearing up for a Greener 2015: 6 Green-Living Goals to Set for this Year

Whether you are enthusiastic about saving the planet, or you could stand to minimize your carbon footprint, there are countless lifestyle changes that will allow you to “go green.” Perhaps you have started recycling, and you use energy-efficient light bulbs, but now is the time to really step up your green game and help the environment. If you are looking for ways to go green in the coming year, take a look at a few green-living goals to set for 2015:

Reuse Containers

An easy, but important, step towards green living is to reuse. Much of what grocery stores sell comes in an abundance of paper or plastic packaging. Buying in bulk reduces the amount of packaging used in production. You can also bring containers and bags from home to eliminate the need for those spools of plastic bags.

Stop Junk Mail

Everyone gets mail that they glance at once and throw away. Even if you recycle that paper, the accumulated waste from these unopened envelopes or catalogues adds up. This year, call the companies and ask to be removed from their mailing lists, and go digital to save trees.

Inflate Car Tires

You know to walk or bike to places when possible, but what about when you need to drive your car? You can reduce carbon emissions by as much as 1.5 tons annually by making sure your tires are properly inflated. When the PSI is low, cars require more energy to start moving and to maintain speed.

Reuse Napkins and Rags

Napkins and paper towels add tons of carbon to our environment. You can substitute cloth napkins and washable rags to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 5.8 pounds in one month. Keep cloth napkins and rags on hand, and ditch the paper towels and napkins for cleanup.

Shop Locally

Our consumer industry is built on an international supply chain. An item sold in New York City may have traveled from Hong Kong to India before it ended up for sale in the United States. The transportation impacts on our environment can be reduced by consuming locally. Shop at thrift stores or handmade boutiques for clothes, find local farms for fresh produce and meats, and support local entertainment.

Rethink Laundry

You probably have your laundry down to a science: detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets. However, most household brands contain harsh chemicals that get into our clothes and bodies. You can take two easy steps to end this cycle and cut down on plastic packaging. Rather than washing your clothes in detergent, try using soap nuts; derived from plants, they contain saponin—a natural detergent. Then replace your fabric softener and dryer sheets with 1/4c of distilled white vinegar in your wash cycle.

Whether you are embarking on the green journey for the first time or incorporating new ideas into your green lifestyle, these 6 steps will guide you through 2015. If you are excited about making 2015 a much greener year, you can get more green living tips at Ask HR Green.  Incorporating little changes here and there will make our lives simpler, our homes happier, and our planet cleaner.

Photo credit: via United States Postal Service

Dixie Somers, based in Arizona, is the author of this article.
You can read articles written by Dixie Somers here.

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