Green New Year’s Resolutions

The following seven New Year’s Resolutions are easy to make and keep. Their objective is to simply have a smaller impact on the earth.   Help make 2013 a sustainable year!

1. Remember reusable bags

According to Mother Nature Network, more than 1 million plastic bags end up in the trash every minute. Department and grocery stores sell the bags for a very cheap price. Using a reusable bag is one of the easiest and effective ways to reduce your carbon footprint.

2. Walk/bike for short trips
Walking or biking short distances instead of driving significantly reduces your carbon footprint, while saving money on gasoline and car maintenance. It also increases your fitness level. According to Environmental Canada, transportation is the single largest source of Greenhouse Gas emissions in Canada—1/4 of the total.

3. Spend more time outdoors
Enjoy nature again. Make a habit of a weekly walk outside. Nanaimo is home to many beautiful trails, including Bowen Park, Morrell Nature Sanctuary, and Neck Point Park. According to Lets Go Outside Revolution’s website, children aged 8-18yrs spend more than 7 hours a day in front of a screen. Taking a walk or hike to enjoy the scenery, the fresh air, and the activity can help in calming and clearing the mind, managing stress, and improving one’s overall health.

4. Unplug throughout the day
We live in a technology-driven world. Electronic devices can define who you are and what you do. Make the effort turn off and distance yourself from your electronic devices several times throughout the day.

5. Change to energy-saving lights
LED and compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) save tremendous amounts of energy. In particular, LED lights last 15 times longer and use 75% less energy.

6. Go vegetarian once a week.
The livestock industry is a huge greenhouse gas emitter. According to Treehugger, going vegetarian once a week will save 1 ton of water (enough to fill up a bathtub 22 times/week), and 12 billion gallons of gasoline per year.

7. Conserve Water

Water is increasingly becoming a scarce resource as we use and abuse the natural elements of our earth. There are many simple ways to conserve water throughout the day. Don’t leave the tap running needlessly. According to EPA’s Watersense website, just by turning off the tap while you brush your teeth in the morning and before bedtime, you can save up to 8 gallons of water! Taking a shower conserves much more water than taking a bath. To save even more water, keep your showers under 5 minutes long.

– By Carly