Dear Proper Green,
What are some resolutions for being green in 2014?
-June K., San Francisco, CA
Eat better. Save money. Manage stress. Reduce, reuse, and recycle. These are among the most popular New Year's resolutions every year. Following these resolutions improves personal well-being, and at their core, they benefit the environment too.
Everyone knows that eating better means eating more vegetables, fruit, and fish. The environmental benefit kicks in when you choose produce that is local, in season, and organic. Local produce uses less energy because it doesn't have to be shipped from across the country or imported from outside the U.S. Eating produce that is in season in your region is also a way of eating more locally. If it's in season, it's more likely not to have traveled far distances to get to your grocery store. Plus, seasonal produce tends to taste better and be more nutritious since it has been freshly harvested. Lastly, organic produce eschews the application of many harmful pesticides, which can contaminate soil and water.
Choosing seasonal produce, as suggested above, can add savings to your grocery bill since imported and out-of-season produce tends to be more expensive. And this year, let money-saving motivate you to improve the energy efficiency of your home. There are myriad ways to reduce your energy bill and simultaneously reduce your environmental impact. You could adjust your insulation, maintain your air conditioner, and winterize your home. More savings are to be found through reusing or upcycling items you already have.
Disorganization can cost you money, create waste and inefficiency, and stress you out. Fortunately, there are tons of tools available as apps or websites that can help with organizing nearly everything. For example, the HomeZada site and app can help manage your home by keeping track of recurring maintenance, keeping inventory, and budgeting for home improvement projects. Forget to regularly change your air filters? Set a reminder!
Reduce, reuse, recycle.
If you follow the above resolutions, you will be well on your way to fulfilling this resolution. You may find that adopting "reduce, reuse, recycle" as your mantra will make for a healthier, wealthier, and happier year.