Eco-friendly resolutions   Leave a comment


SENSIBLE CHOICES

This new year, resolve to be good to our planet. Buy less, eat healthy, car pool, go online…

There’s much to be said about the beginning of a new year.  Homes need to be renovated, jobs probably changed, relationships need to be rejuvenated and life in general feels like it deserves a major overhaul of some sort. 

Of course, resolutions have to be made, but there is only so much one can do to feel better about the beginning of another year.  If acknowledging that feeling good about yourself is the ultimatum in making these resolutions, believe me, you’re halfway there already.  Instead of trying the normal resolutions that are bound to get broken within the first fortnight, figuring out stuff that makes for so much more in the ‘feel-good factor’ list and is actually achievable is the first utilitarian target achieved.

The new year brings with it a lot of expectations and objectives, from eating healthy to working at relationships or going green; whether we aim to live within our means and control that credit-card spending or keep our friendships alive with more personal phone calls instead of social network two-word messages.  Living sensibly suddenly has a much broader spectrum in the larger scheme of things.  Here’s how you go about using your head and comforting your heart for the rest of the year, right from the moment the last line in ‘Auld Lang Synge’ has been sung.

Think sensible

Shop within your means.  Buy things that are only absolutely necessary and control that urge to binge on things that you don’t really need, saving not just on much needed closet space, but also keeping your wallet as heavy as when you set out in the first place.  Saving energy counts as much too, not just on the amount you spend on bills every month but also on how much the earth saves.  Refrigerators apparently use up more energy than any other appliance in an average home today, so check that the refrigerator is set at a temperature sufficient enough to keep food fresh without using up all that extra energy.

Start a compost pit, only if you have the garden and space of course, for free fertiliser.  Make sure your garbage disposal system has separate bags for plastic, paper and organic waste.  Think about getting a rainwater harvesting system installed in your home — if getting it done professionally is too expensive an option, just getting huge buckets or drums to collect rainwater helps to save water when watering all those potted plants or cleaning the carwash.

Act sensible

Don’t bother going shopping to cure depression; call a friend out for a cup of coffee instead.  Unplug mobile chargers, televisions and computers when not in use; in fact, make sure all electrical appliances are kept unplugged when not needed immediately.  Switch to LED lights.

Use less paper  — use both sides when printing, or avoid printouts altogether unless absolutely necessary.  Always remember to take your own shopping bag with you. Carry a huge handbag around with you for those smaller items that don’t really warrant a plastic bag with the shops’ logo on it.  Keep all your banking statements online, and make sure you keep your bank informed about wanting your information via email.

Commute in a carpool or use public transport.  If you do have to take your car out, minimise your trips so you have one efficient route that conserves so much less fuel.  Start biking, even if you see adventurous friends do it to work every morning and lack the effort or the inclination to join them; biking to your office gives you the added advantage of exercising while saving precious fuel, besides it’s so much cheaper too.

Stay sensible

Don’t pick up that extra brochure that’s being handed out for free at the mall just to take a quick glance and throw it in the nearest bin.  Avoid buying that huge fuel-guzzling SUV no matter how good it looks — look for more eco-friendly hybrid or electric car options instead.

Keep a lid on utensils when cooking; boil just as much water as needed for a cup of tea instead of the whole kettle every time. Eat sensible, cut out junk food and check out the organic range of local produce at the supermarket instead. Get healthier.  Drink more water than you use. Keep the tap closed when brushing your teeth instead of letting water run on endlessly while you ponder your days’ agenda.  Use rechargeable batteries and recycled paper.

Try out a whole range of eco-friendly clothing options from organic cotton to even bamboo. Choose eco-friendly gift options, and no, just giving a gift in an eco-friendly bag does not count.  For instance, an Indonesian company makes interesting sandals from old newspaper called ‘PaperFlops’, gift somebody an ‘eco-drive’ watch that doesn’t need batteries or winding, or better still the quirky water-powered desktop clock with weeks of accurate timekeeping on any liquid.

The added benefit to staying more conscious of everything we do that could contribute to greenhouse gas emissions or deplete our already withering environment is the amount of money you save by just reducing your individual carbon footprint.  More than anything, simply use less and save more.  As easy and simple as it is to stay eco-friendly, if you ever find you are running out of innovative ways to stay green this year, get online.  A little time spent reading the numerous blogs on staying eco-friendly goes a long way.

Like everything else that always looks greener on the other side, let’s hope the New Year looks that way too.  Here’s looking forward to greener tomorrows with more sensible choices and pleasant pastures in the year ahead.

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Posted January 7, 2012 by avinash2060 in Lifestyle

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