new years resolutions

    Published: December 29, 2015

    15 Eco-Friendly New Year’s Resolutions

    The New Year is quickly approaching, and you know what that means: New Year’s Resolutions. If you’re concerned about the environment, you might be considering some eco-friendly resolutions. Here’s a few attainable steps to make your life a little greener.

    Switch from Disposable Plastic to Glass Water Bottles

    Disposable plastic water bottles are a serious environmental issue with over 50 billion plastic bottles used in the U.S. every year. Of that staggering number, only 23 percent are properly recycled. The rest wind up in landfills.

    Switching to attractive glass water bottles helps keep plastic out of the environment. Since synthetic chemicals used to create plastic can leach into bottled water, you’re also making a healthier choice for yourself.

    Take Shorter Showers

    Showering is much more water-friendly than bathing, but even so, plenty of water winds up going down the drain. Shortening your daily shower by even two minutes reduces your daily water consumption by 10 gallons.

    Make a Home Leak Check

    Leaky pipes and faucets can cost a home anywhere from 2,000–20,000 gallons of water a year. Once a year, record your water meter reading and wait a few hours without using water. If the meter has changed, you might have a leak that needs to be fixed.

    Make a Commitment to Recycle

    Whenever possible, recycle. Depending on your location, you may have curbside recycling bins or need to take your recyclables to a disposal facility, but every item you recycle is one less item in the local dump and the surrounding landscape.

    Schedule Appliance Services

    Have your large appliances serviced. This ensures they’re running at peak efficiency and not wasting water or power. They’ll also last longer, which will save you money.

    Identify Your Energy Vampires

    We’re not going to remind you to turn off lights when you leave the room; if you want to be eco-friendly you’re probably already doing that. Instead, we’re asking you to hunt down your energy vampires – appliances that continue to use power when they’re turned off. Televisions, gaming consoles, and cell phone chargers are common culprits. Unplugging such devices when not in use can save 10 percent of your annual electric bill (for entertainment units, use a power bar you can toggle on and off with a switch).

    Switch to Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

    Halogen incandescent, compact fluorescent, and LED lights use about 25–80 percent less power than traditional incandescent bulbs and last anywhere from three to 25 times longer, depending on bulb type.

    Drink More Water

    How can drinking more water help the environment? Choosing fresh, filtered water instead of canned or bottle beverages means less packaging waste, including the energy and materials used to make the container. It’s also much better for you than soda.

    Start a Vegetable Garden

    Growing your own vegetables reduces your dependence on packaged and processed food, reducing the vast amount of energy used to transport produce across the country. Even a small patio garden can produce a tasty, organic harvest.

    Attract Bees

    The honeybee population is crashing worldwide, which has serious consequences for food crops that rely on insect pollination. Growing native wildflowers and pollinating trees gives bees a healthy, pesticide-free food source (and they’ll stick around to pollinate your vegetable garden too).

    Support Local Environmental Efforts

    Get involved with local ecological groups and environmentally-friendly municipal projects. This could involve writing your city council, lending a hand with wetland restoration, or volunteering at a wildlife rehabilitation center.

    Get Educated

    The more you know about the environment, the better you can work to make changes. With the Internet at your disposal, it’s easier than ever to learn how we affect the planet and how to change for the better.


    Composting is a simple way to replenish the earth. Organic waste avoids the landfill and you get a rich fertilizer for your garden. Some municipalities and environmental groups even provide free composting bins as long as you take a short course on how to use one.

    Buy Secondhand

    Every product we buy, from clothing to houses, requires energy and raw materials to produce. Buying secondhand avoids the carbon debt that comes from buying new and extends the useful life of preexisting items.

    Switch to Cloth Shopping Bags

    Plastic shopping bags, like plastic bottles, are single-use and disposable, and they remain in the environment for years. Reusable cloth bags allow you to haul your groceries home guilt-free.