Resolution: Be Green in 2008

With the holiday festivities pretty much behind us, it’s time to start thinking about some New Year’s resolutions. Self improvement seems to top the list for most—lose 10 pounds, get that promotion—but how about also resolving to do something good for the planet? You’ll get something out of it too: Going green often means doing stuff that’s healthier for the environment and healthier for you. And being a do-gooder feels good!

So here are some ideas for resolutions for a greener new year:

Be Naturally Beautiful. I hate to break it to you but that gook you put on your face and in your hair might be doing a lot more than making you feel pretty. It could make you feel sick. Take this quiz and check your products for dangerous chemicals such as phthalates or sodium laurel sulfate. Many everyday products such as shampoos, soaps, lotions and lipsticks contain them. Opt for organic products made of natural ingredients and thank Mother Nature for that radiant glow.

Wake Up and Smell the Perfume. Don’t let the pretty smell fool you: Most fragrances are just chock full of hazardous chemicals. But there are alternatives that will leave you smelling sweet as a rose. Get the scoop here.

Eat Organic. No two ways about it,
buying organic dairy and meat
saves tons of resources and is just plain better for you. Organic produce is tastier and also healthier, but it is more expensive because it’s a lot cheaper to dump chemicals on a crop. If you can’t afford to buy all organic, here’s a list of the top 10 fruits and vegetables to eat organic.

Buy Local. Common sense says that the farther away your food is grown, the more fossil fuels are required to get it to you. So look for local produce at your grocery store and make it a point to visit your community farmers market whenever possible. Defining local.

Be a Bag Lady. Even if you’re just bringing back all the paper and plastic bags stuffed in that bottom drawer of your kitchen, always BYOB. If you don’t want to spend money on reusable grocery bags—although there are lots of really cute options out there—look around the house for old totes, beach bags, twine-handled fancy shopping bags or even large baskets. Keep lots in your trunk (and don’t forget to put them back in the trunk after unloading your groceries!), plus one compact bag folded up in your purse so you’re never without it.

Clean Green. You don’t even want to know all the gross chemicals that are in commercially made products. Not only are you breathing those chemicals, but then you end up pouring them down the drain. Not good for you, or the Earth. So what’s the answer? Make your own non-toxic cleaning kit.

Change a Light Bulb. If just one light bulb in every home in America were switched out for a compact fluorescent—aka CFLs—it would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year. CFLs are everywhere now, there are tons of different kinds to choose from and it’s such an easy fix. Learn more.

Sip, Don’t Guzzle. Even if you don’t plan to buy a hybrid, there are ways to make the car you have get the best possible gas mileage. A properly tuned engine will get between 6 and 20 percent higher mpg, for example. Here’s a list of 12 things you can do to stretch a tank of gas.

Be a Pedal Pusher. Sometimes a car is necessary, but just running errands around town? Ride your bike to the post office, the grocery store, the dentist, etc., and experience the true joy of being car-free for a while. Bonus: Hello, exercise! More benefits of biking here.

Be an Online Activist. Did you know you can help stop global warming, save the rainforest and keep pollutants out of our oceans with a single click? You can. You can also sign petitions to let the people in power know you care and want to make a difference. Try it today.

By Jana Ballinger, Care2 Green Living Copy Editor and Producer


Tarequl I.
Tarequl M.8 years ago

You don’t even want to know all the gross chemicals that are in commercially made products. Not only are you breathing those chemicals, but then you end up pouring them down the drain. Not good for you, or the Earth. So what’s the answer? Make your own non-toxic cleaning kit.

Claudia Masciangioli
Past Member 8 years ago

You can use your coffee grounds to feed your plants as soon as they cool, think they also keep insects out of your garden. Even house plants will appreciate your left over grounds.

Joanna G.
Joanna G.8 years ago

OK, I'm going to blatantly self-promote here, but I have changed careers mid-life and decided that I should share my passion for the green life by starting an eco-friendly products company. We want to help others go green! Check out our website and let us know what you think:

Steve Harper
Past Member 8 years ago

Hey how about getting paid to go green? Learn how here PASSWORD RE20020 Help the world and get paid to do so!

Lya Barrioz
Lya Barrioz8 years ago

My mom and I keep re-using the same bags over and over again... And we even use old daily and annual planners (and calendars)...We corrected the dates with stickers (or plain ink). Yes, it takes some work done but it's totally worth it!!! We save money and resources!!!

Steve Harper
Past Member 8 years ago

Try using just 3 inexpensive, highly concentrated products available over the web that will reduce the number of containers, handling by retailers-trucks-warehouses etc, lower your cost and make you a GREAT example of being Green so very easily-even Oprah loves the "H".
Buy your cosmetics (NOT tested on animals like many companies do), environmentally sensitive Green products since 1960, completely 100% co2 neutral, certified climate neutral by Climate Neutral Network and linked/associated with a popular Nobel Prize winner known for the environment efforts and planting trees-lots of trees.
For more info check my site:
Lower your costs, reduce the containers discarded, plant trees and help the Masses do the same.

Tenley Sodeur
Tenley Sodeur8 years ago

i''ve unplugged my computer at night even though it's off it still uses energy, by unplugging it the energy shuts off! by whole foods. recycle. go green support mother nature

Marie Chandler
Marie Chandler8 years ago

I agree - chemicals and waste everywhere! This year I am growing out my coloured hair and going back to natural (even though it's mostly silver-white and I'm ony 42!!) I figure it will save me money and time as well as stopping chemicals seeping into me and the storm water to affect nature. There is some great advice in these pages - keep the good word going!