Take your sustainable lifestyle to the next level in 2021

January 1, 2021 by  
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Are you already recycling? Carrying around a refillable water bottle rather than contributing to the ocean-bound plastic problem? Composting your food scraps? That’s all commendable, but there’s more to be done to achieve a net-zero lifestyle. If you’re ready to up your environmental commitment this year (and hold larger entities accountable along the way), here are a few ideas — some more dramatic than others — for sustainable resolutions in 2021. Get rid of your car If you have a car , sell or donate it. Once you’ve unloaded the gas guzzler, do your errands on foot or by bike. If you don’t have your own bike, join your city’s bike-share program. With proper COVID-19 precautions, take public transportation for longer distances. Related: The pros and cons of electromobility Ditch the plastic liners Do you know how long those kitchen trash bags take to decompose? Anywhere from 10 to 1,000 years. Instead, go au naturel and regularly clean your trash, recycling and compost containers. Change your laundering style Did you know that most of the energy it takes to run a washing machine comes from heating the water? Only 10% of energy is for working the machine, so switch to cold-water washing . Once your clothes are clean, hang them to dry. If you live somewhere sunny and have space for a clothesline, this won’t be too hard. If you live somewhere cold and rainy, see if you can hang an inside clothesline or set up a drying rack. But if this is impractical and you must run the dryer, make sure it’s fairly full so you make the most of the energy. Dryers are the third-biggest energy hogs in the average house, after the refrigerator and washer. Forget the lawn Lawns are a huge waste of space and resources. In the U.S., people spray about 3 trillion gallons of water on them every year, use 800 million gallons of gas in their lawnmowers and treat them with nearly 80 million pounds of pesticides . But who are we trying to impress with this golf course-looking terrain around our homes? Instead, go with xeriscaping or planting vegetables. Let clover take over, or fill your yard with pollinator-friendly plants. Control your climate Invest in ways to weatherize your home and lifestyle year-round. If you have the money and own a home, a heat pump can cut your energy use in half. Try low-tech solutions like wearing thicker socks and a fleece bathrobe over your clothes so that you don’t need to turn the heater up as much in winter. Add an extra blanket to the bed, and turn your thermostat down at least seven degrees at night. You use about 1% less energy per eight hours for every degree you turn it down. In summer, air conditioning is a massive energy hog. Three-quarters of U.S. homes have air conditioners, which use 6% of the total electricity produced in the nation, according to Energy Saver . Annual cost? About $29 billion dollars and 117 million metric tons of carbon dioxide released. If you must use AC, don’t set it so low. Add insulation to your house. Wear a bikini. Eat more ice pops. Sweat a little, it won’t hurt you. Go vegan Yes, Meatless Mondays are a terrific start. But this year, try adding Tuesday. And Wednesday. Et cetera. A University of Oxford study concluded that cutting out meat and dairy could reduce your carbon footprint by 73%. “A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use,” said lead author Joseph Poore, as reported by The Independent . Boycott new One way to stop supporting the constant addition to more junk in the waste stream is to boycott buying anything new (excluding food, prescriptions or emergency items). Perhaps you already enjoy thrifting and flea markets. If so, committing to buying nothing new might be a fun challenge. Make 2021 your year of browsing the free libraries, finding your new look at a garage sale and swapping useful items with other folks in your neighborhood. Set up regular donations to environmental organizations Just about every organization needs your help right now. Whether you prefer whales or bats, oceans or rivers, an environmental charity exists that would greatly appreciate your recurring donation, even if it’s just five bucks a month. Control your food waste The U.S. is one of the top countries for food waste in the world, tossing almost 40 million tons annually. Most of this food goes to landfills. In fact, food waste is the second-largest component of the average American landfill behind paper. This year, commit to only buy what you’ll eat and to eat what you buy. If you don’t already compost, get yourself a compost bin and throw in all your banana peels, coffee grounds, etc. Get political On the most basic level, vote. Beyond that, support causes you believe in by writing letters to your politicians or boycotting companies that are contributing to the global climate crisis. Attend town hall meetings with your local or state representatives. If you have the time, energy, resources and moxie, run for office. Images via Adobe Stock

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Take your sustainable lifestyle to the next level in 2021

10 resolutions to make the world a better place this year

January 3, 2017 by  
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The new year is upon us and the forecast looks dreary. From the election of a lying, corrupt megalomaniac to the U.S. Presidency, to the loss of countless beloved cultural figures such as David Bowie, Prince and Carrie Fisher, to 2016 breaking the hottest year on record AGAIN, 2016 has been one sucky year. I think it’s a safe bet to assume that for many of readers, 2017 doesn’t look like it is going to be any better, and many people are dealing with deep anxiety and depression over the coming year. As the world’s carbon emissions rise towards the point of no return, the new Trump Administration is threatening to smash the strides we’ve made towards clean energy , environmental conservation, social progress, and a sustainable future. But in darkness there is always light, and in the face of despair we can find hope and strength. Let the encroaching darkness of 2016 be your wake up call to find the light, share the light, and be a guiding light this year – for your fellow citizens of this planet and for future generations.

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10 resolutions to make the world a better place this year

10 resolutions to make the world a better place this year

January 3, 2017 by  
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The new year is upon us and the forecast looks dreary. From the election of a lying, corrupt megalomaniac to the U.S. Presidency, to the loss of countless beloved cultural figures such as David Bowie, Prince and Carrie Fisher, to 2016 breaking the hottest year on record AGAIN, 2016 has been one sucky year. I think it’s a safe bet to assume that for many of readers, 2017 doesn’t look like it is going to be any better, and many people are dealing with deep anxiety and depression over the coming year. As the world’s carbon emissions rise towards the point of no return, the new Trump Administration is threatening to smash the strides we’ve made towards clean energy , environmental conservation, social progress, and a sustainable future. But in darkness there is always light, and in the face of despair we can find hope and strength. Let the encroaching darkness of 2016 be your wake up call to find the light, share the light, and be a guiding light this year – for your fellow citizens of this planet and for future generations.

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10 resolutions to make the world a better place this year

England is building 14 new garden villages with a total of 48,000 homes

January 3, 2017 by  
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England just announced plans to build 14 new garden villages , each of which will hold between 1,000 to 10,000 new homes. One of the villages near Cornwall named West Carclaze will offer 1,500 new homes with energy-efficient features. A solar farm and bike paths are said to be a part of the ecovillage, along with pubs and a primary school for hundreds of new students. In total, the 14 villages will add up to 48,000 new homes to the country. England’s new garden villages will operate as their own independent communities. The 14 new developments will offer a range of facilities for new residents – including primary schools and adult care centers, according to The Guardian . England’s housing ministry says the villages will boost local economies, although some locals already living near the proposed areas aren’t convinced. Related: Ecovillage at Ithaca offers sustainable living in a community setting Some see the expansion as unnecessary urban sprawl that threatens established communities and designated green belts. Some worry the villages will put stress on an already congested infrastructure , as well. The promise that the developments will be locally led, instead of federally imposed, quells some fears, though others see it as a paper-thin pledge. Via The Guardian Images via Annie Spratt , Wikimedia , Albert Bridge at Geograph

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England is building 14 new garden villages with a total of 48,000 homes

6 Green Ways to Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

January 2, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of 6 Green Ways to Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 2012 , 7 Green Ways to Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions , better 2012 , green lifestyle , green new years resolutions , green resolutions , new year’s , new years resolutions , resolutions , resolutions for 2012

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6 Green Ways to Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

Planet 100: 5 Basic Green Resolutions for a New Year (Video)

January 6, 2011 by  
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Planet 100: 5 Basic Green Resolutions for a New Year (Video)

6 Green Dresses to Ring in the New Year

December 27, 2009 by  
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Celebrate Green New Year’s Resolutions with a Sustainable and Stylish Dress One more holiday hurdle to bring us into 2010 , but what to wear? We are keeping it simple this season and suggest scouring vintage and second-hand shops, raiding a friend’s closet, or–if you absolutely must satisfy your sweet tooth for shopping– shop slow and green

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6 Green Dresses to Ring in the New Year

Pesticide Scare Drives Organic Purchases in Lebanon

December 27, 2009 by  
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A produce market in Sidon, Lebanon. Photo by lux & pixel via Flickr

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Pesticide Scare Drives Organic Purchases in Lebanon

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