Green Resolutions
Credit: Graffiti

Protecting our planet requires everyone to change their habits. Start with these 10 resolutions to get you and your family off to the right start this year.

1. Rethink Your Lighting

Turn off lights in rooms that you aren’t using. Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. Open curtains during the day to take advantage of natural light and warmth.

2. Unplug Vampires

Many appliances continue to draw power when not turned on. Use power strips with a switch to turn off groups of appliances. Timers can be helpful if you are forgetful or have a routine.

3. Regulate The Thermostat

Programmable thermostats are simple to install and they reduce energy use. Take full advantage of them by setting temperatures warmer in the summer and cooler during the colder months.

4. Stop Heat Leaks

Install insulation in attics and under floors to increase efficiency. Seal drafty windows and doors with caulking and weather stripping. Use heavy curtains to block the windows when it’s excessively hot or cold.

5. Use Communal Transportation

Try public transportation for commuting or routine trips. Rideshare if the bus or train just won’t work. Telecommuting for a few days a month will have a large impact on your fuel consumption.

6. Tune It Up

Routine maintenance such as changing air filters and properly inflating tires will keep your vehicle working at peak efficiency. Use the proper grade of oil, change it on schedule and drive the speed limit.

7. Use A Fuel Efficient Vehicle

Buying a new car isn’t practical for most people, but if it’s in your future, consider getting a hybrid or all-electric vehicle. In the mean time, pull out the bike and start pedaling.

8. Revamp Your Lifestyle

Go local. Transporting food represents a large percentage of petroleum use. Eat local to both support your local farmers and reduce fossil fuel usage. Eating in season will give you the chance to try new recipes.

9. Conserve Water

Run only full loads of laundry and dishes. Water plants early in the day to minimize evaporation and let your lawn go brown in the summer. Don’t buy bottled water; use tap water instead.

10. Conserve Power

Use cold water for laundry unless clothes are extremely soiled. Hang sheets and towels on the line to dry. If necessary, use the dryer for a few minutes to soften the material before putting them away.