New Year. New You?

Every year millions of people set out to make themselves better on January 1st.  We all love to have a new years resolution and even for some love to tell people what they are doing.  Now some of us keep these resolutions and some (many) of us fall off the wagon come February 1.

The beauty of January 1st is that you can essentially change bad habits out of your life for the good. Now I am not taking about the dreaded “loose weight eat healthy resolution”  but more of lifestyle changes.   Though for some this is an important lifestyle change and we  applaud you for doing so.  I am going to talk about what we can do at home as well as on the go to make little changes that can make a big impact.

Carry your cup and straw

It’s not a surprise that american’s love their caffeine.  With drive thru coffee shops on almost on every corner and some being 24 hours, we can really get our caffeine fix  anywhere and anytime.  But did you know that an average office goes threw 500 coffee cups a year?  Think about that!  And I would bet that none of them are being recycled either.

So what if you made your resolution this year to invest in a coffee cup.  Bring it with you to your coffee shop and ask them to fill it for you instead of the styrofoam cup they hand out.  Bring it with you to work and use it instead of the coffee cups in the office.  If ice coffee or tea if your thing invest in a reusable straw.

If coffee or tea isn’t your thing but water is, this still goes under the same principal.  Ditch those plastic bottles of water and replace it with a reusable water bottle.  You might even find yourself filling up your water more often!

Bring your own bag

Bans on plastic bags are turning up in grocery stores, Targets, and even Home Depots, especially in the north shore.  Every town and city is trying to do a part in helping the environment.  Another easy way to make a small difference even if your store still continues to use plastic bags is bring your own.

Reusable bags are offered at almost every retailer and in grocery stores they even offer isolated ones for cold and frozen items.  These bags can be used hundreds of times and use less than the amount of plastic bags!

Walk when you can

I write this blog as a mother with two small children.  We are lucky enough to live only 3  blocks away from my sons school.  In the fall we walked too and from everyday unless is was raining.  Once the cold weather came in and I might have been just too tired one morning to bundle them up, I packed the in the car and we drove to school.  Now what would have been a ten minute walk turned into almost a 20 minute drive.

My point is this, how much pollution did I contribute to the world by driving 3 blocks.  Like I sad before small changes make a big difference.  So our new resolution is to walk to school more.  Even if it means bundling up.

But if its not walking your kids to school maybe its taking public transportation.  Could you take the bus, carpool, the subway?  Try it for a month and I bet you might even get a lot of work done on your way to work, maybe finally read that book you wanted.

Swap don’t shop

Have you seen these groups on social media sites that are called “Buy Nothing”?  Or maybe you live in a town where they have a local swap shed program.  There is a quote that states, “One mans trash is another mans treasure.”  Just because you may not have use for something in your home anymore, someone else might be searching for that very item right now!

So before you add to the landfill and throw something in the trash, snap a picture of it!  Post it and see if someone is looking for that very item.

Turning off your water

We are familiar that we should turn the water off while we brush our teeth, wash our hands, and do the dishes.  But did you know that shortening your shower by just one minute can save around 550 gallons a year?  Could you imagine if everyone did that? We are literally pouring money down the drain!

These are just five ways to improve yourself as well as our environment.  They are easy new years resolutions that you can follow and stick with.  They don’t cost much if anything but can make a huge impact.

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