2011 is almost over. That’s hard to believe, isn’t it? It seems like just yesterday 2010 was ending. With the new year right around the corner, we thought it would be fun to share some of the resolution ideas we came up with. The catch, however, is that they’re all environmentally friendly. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
Recycle Anything & Everything
By now most of us realize how important recycling is, and how much of an impact it can have on the environment. Whether you’re recycling light bulbs, batteries or soda cans, every little bit counts. If you’re not convinced that recycling is worth your while, think about this. There are some materials that you can get paid for, e.g., soda cans, paper and glass. These materials are all in high demand, and you can get some pretty good money for them. While you should recycle everything, even the stuff you don’t get paid for, we appreciate any effort you make. Earth911.com is a great resource to find recycling locations for pretty much any material you have. Just complete a simple search and you’ll find what you need.
We’re all guilty of driving more often than we need to. Even if we’re only going a few blocks away to a friends house, or to a restaurant down the street, we’ll hop in the car and drive there. Next time you’re getting ready to go somewhere, ask yourself, “do I need to drive there?” If you have winters like we do in Chicago, you probably aren’t going to be walking around outside very often. During the middle of the summer, however, it makes sense to hop on a bike or take a walk instead of driving somewhere close by.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a city that has a great public transportation system like Chicago does, use it. It’s not very expensive, and it takes cars off the road.
Turn Off Lights When You Leave the Room
It happens all the time. You’ll be sitting in one room, watching TV or doing whatever else you do in that room, and you’ll get up to go somewhere else, but you leave the lights and other electronics on in the room you came from. A couple hours pass and you still haven’t made it back to that room. By not turning the lights off, you’re wasting unnecessary electricity, running up your energy bills and draining your light bulbs at a faster rate.
This resolution is green in more ways than one. By reducing the amount of energy you use, the plants supplying the power require less output. On top of that, turning off your lights can also save you money. Your energy bill will decrease, and you won’t have to replace light bulbs as often, giving you money to spend on other things.
Buy Fewer Plastic Bottles
This isn’t usually a topic we discuss in this blog, since our expertise is in a different area, but it doesn’t take an expert to know how wasteful plastic bottles are. Roughly one million tons of plastic water bottles are produced each year, and 75 percent of them end up in landfills. When those bottles end up in landfills, it can take up to 1,000 years for them to decompose. Instead of buying a case of water next time you go to the store, buy a reusable water bottle. They’re durable, come in multiple sizes and are sometimes insulated to keep your water cold for a long time. Did we mention the amount of money you’d save by purchasing a reusable bottle? The cost of one bottle is about the same as a case of water, but you only have to pay it once, rather than multiple times each year.
Spend More Time Outdoors
Winter might not be the ideal time to tell you to go outside more, especially in Chicago. So let’s pretend for a minute that it’s spring and the weather is gorgeous. Do you really want to be inside? Spending less time indoors means using less energy for things like air conditioning, lighting and electronics. If you’re outside, it also means you’re getting some sort of physical activity, even if you’re just walking. Keeping yourself healthy is the greenest thing you can do, so we say get outside as much as possible!
Have any other ideas for “green” resolutions? Share them with us in the comments below!
From all of us at EverLights, have a safe and wonderful New Year! We’re excited about what’s in store for 2012, and can’t wait to share it with all of you!
See you next year!