new years resolution

A Greener 2016

By Lina Younes

Happy New Year! As we begin the new year, we’re looking for a fresh start to a healthier and happier life. How about finding ways to embrace a greener lifestyle for 2016?

Personally, I’ve selected some green resolutions that will help me make better environmentally sound choices for my family, my community and the planet. I think they’re easy to follow now and throughout the year. I’m sharing them with you. What do you think?water

Resolution #1: Save energy.

Saving energy at home, at school, or in the office can start with one simple light bulb. I know I often sound like a broken record trying to convince my youngest to turn off the lights in her room when she leaves. This year I want both of us to make that special effort. This simple action can go a long way to save energy.
Also, at home, we’ve made sure that all our major appliances have the Energy Star label.  Are you planning to to replace an old computer or household appliance this year? You can save energy and money, too, if you choose a new appliance with the label.

Resolution #2: Save water.

We definitely cannot live without water. So, why not do our best to use this precious resource as efficiently as possible? Saving water saves energy and money. This year, I’m making a special effort to take shorter showers and turn off the faucet while I brush my teeth. These simple steps can go a long way.

Do you have a leaky faucet or toilet? Did you know that household leaks waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water every year in the U.S. alone? I’ve had problems with leaky toilets at home and learned from the experience! Don’t let a leak break the bank.  Look for the WaterSense label when buying new water efficient toilets and other plumbing fixtures to save valuable water and money every day.

Resolution #3: Use safer chemicals.

We’ve all heard the expression: “cleanliness is next to godliness.” So, why not look for safer cleaning products to protect ourselves, our family and the environment? Did you know that we have a program that helps us do just that? It’s called SaferChoice. Products with the SaferChoice label have met high EPA standards to ensure that they’re greener to better protect people, pets, workers’ health and the environment. Personally, I seek greener chemicals to help protect my family. I’m glad there will be more products available with the SaferChoice label this year.

Resolution #4: Reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Make an effort to reduce waste from the outset. Why not use reusable containers at home, at school, and at the office? Reducing disposable packaging and waste saves you money and ultimately protects the environment. Looking for additional tips on how to reduce waste? Here are more suggestions on what you can do every day.

For starters, I’m focusing on waste free lunches. When I prepare lunches for my youngest to take to school or for me to bring to work, I’m avoiding disposable plastic bags. I’m using reusable containers for the food and beverages. Not only am I preventing those bags from ending up in a landfill, but I’m saving money, too.

By the way, don’t forget the other two R’s—reuse and recycle. For additional tips, visit: http://www.epa.gov/recycle.

Resolution #5: Be more active.

While we often include losing weight as a New Year’s resolution, how about aspiring to become more active as the means to a healthier lifestyle? You don’t have to sign up for an expensive gym membership to achieve that goal. It’s much easier and less costly than you think. How about simply walking more often? Take your dog on longer walks. How about visiting your local park?

Personally, I’m taking the stairs more often at work. I also have a new standing desk. So, I’m not as sedentary as in the past. Being more active at work, becoming healthier, and protecting the environment sound like a win-win to me!

So, what green resolutions will you embrace in 2016? We’d love to hear from you.

About the author:  Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and currently serves the Multilingual Communications Liaison in EPA’s Office of Web Communications. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several federal and state government agencies over the years.

 

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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New Year, New Attitude

By: Brittney Gordon

We are now one week into 2012. Are you working on a New Year’s Resolution yet? Every year I join countless Americans in making a resolution. Usually my goals revolve around two main topics: losing weight and saving money. I have had some success—and an equal amount of failure. Luckily I am not alone. According to studies by psychologist Richard Wiseman, 52 percent of resolution makers were confident that they would achieve their goals, yet only 12 percent actually succeeded. According to Wiseman, the difference is in how they went about accomplishing their goals. Those who set defined goals and told their friends and family about it were the most likely to succeed. In addition, Wiseman found that revisiting previous goals was often a recipe for disappointment. Lastly, he concluded that those who make only one resolution fared much better than those with a long list of lofty ideas.

Did you know that ENERGY STAR can help improve your chances of achieving your New Year’s Resolution? The ENERGY STAR website not only gives lots of money-saving resolution ideas, but allows you to make a public pledge to that goal. From pledging to turn off the lights when you leave the room to always looking for the ENERGY STAR when you shop, ENERGY STAR’s easy, everyday resolutions can help you save money on your utility bills and help protect the environment.

And the best part: You can use those savings earned through your new energy-efficient ways to join a gym!

About the author: Brittney Gordon is a member of EPA’s ENERGY STAR program communications team. The Baltimore native has worked for EPA since 2010.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

2011 Resolutions for a Better You, a Better World

By Jeanethe Falvey

I realize that it’s past Thanksgiving, but I’m still thankful, thankful for the New Year holiday and the recent New England weather that’s forcing us to chill out. With the increasing pace of modern life, would we find time otherwise for a self check-in?

When planning your New Year, consider that healthy resolutions easily partner with helping the environment. If we all make one change in 2011, it should be to simply think about the impacts our choices have.

Get Inspired: Get outside and find your environment; a place to help protect for the future, just like someone did for you.

Decide to Act: Simply thinking about your purchases and where they came from is the right start. Our actions and our choices generate a domino effect beyond what we see, so make choices for a positive one.

Share and Maintain: Talk to friends and family, learn from others and keep it up! Simply talking about the environment spreads awareness; you never know who else you’ll inspire!

5 Simple Ideas to Improve Your Day, Your Environment

  • Think about your water and where your drain drains! Water Choices #2 & #3 Keep water clean by using biodegradable products, and remember don’t flush medications!
  • Learn about local food and produce, challenge yourself to a weekly recipe with a locally grown or organic ingredient. Air Choice #4 Buy locally, or grow your own. Reduce air pollution caused by food and goods transport.
  • Exercise goals can cut back on car exhaust. Go car-free or consolidate errands with friends. Air Choice #1 Use human power to get from A to B!
  • Lift at the gym, and keep our landfills slim and trim. Waste Choices #3 & #6 Cut back on your trash by recycling and buying items in less packaging to begin with. Learn about your recycling options in your city or town. If we counted our garbage like we count calories, would things be different? Label your trash bin “landfill” if you need a reminder!
  • Most importantly, talk to others. Compare ideas and involve kids, there’s no better way to get inspired. Advocacy Choice #9.

Find more ideas and talk with others about your Pick 5 New Years Resolution!

About the author: Jeanethe Falvey works on the Pick 5 International program at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from Boston, Massachusetts.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.