By: Shelby Egan
Now that the holidays are over and the New Year has started, most students have taken the start of 2013 to reflect on the past year and make a list of positive resolutions for the new one. I know 2012 was a big year for me. Having graduated college and moved to a new city have definitely made me want to start 2013 on a positive note. Now that finals are over, one way I am pledging to make worthy changes in 2013 (besides vowing to not procrastinate with reading assignments in school) is to be more active in protecting the environment. There is no better time to become more environmentally aware than the start of the New Year. Here is a list of some of things I am planning to do to help protect the environment:
1. Using reusable shopping bags when I go to the grocery store instead of plastic bags.
2. Unplugging appliances when I’m not using them, like my computer and cell phone charger.
3. Making sure to recycle aluminum cans, plastics, glass, newspapers, paper and cardboard.
4. Reusing binders and notebooks that are still in good condition.
5. Taking a walk with a friend to a nearby park, or better yet, going ice-skating to enjoy the outdoors, rather than staying inside and watching TV.
6. Shopping at local thrift stores that sell second- hand clothes. Not only is this more environmentally friendly, but it’s helpful on my budget and makes for a vintage wardrobe.
To make your 2013 environmental New Year’s resolutions complete, spread the word to your family and friends in taking steps, like the ones listed above, to make a big difference in protecting the environment.
Shelby Egan is a student volunteer in the EPA’s Air and Radiation Division in Region 5, and is currently obtaining her Master’s degree in Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has a passion for protecting natural resources, cities she’s never been to and cooking any recipe by The Pioneer Woman.