As we enter the New Year, making resolutions has not always been the easiest thing to do. We start with good intentions but somehow lose focus and forget the importance of why we chose the resolutions to begin with. We might set our goals too high or try to achieve something that might be too difficult. Resolutions should be a daily effort, setting goals that are reasonable and in the long term, pay dividends.
As I was trying to come up with a topic for the next Wood Partners Green Blog during the holiday break, a thought came across my mind on what we can do to become more ‘green’ in the year 2013. This thought was a segue into resolutions we can make for the year 2013. By making these ‘green’ resolutions, we can create better habits at home and set examples for our children, peers, and neighbors.
If you haven’t already, here are some ideas and goals you can start this year. Our family has been doing this for a while and you’ll immediately see the benefits of taking these sustainable best practices:
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs.
- If your city recycles, try to divert to landfills by separating glass, plastics and paper products in a separate bin. You’ll notice at least 50% of your trash will be for recycling.
- Also, if you have a green thumb and like to garden, you can divert your leftover kitchen bio products and create compost for the soil. Items such as coffee grinds, onion peels, egg shells, etc. help add nutrients back into the soil.
- Insulate leaky doors and windows.
- Lower the thermostat to 68° in the winter and 78° in the summer.
- Install low-flow toilets that use less water.
- Cut back on the water being used in the shower by installing a low-flow showerhead.
- If your home has an irrigation system, only water once a week. Long, deep waterings in the evenings only once a week help promote deeper roots for the turf and vegetation around your home.
- Replace older appliances, especially refrigerators, hot water heaters and dishwashers, with Energy Star-rated appliances.
- Install ceiling fans to help circulate air throughout your home during the summer and winter months.
- Turn off ‘vampire’ appliances when not being used such as cable TV box sets, dvd players, computers, etc. to help reduce electrical usage and cost.
- Ensure you have the proper insulation and ventilation in your attic.
- Seal around electrical outlets on all exterior walls to help reduce drafts.
- And finally, recycle that Christmas tree you might not have taken down yet. Cities will turn it into mulch or like New Orleans where I’m originally from, Christmas trees are brought to the marshes of southern Louisiana to help slow down coastal erosion.
Hopefully your 2013 would be a good and ‘green’ one.
William J. Greene III, LEED® AP BD+C