Kick Off the New Year in Style: 5 Gargantuan Green Living Tips

By Ebony Porter, January 6, 2016, Green

It’s a new year, and you’re ready to turn a new leaf or two by making your life healthier, thriftier, and perhaps greener. How do you get started?

Kick Off the New Year in Style: 5 Gargantuan Green Living Tips

Welcome to 2016! Let’s get green!

Green living means living more consciously and more in sync with the planet. The small changes you adopt into your daily routine will have a large impact on our beautiful planet. Follow these 5 tips and by year’s end, we’re certain your carbon footprint will have shrunk a few sizes!

1) Reducing Waste

It’s no secret that keeping paper, glass and recyclable plastic out of your regular trash can reduce landfill waste. If your city doesn’t offer recycling, create your own recycling bins using plastic tubs and gather waste throughout the month. Choose one Saturday per month to transport your recycling to the recycling depot nearest you, and pat yourself on the back when you see just how much would have gone into the landfill!

Kick Off the New Year in Style: 5 Gargantuan Green Living Tips

Take all your kitchen scraps (NOT your trash!), toss them into your compost pile, and create your own fertilizer!

There’s never been a better time to start a compost bin. Turn your food scraps into black gold for your garden this year by keeping all biodegradable scraps out of your regular trash can. Select a site in your backyard that is easily accessible from the kitchen (yet out of the way, and spend a few hours building your compost bin. It can be done literally for pennies.

For families with babies and children wearing diapers, consider using cloth diapers rather than disposable. If cloth diapering isn’t an option, consider using cloth wipes instead of disposable. Not only will you save money on wipes, you’ll reduce the waste in your weekly trash collection.

 2) Give Your Home an Energy Audit

What is an home energy audit? It’s an examination of how your home is currently using energy.  By using less, you not only help the environment, but you can also save on your electricity bills.

  • Consider where you can add more insulation around your home.
  • Consider upgrading your windows so they don’t leak air out or let outside air in.
  • If one side of your home receives more sun than another, think about planting a tree to provide natural shade for the hotter months. Don’t plant your tree too close to the house, as many years down the line, the roots can interfere with your home’s foundation.
  • Switch your current light bulbs to LED (Light Emitting Diodes) bulbs. They are proven to use less energy and have a much longer lifespan than traditional incandescent bulbs and CFL bulbs.
  • Take a look at your current electricity provider, and consider switching to a plan that utilizes renewable energy. If your current company doesn’t offer a green plan, consider a switch to Bounce Energy. We offer green plans with fixed rates or month-to-month options to suit different preferences.
  • Consider purchasing a programmable (or “smart”) thermostat that controls and regulates the temperature in your home. Even turning your thermostat down a few degrees can save you on your energy costs.

3) Go Organic

Make the choice to eat more organic foods this year! When grown without pesticides, the flowers of organic fruit and vegetables attract bees and butterflies, whose pollination rhythms are at the cornerstone of a healthier planet. Online stores have sprung up that allow you to purchase organic foods such as rice, quinoa and lentils, at a lower price than most brick and mortar stores.

Another option to shop organic is by joining your local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Being a member of a CSA means you’ll buy into a weekly share of organic produce, most of which is grown close to home by local farmers. As a member of a CSA, you’re also likely to find fellow like-minded green living folks.

Feeling really adventurous? Create your own organic vegetable garden at home! While it takes a lot more work to grow then it does to buy, the satisfaction of growing your own food from seed to table is second to none.

4) Ride Your Bike or Ride the Rails

Whichever way you ride, it’s better for our environment and supports a green lifestyle.

Kick Off the New Year in Style: 5 Gargantuan Green Living Tips

And if you do ride your bike to work, WEAR A HELMET!

If you live in a city with good public transit, but make the decision each day to commute to work in your own car, consider using public transportation in 2016. While it can take a few more minutes out of your day waiting for the bus or train, the benefits are there. Not only do you save on gas, reduce wear and tear on your car, and aren’t adding to air pollution with your car emissions, you also gain time to yourself instead of focusing on the bumper-to-bumper traffic with thousands of other commuters. Use the time to read a book, listen to a podcast, or simply stare out the window for some quiet reflection and contemplation.

If you live within a 10-mile radius to work, why not consider riding your bike? Start with one day a week and see how it goes. Work your way up to 5 days a week, and you’ll not only commute greener, you’ll get your daily dose of exercise, too!

5) BYO Shopping Bags

Start bringing your own canvas and laminated bags to the grocery store. There are thousands of available options in a range of styles, patterns, and colors. Keep 2-3 in your car at all times so you don’t forget them when going to the store! Every paper and plastic bag you keep out of the landfill counts.

How do you plan to start green living this coming new year? We would love to know. Share your ideas below!

Looking for other ways to kick off 2016 in style? Check out the rest of our series!

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