January Green Story

6 Resolutions for a Greener 2016

If you’ve made and broken New Year’s resolutions before you know that keeping a resolution is really all about making a new habit. Some habits have benefits for our health or wallet, but many of them also help the environment. Here are several green habits you can adopt this year. Add just one a month and before you know it you’ll find that making beneficial choices is easy.reusablebag_grocery

  1. Brew Coffee in a French Press: Reduce waste from single use coffee pods and save electricity when you prepare your coffee in a French Press instead of an electric coffee maker. To reduce even more waste use reusable coffee mugs and insulated travel mugs instead of disposable, single use cups
  2. Eliminate Phantom Power: Electricity is used by gadgets and appliances even while you sleep. Unplug chargers for cell phones, tablets, and small devices when not in use. For television sets and game systems use a power strip to shut off everything at once. You could cut your energy bill by as much as ten percent by the end of the year.
  3. Use Reusable Bags: Instead of plastic  bags use reusable ones made of cotton or recycled materials. Reusable bags are more sturdy, durable, and colorful than their thin plastic counterparts. Keep them in your car or by the front door so you won’t forget to take them to the store.
  4. Limit Use of Bottled Water: Plastic water bottles are very convenient, especially in emergency situations where water is not safe to drink. But, for daily use it’s better to use a reusable water bottle or tumbler to hold water from the tap or a pitcher with a water filter. If you can’t avoid bottled water take the time to recycle the container.
  5. Use Less Paper Towels: Cleaning up spills and wiping down counters with paper towels is wasteful, especially when you consider the high cost of some paper towel brands. Purchase cotton cloths and napkins that can be used and washed with the next load of laundry. Buy the reusable cloths once to replace the tons of paper towels that end up in landfills daily.
  6. Bike or Walk More: Depending on where you live, you may be able to walk or ride a bicycle to the park, to a store, or to work. Using your bicycle instead of the car for trips that are two miles or less away from your home will save money on gas, vehicle maintenance, and even help you stay fit.

Liz Swafford is the Recycling and Education Program Coordinator for the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority.  Contact her at 706-278-5001, or e-mail lswafford@dwswa.org.

 

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