New Year’s Resolutions that will Help the Planet

Day 364 – Last year when I decided to write a daily post involving the environment, I wasn’t sure if I would stick with it the entire year. I can’t even tell you how many New Year Resolutions have been abandoned over the years. Now this particular idea was more of a project than a resolution, but nonetheless, something I wanted to do the entire year. I’m pretty happy that by tomorrow, I can say that I was able to follow through with my goal.

So, in today’s post I thought I would encourage you to start your own project or New Year’s resolution. It doesn’t matter what you call it, just try your best to see it through until the end. And maybe it leads to the next year and the next, and so on and so on. Maybe you decide to do something to benefit the planet every month. It could maybe look like this:

  1. January – Start composting, at home or with a commercial composter.
  2. February – Make an effort to do a better job recycling. Keep recyclables out of the trash and keep trash out of the recycle bin.
  3. March – Replace your single-use plastics with reusables. For example, stop using plastic water bottles and start using a reusable water bottle.
  4. April – Replace those single-use plastic bags with reusables. Switch out the plastic shopping bags, produce bags and Ziploc bags, with reusable bags.
  5. May – Avoid extra food packaging by avoiding individually wrapped items. For example, instead of buying individual bags of chips, buy a large bag and use reusable containers to create individual portions.
  6. June – Start cutting out meat once a week, maybe even twice a week.
  7. July – Avoid packaging by using reusable containers. Our hand soap and laundry detergent use reusable containers.
  8. August – Start looking at labels and seek out companies that are doing good for the planet.
  9. September – Exchange your throwaways with reusables. Swap your paper napkins for cloth napkins. Swap your alkaline batteries with rechargeable batteries.
  10. October – Turn down the extras. Say no thank you to the small packets of condiments. So no thank you to the complimentary items you know you don’t need or will not use.
  11. November – Put a sweater on and turn down the heat a few degrees.
  12. December – Consider sustainable gift giving and reusable or recyclable gift wrap.

If implementing a change every monthly seems too easy and not much of a challenge, then consider doing something every two weeks or even once a week. The more you can do the better off the planet will be.

Tomorrow, a look back at the year.

National Cut Your Energy Costs Day

Day 10 – Yep, it’s a thing and today is the day we celebrate! It’s the day to think about ways to reduce our use of energy and in turn cut costs. Hopefully, if you take a little time today to make some changes, those changes will become habits that you continue to do on a daily basis.

Here are some ways you can commemorate the day:

One parent’s way to cut costs.
  1. Turn down your thermostat (even a couple degrees can make a huge difference)
  2. Use more blankets
  3. Turn off unused lights (this one is a big one in our house)
  4. Only run dishwasher and washing machine when full
  5. Reduce the heat on the dishwasher (120 degrees is plenty hot)
  6. Use cold water for laundry
  7. Empty the dryer lint trap
  8. Use dryer balls (I’ll talk more about these in a future post)
  9. Lower water heater temperature (most are set at 140 degrees, 120 degrees is suggested, so maybe something in between)
  10. Take shorter showers (this is a challenging one for me and most in the house)
  11. Unplug unused appliances (even phone chargers can be energy vampires)
  12. Use power strips to turn off electronics when not in use
  13. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth (I’m doing better with this one)
  14. Fix leaky faucets
  15. Keep refrigerator coils clean (not sure the last time this was done, if at all)
  16. Keeping the sun out during the summer cuts cooling costs
  17. Only put cool food in the refrigerator, it takes more energy to cool warm food
  18. Regulate refrigerator temperature (ideal temperature is between 37 and 40 degrees)
  19. Stop preheating your oven (food with lengthy cook times do not need a preheated oven)
  20. Try to use less energy during peak hours (ComEdOff-peak (10 p.m. – 6 a.m.) Peak (6 a.m. – 2 p.m. & 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.) Super Peak (2 p.m. – 7 p.m.)

ComEd offers tips, discounts and rebates. Click HERE, to check them out. If you’re not a ComEd customer look for ways your energy supplier can help you.

Happy National Cut Your Energy Costs Day!

Tomorrow, I’ll talk about how three simple words made me rethink how I go about purchasing items for my home.