3 Big Green Resolutions to Make This Year:
1. Cut Back on Meat:
Meat produced by large industrial operations often contains additives and hormones, and the animals raised on industrial farms don’t exactly enjoy a happy-go-lucky lifestyle during their short stint on mother earth. If you’re feeling adventurous this year and you really want to try something new, consider adopting a vegan diet for 30 days. A vegan diet excludes foods containing any kind of animal product – no meat, no eggs, no dairy, etc.
Proponents of a vegan diet claim that it increases mental clarity in dieters. It could also aid in weight loss and you can bet it will weigh less on your eco-conscience. It may seem extreme, but after 30 days you may become a believer. Look for vegan recipes online, and search for vegan restaurants in your area.
If you’re looking to cut back on your meat consumption, but need more of a “baby-step” in the right direction, try implementing a “meatless Monday” in your household. Pick one day a week to eat only vegetarian or vegan meals.
- The diet is a great start, but dedicated vegans also avoid other products containing animal-derived material. For instance, a committed vegan would use only beauty products not tested on animals, and you can be sure you wouldn’t catch a truly vegan person wearing a leather jacket!
2. Shop Second Hand:
Make an effort this year to buy more second-hand items. Buying used can be easier on your wallet and can help you cut back on over-consumption and waste.
- New items usually come with much more disposable packaging than used items.
- Buying used is a great way to recycle items that are still functional.
- There are great second-hand stores out there where you can find great quality things at a steal!
Disclaimer: we do not recommend buying electronic items or any kind of underwear used. However, buying refurbished electronics might be a good idea. You can often get a refurbished camera or phone rather than a new one for a fraction of the price. Sometimes refurbished items are returned to the store simply because the original buying did not like the product for whatever reason – not because it was damaged or faulty. The item is then cleaned up and sold at a discount because it can no longer be legitimately sold as “new.” There is some risk involved, as companies generally will not tell you why an item was returned in the first place.
One awesome second-hand option is to visit an REI garage sale. The outdoor company has a quarterly “garage sale” for members that sells returned items for great prices. Unlike with a refurbished electronic, every item at an REI garage sale has a tag on it explaining why the original buyer returned it – something like, “this hat made my head look big” or “my dog did not take kindly to having to carry her own stuff with this dog backpack.” Look into getting an REI membership to be able to enjoy these sales as well as other discounts. Also, get to the garage sale REALLY EARLY, as there is usually a line of thrifty outdoorspeople stretching around the block waiting for it to start.
3. Get Involved:
Do some research about green initiatives in your community. You may be able to find out about green activism by going to city council meetings, or bysimply reading the paper to stay informed. If there is a college in your area, you could also contact college-based environmental groups to find out how you can help. Pitch in with recycling efforts, local farmer’s markets or helping to implement green legislation within your local government.
You can also check GreenJoyment.com regularly for tips on how to live a greener lifestyle!
Happy New Year from GreenJoyment!