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Mairi Beautyman

Mairi Beautyman

Posted: December 31, 2008 12:58 PM

The Top Five Most Popular New Year's Resolutions And How Being Green Can Help You Keep Them

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So now is the time when the entire world is making lofty commitments to better their bodies, their minds, and their lives. How about the planet? Believe it or not being green can actually help the most common New Year's commitments come true.

A tip to keep in mind: Don't bite off more than you can chew. If you start your resolutions slowly, you'll be more likely to incorporate them in your life for the long haul.

losing weight apple tape measure photo
Photo Via Foodmall.org

Commitment 1: I Want to Lose Weight
So you made the commitment on the eve of 2008..and guess what, it's back again in time for 2009. The fact is, statistically, Americans are getting fatter. How about commuting by bike or passing up the car in favor of foot transportation a few days a week? Slowly incorporating a greener form of transportation in your life will take inches off your waistline. Just take a look at the slim locals in cities like Berlin or Amsterdam, where 60 percent of trips are made by bike.

Commitment 2: I Want to Quit Smoking
We all know how unhealthy cigarettes are for our bodies, and they are just as bad for the earth. Each butt takes up to 10 years to break down, and several trillion cigarette butts are littered worldwide every year. So how to quit it greenly? Try organic or homeopathic methods. Or (a friend swears by this), stock your fridge with peeled and sliced organic carrot sticks, and when the urge overcomes you, satisfy the oral fixation with a vitamin-packed crunchy vegetable.

starving piggy bank photo
Photo via Flickr

Commitment 3: I Want to Save Money
Or maybe you just want the savings back that you had last year...
Given the economic disaster, a record number of people will jump on this resolution for 2009. if you follow Commitment 1, you will save money on gas and public transportation. Similarly, if you follow Commitment 2, you could save hundreds of dollars a month on packs of costly cigarettes. Other ways to save? Energy efficiency. Do an audit of your electrical appliances, and make small changes for hefty savings on your electric bill. Bring on the compact florescent light bulbs (CFLs). When you need to buy a new appliance, go for one with an Energy Star label. Invest in a power strip, and flick the switch whenever you go out to avoid the invisible sucking of energy from surprising sources like your wireless router.

Commitment 4: I Want to Eat Healthier
Say no to take out. It comes in loads of packaging that will go straight to a landfill and even the healthiest items are often secretly packed with enough grease to power a biodiesel car. Try making your own vegetarian Pad Thai--it's easier than you think! Pack up your own meals and bring them to work. Make healthy meals in bulk and freeze them for a quick meal later. You can control the portions and it will almost always be cheaper than dining out.

Commitment 5: I Want to Have Less Stress
Living a green lifestyle is more often than not about minimalism. Clean out your closet and make a big donation to the Goodwill. Remove the clutter in your life and resist the urge to buy things that have no real purpose and a short lifespan or are poor quality and trendy. With less to clean, organize, or maintain, you'll find you have less to think about--and less to worry about!

More From TreeHugger and Planet Green on New Year's
How to Go Green: New Year's
Buy Green: Pink Champagne
The 2008 Eco-Matrix: Who's Hot, Who's Not in the World of Green
The Top 10 Un-Treehugger Events of the Year
TreeHugger Forums: What's your New Year's GREEN Resolution

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