A New Year, A Greener You

, By Clean Wisconsin

5 Mother Earth-approved New Year’s resolutions

WISCONSIN — With the bubbly chilling, the crystal ball poised over Times Square for its annual descent, and Auld Lang Syne ready to play, the New Year brings with it the opportunity both to reflect on the past and look forward to the future. One way to help ensure a cleaner, brighter future this season is to celebrate by committing to make small life changes that reduce your impact on the environment.

“Making environmentally friendly lifestyle choices can improve your life and protect the environment for our children and grandchildren,” said Sam Weis, media specialist at Clean Wisconsin. “Reducing your impact on the environment is simple, and there’s no better time than the new year to commit to making your life more earth-friendly.”

If you’re looking for easy ways to make your life greener in 2011, consider making one of the following Mother Earth-approved New Year’s resolutions:

1. Trim your trash

Reducing landfill waste is easy. You can commit to bring reusable bags to the market, use a reusable coffee mug at work, compost, replace paper napkins with their cloth counterparts, or carry a reusable water bottle instead of purchasing bottled water. Enroll in paperless billing and opt out of junk mail lists by visiting dmachoice.org to substantially reduce paper waste.

2. E-cycle your electronic waste

You received shiny new electronics for the holidays, but now what do you do with those old laptops, TVs, cell phones, or iPods? E-cycle them. Properly recycling e-waste helps keep toxins found in electronic waste like mercury, lead, cadmium and chromium from entering our environment.

3. Transform your transportation

Public transportation or carpooling are great alternatives to driving alone. Walking or biking are terrific ways to reduce pollution and get exercise. With the price of gasoline on the rise, the environment and your pocketbook will thank you.

4. Enhance your energy efficiency

Using less energy doesn’t require living in the dark. Turn off computers, printers and monitors at the end of the day, unplug appliances to prevent phantom-load, and switch to energy-efficient lightbulbs to save energy.  It only takes a few seconds.

5. Coach your colleagues and kids

Now that you’ve seen just how easy and rewarding it is to live a more environmentally friendly life, spread the word. Teaching youngsters and helping others in your community make small life changes can add up and make a huge difference.