Jul 29, 2014
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20 Ways to Go Green in 2013

If your New Year's resolution is to live a greener lifestyle, check out these 20 tips to help you stick to your plan.

20 Ways to Go Green in 2013

If you want to be kinder to the planet and save some money at the same time, here are 20 ways to go green in 2013.

  1. Buy fresh, local food all year long, at the Old Winery Market, held on Saturdays at 31505 Grand River in the winter, and the Farmington Farmers and Artisans Market, held on Saturdays at the Walter E. Sundquist Pavilion, in the summer.
  2. Have your kids make their friends birthday cards and bring gifts in decorated paper bags or a cool reusable bag. Kids love getting a handmade card—as do adults.
  3. Bring your own bags when you shop for groceries. 
  4. Shop at consignment and thrift stores such as Kathy's Kloset and Mommies Must Haves.
  5. Rip up some lawn and create new garden beds this spring, and then grow your own food this summer. Your kids will eat more veggies if they grow them themselves.
  6. Dispose of your hazardous waste properly. The Resource Recovery and Recycling Authority of Southwest Oakland County (RRRASOC) offers several collection days in 2013. The list is here: Did You Get New Electronics for Christmas? Here's What to Do with the Old Ones.
  7. Buy a share in a community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm to support local, sustainable farming and enjoy fresh veggies weekly. You can connect with a CSA at the Old Winery Market or Farmington Farmers and Artisans Market.
  8. Ditch those dreaded plastic sandwich bags and get some washable containers or bags. 
  9. Cut down on car trips and run your errands on your bike or on foot. 
  10. Pack cloth napkins instead of paper towels in school lunches.
  11. Look for an environmental service project you can do with your children. Peace, Love and Planet, a local environmental nonprofit, may have some ideas. Contact them at  plp_gina@me.com or 248-840-0248.
  12. Got an older house? Install double-pane windows and you’ll see immediate savings on your heating bill.
  13. Plant a tree. A certified arborist can help you select and plant trees that will provide privacy and shade and even years of fresh fruit. Find a certified arborist in your area by visiting the International Society of Arboriculture website.
  14. Dump your bottled water costs. You could save hundreds of dollars by buying snazzy metal water bottles for everyone in the family and a personal filter for your kitchen faucet.
  15. Organize a Halloween costume swap in September. This can be a great service project for a Girl Scout troop. Reserve a room at the Farmington Community Library and publicize by listing it on the Farmington-Farmington Hills Patch calendar.
  16. Replace your old light bulbs with LED bulbs. They last 15 times longer and use 75 percent less energy. 
  17. Expand your hand-me-down circle. Organize a clothing swap for your kids’ preschool or a group of friends. Everyone brings gently used and clean kids’ clothes to your garage and parents can take as many items as they donated. The rest goes to charity. You can also swap toys and books.
  18. Replace your showerheads with low-flow models. Low-flow showerheads can save you up to 15 percent on water heating costs and reduce your water usage by as much as 20,000 gallons a year.
  19. Save up to 30 percent on your monthly heating bills by having a home energy audit done by a professional. One local business that conducts energy audits is Ecotelligent Homes.
  20. Give service and experience gifts this year instead of stuff. Make homemade gift certificates for services and experiences that could include tech support, dinner and a movie, yard work, pet walking or babysitting, or a day of organizing support for the clutter challenged.

Do you think you could stick to a green New Year's resolution? Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments sections below.

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