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Easy Green New Year's Resolutions

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Each year I make a few green resolutions, well or goals really, not so much resolutions because of the new year. Usually there's one involving toilet paper tubes. I'm really good about recycling, but not toilet paper tubes, most likely because they're in a little room, and easy to forget. For the last three years one of my resolutions has been to actually recycle all the darn tubes. This year I can scratch this off my list because I finally did a great job in 2009. I placed little recycling boxes in both bathrooms, and it seriously solved my issue. Yay.

Goals I have for the new year now include cutting out more disposable packaging, or packaging all-together, and getting out into nature more often. Not just locally, but making more trips to close, but not right next door nature sites with my son. This year has been crazy busy, and we've been slacking on nature adventures.

In any case, if you're new to green living or just need some easy ideas, here are some super simple and low-cost green resolutions you might want to try out...
  • Switch to all cloth napkins - no more paper. For the extended goal cut out all paper towels. Cutting out paper towels was a resolution of mine maybe four years ago, and it was tough, but doable.
  • Wash all your laundry on cold. It'll still get clean (I promise) and you'll save water, money, and energy.
  • Get a clothesline - this is a super cheap and earth-friendly way to hang clothing. A decent clothesline and about 50 clothespins will cost you under $15 in almost all cases (in most cases under $5). Note that you’ll also save money on electricity. BTW you can skip the line if you like. I take all my clothes, hang them on hangers and let them dry in the bathroom on the shower rod. Easy and a time saver because my clothes go right to the closet.
  • Choose three food items and always buy them in organic form - Three is a good start. Make your choice based on items that generally have more pesticides and by foods you buy most often.

These are just some easy ideas. Maybe you already do all of the above. Maybe you want some bigger green goals to challenge you this year. Share your green goals for 2010 below.
post #2 of 19
well.. i haven't think about my new year resolutions so far.. but it may be increasing the number of plants on my roof.. thats what i can do..
post #3 of 19
Well the first of January brought me a 30 percent increase on my electric bill compliments of poor PPL.
for a long time Ii have practiice all the Green things you mention,
I had to find new ones to incorporate into my daily life.
I bought battery operated clocks
a small battery  operated tranister radio. cut my tv watching to 25 percent of what it once was.
cut back on lighting I have had all cfls for  years
wash dishes every other day in hot water  rise and wipe in cold daily
wash clothes every other daay in cold always full load
oh have bought solar and crank radiio and flashlights
cut back on my car trips weekly
I try to  shop for all my needs in one area at onne tiime
if need anything aftterwards buy it very local only 4 miles away.
joined a public library for reading ,  usic and movie materials
When it gets  warmer there is plenty of wooded area near me I can just go and recharge myself.
My wife and I live on a fixed income,annd neither one of us is very healthy.
I don't thank PPL for raising their rates 30 percent.
I have always tried to save  electricity PPL has done nothing but pollute and use outdzated generattion equipment .
If we could survive wiithout electricity I would disconnect completely,
I am always loooking for ways to become even greener
                       Thank You
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Welcome to EcoHuddle Genaman :) It sounds like you're working on a ton of smaller goals and it sounds like it's going well except for the power issue. I know what you mean about disconnecting entirely. Some days that sounds pretty good. Not very realistic seeing as how I work from my computer, but power costs have just blown through the roof as of late. We saw increases in Jan too.
post #5 of 19
Hi Jennifer, What are residential power costs in your part of Oregon now? 
post #6 of 19
It is much easier for just my wife and I to cut our power consumption,because we are both disabiled, and can do with less.
Young families on the other hand need mmoore  electric slaves just to insure they can get to the next day.
With both parents working . It would be too hard to come home and not have a TV to relax to. They need outlets to releave strsse otherwise their children will suffer.
The children on the otherhand especially young children trry to get their parent to turn off unused lighting.It only takes a few lectures in elementery school to get many of them to try. Most fail and give up ,but they tried.Later  when they become teens .they  are worse then the parents,but for a short time . they bring hope.
The one thin g about higher power bills. I really believe that old fashion clothes line will be back Big Time. I also bellieve the old fashion light bulb is DEAD.WHY?  because wages are not going to increase enough to even attempt to keep us in the light.

Consider these new TV"s that we are now forced to buy.
They gobble up power way faster then are old ones.
Power iincreases cost will  be passed down from every commercial outlet to the consumer us tto pay.
e would be fools to  believe otherwise.
I wish I had some answerrs for all those struggling families.
Plainly it is up to each of them to find ways to exist.
All the choices have always been there. They have been almost invisable  because of the brightness of manmade light.
Anyway  Good Luck To Us All
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
It depends on if you invest in green power, which costs more of course, but I know many typical home dwellers in mid-sized homes, who do a good job of trying to conserve energy, who pay $160+ a month in winter in metro PDX.

On some various online energy sites (for a typical energy run home for four people) I've seen estimates that note it costs about $3000+ annually for residents using all electric appliances, no AC, and non-efficient water heaters (which a lot of homes here have).

It seems like a lot to me. In New Mexico most people I knew paid much less for all electric homes (with AC), but in California I lived in a house without electric heat (wood heat only) and just the fridge and stove and water heater (wrapped) alone resulted in huge monthly bills for us. I guess the lesson in all of this is electricity seems to be costing more and more everywhere, but it's worth it to estimate various state costs if you're moving because there are differences.

Originally Posted by Russ View Post

Hi Jennifer, What are residential power costs in your part of Oregon now? 
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
PS when I say "invest in green power" I was talking about to the power company though, not investing in your own system.
post #9 of 19
For a table of US electricity retail rates

So picking a high-end rate of $0.20/kWh, $3000+/year works out to ~15,000 kWh/year. That's still pretty high for anyone who pays careful attention to their consumption, and I make my comparisons to typical homes up here in the frozen north. Maybe they are running an air-conditioner, in which case they deserve to pay big. Maybe Canadian homes are insulated better. (R22 walls, R50 roof is typical)

In the course of doing their DIY home energy audit, most folks will discover that heat is typically the lion's share (60%), domestic HW a distant second (20%), appliances (10%), lighting (5%), all other (5%). So focusing energy conservation on the big pay-back items, means focus on heat 1st, HW 2nd, and all other stuff after 1&2 are dealt with. If you have A/C, you don't ever want to do an energy audit.

Looking at Alaska, I'm pretty shocked, as I expected their rates to be lowest of all, but I guess the enormous hydro-electric inventory they have is simply undeveloped. Their natural gas transport costs should be 0. Wonder why so high? Hawaii I understand, but average consumption should be extremely low.

Canadian electricity costs are much lower (1/3 - 1/2) that USA, but average consumer prices are much higher. Per capita income roughly the same.

post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by mountain View Post

For a table of US electricity retail rates

So picking a high-end rate of $0.20/kWh, $3000+/year works out to ~15,000 kWh/year. That's still pretty high for anyone who pays careful attention to their consumption, and I make my comparisons to typical homes up here in the frozen north. Maybe they are running an air-conditioner, in which case they deserve to pay big.

People in Oregon don't tend to have AC; in PDX it's not very common anyhow. Plus the people I know who pay $160/mos, do so in the winter, but not summer. Since most folks here don't have AC, bills tend to go down pretty low in the summer, so I'm guessing energy use average is a bit smaller than the above estimate. I don't know much about Canada insulation vs. US but yeah, it might be better. 
post #11 of 19
 Just opening your curtins to catch  the sunlight in the winter  gives you more light and heat.
I have ben doing that for many years.
AC I have it but use it maybe twice in the summer and only to cool down the house for a peak hour or two.
Then my windows are open or I am on my porch enjoying the shade and recieving the benefits of the several large trees in the front yard..
Just listening to natures sounds out theree is far better then the hum of your money being wasted away.
Ah but that ismy A dying breed.
 If only  people would lok back to the WWII years and hhow people sacrificed and even felt better for it.
Here we have everything at our fingertips and still want more.
We are the neediest generation for now ,but I am sure the nest one will top us.
Good Day To You All
post #12 of 19

Interested in energy efficiency? I just found this fanpage on FB which is for all you energy-efficient Innovators! Emerson Cup 2010 is open to all industry members from air-conditioning and refrigeration. From architects to students, anyone can  nominate projects or ideas! Check this out for more details

post #13 of 19

Thanks gennifer. I think there is need for more publicity on green energy especially for home owners so that we can save our world from environmental pollution.I read this submission some days ago and I find it useful.

post #14 of 19

Much talk about greener energy and such here. Which is great! Especially USA have a very high energy and water usage (not wanting to point finger, but that is the way it is), so it is nice to see people wanting to change that. Recycling is also a very good thing... do you know how the garbage is taken care of?


I know I'm very biased now, but changing commute patterns once a week is a good New Years resolution. I mean, it isn't difficult to share a ride with a neighbour once a week, taking the bus/train or even bike/walk to work. It saves surprisingly high amounts of CO2, let you see other things (driving on the same highway 2X 5 days/week 48 weeks/year is a drag) and may even be a way to get to know more people and/or get into shape.




Commute Greener! (

post #15 of 19
Originally Posted by genaman View Post

... I really believe that old fashion clothes line will be back Big Time....


I'm not so sure.  Not because "Line Drying" is not coming back - only that our old friend the clothes line has not been sitting idle all these years.  There are many alternatives to stringing a rope across your back yard, balcony or bath room.  Just Google "clothes line" and keep looking through the results.

This is great news of course because the more convenient and stylish these become the more folks will use them.
post #16 of 19

I recently started using both the front and back of my notepads, which I know is small, but I like to think it helps us save both money and the environment in the long run.

post #17 of 19

Just came across this video on green New Year's resolutions at It has some really useful tips that reinforce what a lot of environmentally conscious people are already doing.

post #18 of 19

Here is a page with links to organic/natural and green products ranging from spices, raw foods, vitamins, clothing, recycled items to cleaning, mattresses even wine!!!

Hope it can help you find more products that green our world and homes!


Enjoy I sure do

post #19 of 19

a little past new year's, but here's info on a cool site for making & sticking to a New Year's resolution or two (can always start now, too):

& some fun & simple resolution ideas:

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