I love the hopefulness of the New Year – the idea that we can begin everything again, and do it even better than last year! Personally, I am usually skeptical of creating New Year’s resolutions; in the words of O at Home’s editor in chief Sarah Gray Miller, "I've collected enough unused gym memberships to realize that I never keep resolutions." Amen!
But this year is different. I have decided, for the first time in almost 5 years, to resolve something: my resolution for 2008 is to be more green. As I write it, my heart collapses under the weight of such a responsibility. Beyond the use of environmentally friendly grocery bags, what can a girl in Manhattan do to raise her green quotient?
Thankfully, Treehugger is running a great series about designers doing their best to stay green in 2008. Designers have great insights; Danny Seo’s current posting gives me hope that even I can walk into JC Penney’s (gulp – that’s quite an admission from this snobbish Bloomingdale’s shopper) and purchase something that won’t hurt the environment. But it always seems like designers are so much more knowledgeable or capable than lil ole me.
Thanks to Yahoo, even I can now take steps to improve the green-ness of my home. The “Tips to Make Your Home a Greener Place” tool walks you through each room in your house and how to greenify the various energy-wasters within.
One of the suggestions I personally love - and actually abide by, sans a New Year’s resolutions - is to power off my electronics when I leave the apartment. It’s easy, efficient, and you actually notice a marginal decrease in your energy statement. Take that, ConEd!
This tool also inspired me to talk to my parents about their heating ducts which are 30+ years old and incredibly inefficient. It also got me to buy reusable bags from Baggu for all of my family members this holiday season, so they don’t continue to waste precious resources on plastic grocery bags.
Think of the thousands of trees in Brazilian rainforests we’ll all be saving by taking these small steps.
It just keeps getting easier and easier to stay in the know and keep our resolutions. So now we don’t have to waste excess energy OR excess money on a useless gym membership…again.
Happy New Year!