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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.

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 this summer at your local farmers' market.
  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 stores.
  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.
  7. Buy a share in a community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm to support local, sustainable farming and enjoy fresh veggies weekly.
  8. Ditch those dreaded plastic sandwich bags and get some washable containers or bags. I like ReUsies, created by two Seattle moms.
  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, such as removing trash and non-native plants and planting trees in their place.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.

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

frank vecchione February 28, 2013 at 01:10 AM
pretty soon , with higher taxes coming from all levels of government , and the obamacare tax , we all will be looking forward to the HALLOWEEN COSTUME SWAPS....
william tell February 28, 2013 at 02:38 AM
Most green thing you can do...Don't have a child.
william tell February 28, 2013 at 02:48 AM
Hastings could sure learn a lot about green building and reuse of existing structures, especially historically significant structures. Here in Hudson NY, we have a lot of tourism and thriving business because we have two medium sized industrial buildings used as music venues (Club Helsinki, and Industria Basilica on the RIverfront. They are cultural anchors of the town and bring visitors from as far as NYC and Albany. Our community was a little concerned when Hastings had similar plans for a very similar building on their riverfront. Hastings is much closer to NYC and we anticipated a Hastings music venue would take away much of our audience and town business. Luckily, Mayor Swiderski breaking a tie vote ensured that the beautiful building was torn down even though local architects and a connected music producer were determined to make Hastings a music center. Thanks to Mayor Swiderski and his ignorance of green building and reuse, Hudson is growing like crazy. One big decision (mistake) like that says more about a town than a thousand press releases, workshops and green meetings. Thank you Mayor Swiderski for flushing your town down the toilet. Hudson could not be happier.
The Worst Thing To Happen To Hastings February 28, 2013 at 02:52 AM
Recognize BP as the environmental pariah they are, start showing some green backbone, climb out of bed with them and stop weaving them into the life of the village of Hastings. Stop inviting them to throw out the first pitch at Little League games (great lesson for the "green" children of Hastings). Stop allowing them to use the village as part of their "greenwashing campaign. (google HastingsBP or BPHastings - they're interchangeable) Replace the Mayor and trustees who publicly thank them for their sponsorship of Hastings street fair, this while oil continued to spil uncapped.

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