Posted by: sakalaradiance | January 2, 2009

9 Green New Years Resolutions from the fabulous staff of

happy-new-yearNine New Year’s Resolutions for a Greener and Cleaner 2009

by SustainLane Staff

Put your best foot forward in 2009 with these 9 resolutions for 2009.

I will dust off my old Schwinn and/or join my fellow man on public transportation.
Whether by bus or bike, train or foot, change up how you get around. Doug Morgan, an attorney in Columbus, Ohio, decided to start biking to work and says he’s never looked back. By cutting back on driving even just one day a week, you significantly lower your carbon footprint and save money on your gas bill. Pedaling to work will help with one other resolution: losing those pounds that crept up over the holidays.

Henceforth, reusable bags and I will be joined at the hip.
Save yourself from the deluge of plastic shopping bags that awaits you every time you open the broom closet. According to the EPA, Americans use nearly 400 billion plastic bags each year, many of which end up part of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – a mass of plastic twice the size of Texas swirling 1,000 miles of the coast of California. Store a couple of reusable bags in your car, take a few to work, and keep one in your purse or backpack. Don’t limit these to the grocery store; use them wherever you shop.  Eco chic shopping bags have skyrocketed in popularity and I now collect the cutest ones I find. I particulary love the one from Envirosax, which roll up to an impressively small size and are adorned with the chicest patterns and designs. Check them out at mk-b2_ai

I will only bask in the glow of fluorescent lights.
Vanquish voltage-consuming traditional lights! Replace burned out bulbs with CFLs or LEDs. These consume a fraction of the energy conventional bulbs use while shining just as bright. Less energy used equals less dollars spent on your power bill. General Electric has an online calculator that shows you just how much money you can save by making the switch.

I resolve to flip things off.
No, we’re not talking about the vulgar gesture, but about flipping switches. Untold millions of dollars are wasted lighting empty rooms and keeping appliances and electronics plugged in. A single video gamer can save one hundred dollars a year just by turning off her Wii or Playstation rather than leaving it in standby mode. If every gamer in the country remembered to do this, the U.S electricity bill could be slashed by one-billion dollars each year, eleven-billion kilowatt hours of electricity would be saved, and seven-million tons of carbon emissions eliminated.

I will buy natural cleaning products.
Get the 411 on 409. Resolve to buy a natural cleanser next time you run out. Conventional products are toxic and harmful to your body. Ammonia is a strong irritant linked to liver and kidney damage; bleach is a powerful oxidizer and can burn the skin and eyes. And don’t even get us started on oven cleaners. The good news is you don’t have to find a natural foods store to buy natural cleaners. Method and Seventh Generation brands are as available in the grocery story as their toxic cousins. If you want to try a darker shade of green, fill an old Windex spray bottle with equal parts water and household vinegar and start wiping down counters, sinks and floors. I personally can’t stand the smell of vinegar, so I’ll definitely be checking out Seventh Generation the next time I need to replenish my cleaning supplies.  I’ve had one too many experiences of nausea after cleaning the

I will not be tricked into buying bottled water.
Aside from being way more expensive than a gallon of gasoline – Evian costs over $20 a gallon to tap water’s seven cents a gallon—multiple studies have shown that bottled water is no cleaner or safer than what comes out of your faucet or hose. In fact, Aquafina now labels its water with the letters “PWS” for “public water supply.” Single-use plastic water bottles leach harmful chemicals into the water, especially as the bottles slowly break down in the trunk of your car. They’re also spawning grounds for bacteria and create unnecessary waste: ore than a million barrels of oil are used to manufacture more than 25 billion water bottles sold in the U.S. each year. Use an at-home water filter, and carry a reusable water bottleMy favorite sustainable water bottles are from EarthLust and are available at Here’s the one I currently carry> earthlust_1l_silverpeacock1

I will become my own local stimulus package.
Instead of waiting for Obama to jump-start the economy, take steps to revive it on your own. Rather than driving miles away to a big-box retailer, head to merchants in your hometown. In other words: buy local. Not only is this great for your local economy (and these days it’s likely to need all the help it can get), but you may discover great, new things about where you live. Become your own stimulus package, and keep money in local hands. For farmer’s markets and local fare in your area check out or

I will learn about ten plant and animal species native to where I live.
Most Americans can probably named hundreds of companies and what they sell based only on their logos. But how many can name ten plant and animal species native to where they live? If you spent five minutes a week to learn about one new plant, you’d know 52 by 2010! Did you know that there are 18 species of butterfly indigenous to Southern California, including the Monarch? We are also the home of the large mouth bass. Fascinating!

I will up my green IQ and find out just how much of an impact I have on the planet.
Before you try and reduce you impact on the earth, it helps to know exactly what that impact is. Take the first step toward a greener new year by calculating your carbon footprint. Go one step further and calculate your diet’s carbon footprint.’s-resolutions-for-a-greener-and-cleaner-2009/OUP2OW3YYSDLRUPDVJYTW9YPV3MC



  1. Wonderful ideas for all of us.

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