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It’s been about a week since you finalized your New Year Resolutions… how are you doing? Check what Brooke has to say about adding a shade of green to your 2014. 

As we wave goodbye to 2013 and say hello to the bigger and brighter new year, we at The 1:1 Movement encourage you to embrace a sustainable new year’s resolution that fits you. Attempting to implement a sustainable practice in 2014 will not only benefit you, but the community and environment around you to make a better new year for all. We hope to inspire you to choose one or more of these five methods that works best for you and allows you to contribute to a more sustainable 2014.

1. Eat local.

Choosing to support local farms and eateries benefits your community in many ways. Grocery shopping at nearby farmer’s markets for example opens the door for many nutritious, delicious, and sustainable food products. Local foods use less packaging and when you choose to buy local you are also preserving energy that would otherwise be used for transportation of other commercially farmed foods. Buying local also supports your local farmers, genetic diversity and the open space and wildlife in your community.

2. Limit your personal waste.

Most of us have the typical blue and black trash bins provided by the city to separate waste from recycled materials. However, to make a sustainable change in your house, try your best to limit the amount of trash in those huge black bins that the city collects to dump into your local landfill. Being cognizant about what you are using and where it may be going will have a profound effect on the amount of waste generated in your area. You can do this by avoiding to buy products wrapped in multiple layers of single use plastics and limiting the amount of products the typical consumer buys including clothing, accessories, and electronics.

3. Reduce the energy consumption in your household.

This New Year we ask you to think twice before turning on your kitchen light or leaving your faucet running. Many decisions we make around the house are habitual and sometimes hard to notice that they are truly unnecessary. When turning on your air conditioner or heater, think about what temperature, if any, is necessary to make you comfortable. Turning your thermostat down just one degree reduces your energy consumption by 5% plus you save more of your pennies in the long run. Limiting bathing time, washer and dryer usage, and electricity around your house are also simple changes you can make to create a more sustainable household for 2014. Check out some additional ways to save energy in every room of your house.

4. Start meatless Mondays.

Start a new trend with your friends and family this year by implementing meatless Mondays in your diet. Reducing your meat intake has health benefits as well as environmental benefits. Going meatless at least once a week increases longevity and reduces your risk for cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. While you are improving your health, you are also reducing your carbon footprint by slowly straying away from the meat industry that produces one fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions. Implementing meatless Mondays also helps to minimize water and fossil fuel usage. When tending livestock, up to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef. Crazy! So go ahead and step out of your comfort zone by trying some meatless Monday recipes you have never eaten.

5. Invest in reusable items.

This year make a transition over to reusable items such as a hard refillable water canteen, reusable shopping bags, and even a reusable coffee mug. When switching over to reusable items, try your best to eliminate single-use items in your everyday life such as straws, plastic grocery bags, and napkins. For example, if you are reluctant to give up plastic straws look into purchasing reusable glass or aluminum straws for your drinks. Choosing this sustainable technique is a great way to reduce resource usage and waste that will eventually end up in a landfill. On a side note, it will also save you money in the long run so you will be going green in more ways than one!