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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 at the Redondo Beach Farmers Market on Thursday morning or the Riviera Village Farmers Market on Friday afternoon. 
  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 and thrift stores such as Luther's Attic, the Salvation Army Thrift Store, Goodwill, South Bay Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles Auxiliary Thrift Shop and Return Engagement, among others. Read more here about local consignment and thrift shops.)
  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. The city of Redondo Beach holds hazardous waste disposal days several times per year.
  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. Rusty on two wheels? Take a workshop. The South Bay Bicycle Coalition in conjuction with the Beach Cities Health District occasionally hosts bicycle safety courses.
  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.
  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. Publicize it with local parenting groups and preschools.
  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.

Diane Naletich January 07, 2013 at 03:05 PM
Go solar, if you can. If you own commercial property - even better!!
Diane January 07, 2013 at 05:24 PM
Switching to a plant-based diet or even just reducing the amount of meat in your diet is by far the most important choice you can make to save water. According to the Water Education Foundation, it takes 2,464 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef in California. In contrast, only 25 gallons of water are needed to produce one pound of wheat. Present human water consumption drains aquifers all around the world. Water tables are dropping drastically and wells are going dry. The United States Geological Survey says that 40 percent of fresh water used in the U.S. in 2000 went to irrigate feed crops for livestock. Only 13 percent was used for domestic purposes including showers, flushing toilets, washing cars and watering lawns. Raising livestock is also a poor use of fossil fuel energy. 40 calories of fossil fuel are needed to produce one calorie of protein from feedlot beef while only two calories of fossil fuel are needed to produce one calorie of protein from tofu. For more information on this, see http://www.vegetariantimes.com/article/the-environmental-impact-of-a-meat-based-diet/

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