Our Picks for Eco New Year’s Resolutions

We’re more than a week into 2014, but there’s still time to establish New Year’s resolutions. Here are a few ideas to get you into eco-shape this year.

Not only will your efforts benefit the environment, but also potentially your pocketbook.

  1. Eat local: The average distance that food travels to get to your plate is 1,500 miles. Food from local sources, in contrast, travels an average of just 45 miles. Better yet, grow your own fruits and veggies in a garden (see above) or even on your windowsill. Bet you’ll notice the difference in taste and on your wallet.
  2. Get on the bus: When it comes to lowering your carbon footprints, walking or biking is the best way to go (bonus: you may even shed some pounds, too). But taking the bus is a good runner-up. On a per-passenger basis, riding the bus has the next lowest CO2 emissions (0.24 lbs CO2 / passenger-mile) compared to taking the subway or an above-ground train, opting for an electric vehicle and carpooling with a friend. Try commuting to work by bus once a week and collectively we can make a big difference. If all Texans, for instance, left their cars in the garage one day per week for a year, it’d have the same CO2-reducing impact as 17.7 million households turning off their lights for a day.
  3. Air dry:  Using clotheslines to hang your laundry can be an effective way to dry your clothes, conserve energy, prevent your clothes from shrinking, and saving on energy costs. Moreover, your neighbors may take notice and follow your lead, creating a network effect. As for the bottom line, air drying your laundry instead of running the dryer can save around $85 per year.
  4. Swap out a bulb: If every household replaced just one light bulb with one that has earned the ENERGY STAR®, we would save enough energy to light 3,000,000 homes for a whole year. Check out our selection of home energy efficiency products, including CFL and LED lights, on our Energy Saver Store.
  5. Get eco tips all year: This one’s easy! Sign up below to receive our bi-monthly Cleaner Times e-newsletter, which includes information on sustainable practices, home energy efficiency tips, products to help you conserve energy and more.