Our Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions

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This is the time of year to set ambitious New Year’s resolutions. More often than not, the trend is to establish self-improvement goals, but why not commit to taking better care of the environment in 2015 (and beyond)?

Vowing to be more sustainable does not have to be daunting, and the goals you set can still be personally beneficial.

To get you started brainstorming some ideas, we polled a group of Green Mountain Energy employees to hear their sustainable New Year’s resolutions. Below are their responses, edited for brevity. (Also, if you’re near us in Austin, Texas, scroll to the bottom to learn about an in-store discount in January from our friends at TreeHouse)

  • “My big goal this year is to replace the dated, drafty 1981 windows of my home for low-e windows. I have also been scouting for newer windows that I can re-use instead of buying brand new. My smaller goals are to never use paper coffee cups, stop using paper towels, and buy products in bulk that allow me to re-use containers and reduce packaging.” (Dee)
  • “I am investing in a larger compost bin to fit the bottom shelf of my refrigerator to accommodate more compost. Living in an apartment means needing to keep your compost inside. Shelving it in the fridge manages the smell!” (Caitlin)
  • “I am going to hit up thrift shops and garage sales (to buy used instead of new products)!” (Jen)
  • “My resolution this year is to quit red meat once and for all. Footnote: This resolution does not extend to fish/seafood or pork. Sadly, I just can’t give up sushi and bacon! This article touches on the link between livestock and climate change.” (Sherren)
  • “Give up those oh-so-tempting individually wrapped snacks and make my own single-serve packages with reusable containers.” (Sherren)
  • “Drive my RAV-4 the same way I drive my husband’s Prius. The dashboard display on the Prius makes you really conscious of accelerating slowly and letting off the gas a bit when going uphill.” (Sherren)
  • “To better conserve water, our family resolved to stop letting the water run down the drain while we wait for it to heat for baths and dishes; and also to stop pouring unfinished glasses of water/ice down the drain. Instead, we’ll start saving this water to fill the dog’s watering dish and give the inside plants a drink.” (Jason)
  • “I’m moving into a house later this month, so my resolution is to take advantage of sustainable opportunities that I didn’t have in an apartment like composting and gardening.” (Kenzie)
  • “We’re going to up-level our grocery shopping from bringing our own bags to also bringing our own produce bags (like these from BlueAvocado).” (Katie)
  • “My family is finally getting around to landscaping our ‘new’ house of two years with native plants and xeriscaping.” (Tony)

Lastly, my goal is to conserve resources by learning how to compost. Hopefully, by the end of the year, my family can downsize our trash can as a physical reminder of our efficiency.

Share your sustainable New Year’s Resolutions with us below!