Green Goals: 12 Eco-Friendly Choices to Last a Full Year

It’s a bright and shiny new year, filled with promise, plans and — if you’re like most people — new goals. If one of yours is shrinking your carbon footprint, read on for 12 monthly activities to help the planet throughout 2023, each with an eco-holiday to celebrate.

Are you considering the switch to an EV? Or want to learn how to compost? New Year’s resolutions aren’t always about ditching bad habits — making new, positive choices like conserving energy at home can be rewarding to both you and the planet.

Eco-Holiday Idea: Save energy and money for National Cut Your Energy Cost Day (January 10) .

Driving yourself to work can seem convenient until you’re stuck in traffic. Why not take the stress (and the carbon emissions) out of your routine by choosing carpooling, public transit or a bike? You might be so refreshed at work you won’t need that third cup of coffee.

Eco-Holiday Idea: Up for the challenge? Try out Bike to Work Month (February 1-28).

Water is one of the most basic needs to sustain life, but we often take it for granted. Look for ways to dial back your water usage, including some life hacks for reducing household water waste .

Eco-Holiday Idea: Join the global movement for clean water on World Water Day (March 22).

Building greener habits can be extra rewarding when you invite others to come along on your journey. Organize a 30-Day Sustainability Challenge and bring a little friendly competition to helping the environment.

Eco-Holiday Idea: Attend, or plan, some festivities with your community for Earth Day (April 22).

Trees are an essential element of our ecosystem. They care for the air we breathe, provide shade and offer a safe habitat for wildlife. Do some good for the planet by planting a tree — it can help increase your home’s energy efficiency too!

Eco-Holiday Idea: If you can’t plant a tree, appreciate one on National Love a Tree Day (May 16).

There is no downside to reusing, repurposing and upcycling. Getting clever with old items and materials means you save money and avoid creating more waste. Best of all, you get to indulge your creative side!

Eco-Holiday Idea: Plan swaps and projects with friends and family for Upcycling Day (June 24).

Single-use plastic is a huge threat to our environment, and we’re surrounded by it every day: bags, bottles, utensils and more. Switch to reusables whenever possible to keep plastic out of the waste stream.

Eco-Holiday Idea: Get out your favorite reusable tote on International Plastic Bag Free Day (July 3).

Getting the itch for a new wardrobe? New clothing takes tons of water and energy to produce and often ends up in landfills. Try to repurpose or upcycle your clothes, swap with friends, or buy used (especially eco-friendly fabrics) to be sustainably chic.

Eco-Holiday Idea: Thrift or donate clothes on National Secondhand Wardrobe Day (August 25).

We all know the importance of recycling, but do you know what can and can’t go in the bin? Check your city or town’s requirements so you can help the process and avoid “wishcycling” (letting non-recyclables go into the bin).

Eco-Holiday Idea: Share your knowledge with family and friends for Recycle Awareness Week (September 18-24).

October is Energy Awareness Month, so it’s a great time to conduct a home energy audit. Some simple actions can ensure that your abode is running at peak efficiency.

Eco-Holiday Idea: Bring in a pro to help for National Energy Geek Day (October 6).

Spending time in nature is good for your health and well-being, and there’s no better time than a crisp fall day to do it. Be sure to bring your green outdoor habits with you on your adventures!

Eco-Holiday Idea: Hit the trails on Take a Hike Day (November 17).

The holidays are often a time of “doing the most,” but all that shopping, wrapping, decorating and cooking can create waste and/or drive up your energy usage. We have a few ideas for you and your loved ones to celebrate sustainably.

Eco-Holiday Idea: After the celebrations are over, plan for a greener tree disposal on Falling Needles Family Fest Day (December 30).

Choosing 100% clean, renewable energy means making a big impact throughout the year.
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