Resolutions for a Green New Year
Archived Articles 05 Jan 2009  EWR
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New Year's resolutions are annual commitments we make that are usually beneficial to our health or lifestyle. This year, why not make a resolution that also benefits our planet?

One Million Acts of Green has suggestions for New Year’s resolutions

1. Use A Stainless Steel Water Bottle and Refillable Coffee Cup
Styrofoam cups can end up in landfills and take approximately 20, 000 years to degrade. Paper cups can add toxic chemicals to the environment and contribute to deforestation. A refillable cup or bottle is the better choice.

2. Eat a Vegetarian Meal once a Week
A vegetarian meal requires significantly less greenhouse gas emissions to produce, and is a healthy alternative to add to your diet.

3. Drink Tap Water Instead of Bottled Water
Between making the bottle and transporting the water from its source, a lot of energy and chemicals are needed to get that bottled water to you. Drinking water from the tap is better for the environment and better for your wallet.

4. Walk or Bike to Work Instead of Driving
Not only will you save money and get some exercise, you will help reduce car emissions.

5. Reduce your Printing at work
At home or the office, you can reduce the amount of waste by printing on both sides of the paper, or not printing at all.

For more adventurous Canadians, One Million Acts of Green has acts that change more than a habit. Here are some ideas for larger projects to help the earth throughout the year

6. Use Rain Barrels to Water your Garden
Using a rain barrel reduces the amount of water entering water treatment plants and helps reduce your water bill by cutting down on usage.

7. Replace and Recycle Old Appliances With ENERGY STAR Appliances
Depending on the product, ENERGY STAR rated appliances are 10 to 50 percent more efficient than conventional models and efficiency adds up to savings on your electricity bill.

8. Insulate the Basement or Attic
Upgrading the attic and wall insulation can prevent heat and cold penetration into and out of your home, and can produce savings of 5 to 10 per cent on your bills.

9. Retire Your Old Gas Powered Lawnmower for a Push Mower
Cutting the grass for an hour with a gas powered lawnmower creates about the same amount of air pollution as a 160 kilometre car ride. Best of all, using a push mower is great exercise.

10. Install A Water-Efficient Toilet
Conventional toilets can use as much as 23 litres of water per flush.
Switching to a low-flow toilet can save you between $50 and $100 each year on your water bill.

To add your green acts to the total, visit and register these acts towards the
goal of one million. One Million Acts of Green is presented by The Hour, in partnership with CBC and Cisco, with the idea that one small act can make a big difference. Cisco calls this the Human Network Effect: a network of people with the power to change the world in which we live and work. As individual acts combine, the positive impact on our planet is much greater.

One Million Acts of Green, one act at a time.
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