Making Green Resolutions and Goals for 2013

New Year’s resolutions and goals include green resolutions too. Four goals to add to your list to live a healthier and greener life in 2013.

We survived the end of the world and many of us awoke to a snow covered landscape on December 22, 2012. So while you’re still working on your 2013 resolutions, be sure to include some green goals too.

I changed my focus of making resolutions that I couldn’t stick with to making goals several years ago. Goals are great because if you don’t achieve them, you’re not as disappointed and you may just need to reword them or create smaller goals to achieve the larger one.

Include ways to green your life in 2013.

A few of my goals for 2013 include greener choices for my lifestyle and the environment…hope you have included a few of your own as well!

Buy more eco friendly cleaning products that aren’t harmful to me, pets or the environment. Through the use of using coupons, I found Method does a better job of cleaning than other brands and they smell soo good! I ditched the other brands in my cupboard. Although a little more expensive, I will buy when Method cleansers are on sale and I have coupons to use. Other eco friendly cleaning products I like include Seventh Generation and Green Works.

Buy local. It’s true that if you buy from small local businesses and local farms that more of your money goes back to your community. As much as 50% is returned to local businesses when you choose to buy from small businesses and local farms instead of buying from national big box stores. It’s oftentimes easier to just buy all your groceries and home supplies from 1 location; however, I find that I will spend more and pickup more POS items that I DON’T need. Make a list of sale items and stick to it. Buy fresh produce when it’s in season and learn to can/freeze it for the off-season months. Ask your local farmers if they will sell blemished produce for less & buy in bulk. Small businesses love returning customers – tell your friends to shop there too.

Enjoy nature and the outdoors more than commercial entertainment. Almost every city & town has some acreage that’s reserved just for enjoying. Whether it’s a bike trail, walking trails, ski/sledding hills or man made lakes and ponds – get out and enjoy the fresh air. Health experts say we only need 20 minutes of sunshine to get our daily dose of Vitamin D. And if your little burg doesn’t have a trail, take a walk or work in your yard…green is good for the soul, mind and body!

Eat less processed food. Not only is it healthy, it’s also better for the environment. Read EVERY label, look for  “artificial flavors, colors, high fructose corn syrup (this also goes for any type of high ___ ___ syrup) Yellow #5, sugar substitutes, MSG, BHT, soybean oil” and other ingredients I can’t even pronounce. Here’s a list of 12 Additives to avoid in food for your disgusting enjoyment!

So what’s on your goal list for 2013? Share here!

10 Ways to Recycle Your Coffee Grounds

You love your coffee whether it’s from a French Press or your 10 cup percolator (I hope you have given up your harmful plastic coffee pot by now). However, if you’re like me and really despise dumping those used grounds in the trash, then I have a x ways for you to reduce your waste and reuse those coffee grounds.

I still wish coffee grounds could be used again, but after I tried brewing another small pot with the same grounds and tasted the second round, I decided coffee grounds are a “one time use only” kind of product. How unfortunate.

Reduce your waste, and reuse coffee pot grounds.

Green ways to reuse your coffee grounds (from my friends at The Greenest Dollar)

  • Save coffee grounds in one of your tin or aluminum coffee containers. Once a week add water to make a “coffee ground tea”, and then pour it on your flower beds or potted plants. Coffee grounds add much needed nitrogen to the soil, and will make your plants happy.
  • Repel plant pests by piling your coffee grounds around the base of your outside plants.
  • Add used coffee grounds to your compost pile. And if you’re vermi-posting (using worms), then you can toss your grounds in there as well. Worms love coffee grounds. Invest in a smaller worm compost for use inside your home or apartment, which is at the top of my Amzon wish list this year (hint, hint).
  • Reuse coffee grounds to keep your drains smelling fresh (pour the grounds down the drain, and immediately follow with at least 5 cups of boiling water; this will keep it from clogging). Your drains will smell like French vanilla or pumpkin spice if you use these for your coffee.
  • Coffee grounds also make a great dye for fabric and paper.
  • Coffee grounds can be used as an abrasive cleaner. Mix them with a little bit of water, and then scrub them on the surface with a stiff brush. Remember, coffee grounds are also a dye. You don’t want to do this on light colored fabrics, or countertops that stain easily.
  • You can also reuse your coffee grounds as a skin exfoliator, especially on your hands after you’ve handled smelly fish or pungent onions. The smell of the coffee can help remove those odors off your skin.
  • Ants don’t like coffee grounds. If you’ve got an ant pile, or an ant line, in your yard, then sprinkle the grounds around them and they’ll move on.

Other ways to reuse coffee grounds

  • I’ve been looking for an alternative hair conditioner and coffee grounds can be used instead of store bought conditioning treatments to give your hair that soft and shiny. (Caution: I would not use coffee grounds on light, blonde or bleached hair because coffee is a dye too.) Apply a small handful of used coffee grounds into your wet tresses and then rinse throughly. I’ll also have to try this after Monday’s coffee pot of grounds as a color touch up to my dark brown hair.
  • Another home beauty facial can be made with used coffee grounds and egg whites for an eco-friendly and home made skin-tightening facial mask.

Greener Living Tips: Eco Friendly Living Rooms

Green and Eco-friendly Living Room Tips

Going green is a great idea for a variety of different reasons. The top two reasons to go green include helping the environment and saving money. What many people don’t realize is that you can start going green right in the center of your own home, ie: your living room. The living room is often the center of relaxing, entertainment, family bonding, and more. So why not make your living room more eco-friendly with these easy tips!

Check Your Thermostat
Since the thermostat for your house is often located in your living room, it’s a great place to start. Make your wallet and the environment happy by simply turning down your thermostat in the winter and turning it up in the summer. Of course, you don’t have to freeze or melt either. By changing your thermostat just a few degrees, you’ll be making a huge difference. You’ll also see your energy bill go down a bit too, especially if you’re keeping you’re thermostat at more eco-friendly temperatures throughout the year. And make sure you don’t have anything warm (like electronics that create a heat byproduct) near your thermostat otherwise it can alter the AC or heat.

Buy Secondhand and Vintage
It’s official. Vintage is in the season once again and is continuing to make a great comeback when it comes to furniture and décor. So instead of purchasing a brand new sofa, paintings, vases, and more, try checking out local antique stores, Goodwill, Salvation Army, freecycle.com, and craigslist. These locations and websites have a ton of different options for vintage and secondhand items for your living room. Plus you might just score a $200 item for about $20 bucks!

Invest in Drapes and Curtains
Drapes or curtains are great things to have. They can keep sun out during the harsh summer months and help lock in heat during bitter cold seasons. Needless to say they are a relatively inexpensive way to help regulate temperature within your living room. And don’t just limit it to your living room either, follow this simple tip for the rest of your house as well, including your bedroom.

Eco-Appliances
A great way to go green is with your appliances. Make sure your TV meets energy standards and is one of the most eco-friendly on the market today. Don’t be afraid to shop around either. Also, invest in other green electronics as well, including stereo systems and gaming systems. Another great tip is to make sure your electronic devices are unplugged when not in use. You may think that just because they’re off it means they’re not using energy, but it’s not true. Unplug and save money!

Keep Your Fireplace Clean
Many of us have fireplaces in our homes. These are great for a variety of different reasons, including keeping warm during the winter. Not only that, but they create a cozy atmosphere. However, go green with your fireplace by keeping it clean. Hire a chimney sweep often to reduce ash buildup and more. Make sure you burn clean burning logs too.

Original article by Rachel Krech, AssociatedContent.com