New Year’s Resolution Step 2- REDUCE

“An economy based on consumption of fixed resources will eventually consume itself” -Unknown.

The second important step to incorporating sustainable practices into ones life is REDUCE.    Unfortunately, our current societal demands on nonrenewable resources exceeds availability.   Yikes!  So, whether you’re reducing energy and resource consumption or your trash, every little bit helps!

The first “New Year’s Resolution” post states our goal: to foster environmentally conscience behavior at home and at school to develop a more sustainable future for our kids.  How do we accomplish this?

Practice what we teach our children and “make good choices”.  The extraction of raw goods, manufacturing process, transportation and consumption depletes precious water and energy resources while generating massive pollution.  Period.  Choose products that have longevity, can be used over and over again and with minimal packaging.

Here are 4 simple steps you can start today to reduce your consumption and save significant $!

  1. Bring your own bag.  Whether it’s the grocery store or Target, pick up a few reusable bags that store neatly in a little pouch and keep it in your purse.
  2. Use cloth napkins and towels.  Paper napkins and paper towels have their place, but for everyday use, switch to cloth.  Target sells flour sack 100% cotton white towels for $3.50. (shown) These easily replace paper towels and although washing does consume water and energy, not nearly as much as the manufacturing process of paper towels.
  3. Unplug electronics.  After charging your phone and computer, unplug.  Cables plugged into socket continue to suck energy even though it’s not charging anything.  Known as “phantom energy”, this is very wasteful.
  4. Skip liquid hand soup and sanitizer.  Really? Yes! The plastic container it comes in (although recyclable) consumes precious petroleum.  Switch to good old fashion bars of soap. Check out my favorite, Relic Soap Co., homemade right here in Farmington Hills, MI.

There are numerous other ideas, but I want to challenge you to incorporate simple shifts in habits that shouldn’t take a tremendous amount of effort.  Please share your ideas here to inspire change.  And don’t forget to talk to friends and family, we need all the help we can get!