Happy New Year 2016! Let's talk about resolutions! We shouldn't make them too ambitious but we can green them up to motivate you to do some good over the year.

Happy New Year!!! The GreenPick hopes you had a great time yesterday and that you are now feeling ready to work on your resolutions. So what will it be? Healthier diet? More savings? We all know resolutions are usually made to last but that usually; we manage to hang on for a couple of weeks only.  So if you are tired of ordinary resolutions that you can’t actually keep, you can always do like us, greening your resolutions to make them easier to keep. The GreenPick knows that it is easier to change small habits than big ones.

So how to green your resolutions and make them important for you and the planet?

A healthier diet

Start with eating less red meat

Not only would it be better for the planet but also for your health.  If you are not familiar with the WHO press release of this year, you might want to have a look. Red meat seems to cause cancers. And besides being bad for your health, it is also bad for the planet. Indeed, you probably are aware of the fact that livestock industry is one of the most polluting in the world and represents a huge quantity of CO2 released in the atmosphere – 9% of total greenhouse gas emissions in the US only.

Move more (walk, cycle)

Ok, this resolution is one of the few of this list we know you will have difficulties to keep on doing over the year BUT you should know that just by walking a few minutes per day, you could save some money instead of using the car for everything. And it will help you keep a strong heart, good blood circulation, prevents diseases such as dementia and make you happy! It has been proven by study that people who exercise even a tiny bit, are happier than people who don’t.

Eat less processed food

This is something you are probably aware of, but eating homemade food is much healthier than processed food. First because there’s added sugar in every single processed food you buy. Then you also know that you have tons of chemicals in there and no-one exactly knows consequences of eating those on longer term .

Save more money

On electricity bills

Ideal temperature to sleep is 20ºC. At that temperature, your brain can actually rest, a little bit like a hard drive which can finally get cooler. We always tend to heat too much but a home temperature at 23ºC is more than enough especially when you are wearing clothes.

You can also buy those little remotes control plugs that will allow you to save up some money on energy bills if you use it for your plugged electronics which are still consuming energy even when turned off.  Recent research by the Energy Saving Trust suggests that the average household spends between $73 – $107 each year on electricity for appliances on standby mode. And they are very convenient when you want to turn off many appliances at the same time. Perfect for lazy people J

  • Another thing you could do to save energy is to make sure all the lights are off when you’re not in the rooms. Of course this depends on the kind of bulbs you are using but you could save up to 20$ a year if you turn off your lights (CFL bulbs results)
  • Replace all the incandescent / halogens bulbs with LED or low energy consumption like CFL. Indeed you can save up to 280$ per year on energy bills!
  • Change energy provider for greener one: this is the ultimate green gesture you could make while also having a competitive price. Some providers are offering green energy. This also makes a difference for the planet.

On water bills

  • Use your dishwasher and clothes washer for only full loads; you could save both energy and water. And when time has come, buy an Energy efficient dishwasher and clothes washer! You could save up to 300$ on lifecycle compared to traditional dishwasher or clothes washer and that would be also a good thing for the planet
  • Check your toilets for leaks because that can cost you up to $840 per year, can you imagine? It is the price for a nice holiday somewhere!
  • You could also save some water thanks to new water-saving low flow showerheads. You can save up 25 to 60% on your water bills! In the US, an average household pays around 300/400$ per year on water. So by replacing showerheads you could save up between this is a significant saving 80 to 200 dollars! This is simply huge!
  • Stop the running water while brushing your teeth or shaving, this could save around 40$ per person per year!
  • For all other tips to save water, you can visit this website: eartheasy.com

Being more responsible

Buy more labels and certified origins

This can be applicable to any kind of products from food to furniture. Choosing products with certifications (organic, eco-friendly, cradle-to-cradle, animal welfare etc.) would be a resolution easy to keep and good for the environment. But not only because most of the time those certified products are also higher would quality and you start a healthier way of living too!

Try to travel as green as possible

  • Staying in green hotels as much as we can; heck your hotels sustainability policies and make sure you know where you are going.
  • Eating in as many organic places as possible or eat more vegetarian (also less risky than eating unsure meat in a developing country)
  • Being careful with garbage and chemicals like sun cream because indeed sunscreen is very harmful for the corals and the marine life. You could always buy those sunscreens before going on holidays. Or if you are elsewhere just look up for “green sunscreens” online, you’ll find something.
  • Reduce plastic usage while traveling and prefer refillable bottles.

Make sure to recycle plastic and aluminum in general

Recycling aluminum uses about 95% less energy than making new one from bauxite ore. And the same goes with plastic as its recycling also uses about 70% less energy than making new plastic. Keep that in mind the next time you through your plastic trash or your aluminum paper in the trash.

Volunteer more

This is one of those things you always want to do in life and that you never really manage to do due to lack of time, lack of willingness, laziness and many other reasons. Volunteering could be in various areas, and you could also think of it as entertainment. And sometimes, you can actually spend great time doing something altruist. You could enjoy your next holiday to volunteer in one of those associations to teach children English or to protect natural resources. You have plenty of possibilities. And most of the time those associations are free of charge and you can eat and sleep on-site with no restrictions on time you stay there. This year, we are planning to spend some time volunteering because if 2016 has to be different, we need to start making this change and do something bigger than ourselves. After all, all those very beautiful and inspiring stories and videos we like to share on Facebook start with someone who acted for the greater good.