Yes, it’s great to make yet another New Year’s resolution to eat healthier, stop smoking, and exercise more, but let’s all consider at least one green resolution. Just adding one little green act can and will make a difference to our community, and it can be an easy change, or a bit more involved… whatever you are willing to do is GREAT!
If you are one of those “Bah humbug, Let someone else save the environment” people, then think greedily (as it seems those types do so well) and only look through the rest of the column for several ideas to save your money.
     Save old medications for the proper recycling day and NOT down the drains or sewers.
     The same for paint, oil, old solvents, cleaners, etc…
     Buy compost more, and synthetic fertilizers less.
     Try organic or homemade cleaning solutions, vinegar and water for glass and floors or
         baking soda to scrub the tub, or many others can easily be found online.
     Cut back on plastic shopping bags by taking your own reusable bags to the store.
     Cut back on paper towels, use washable cotton towels and wash them.
     Use glass or washable plastic at you New Year’s party and not disposable plastic cups & plates.
     Try to ‘buy local’ more.  less driving, more time in your day, supporting local economies, building a
          sense of community…. these are all good things.
     Unplug major electronic equipment when not in use or when you go away.
     Use energy-efficient CFL light bulbs around your home, AND recycle them (this can be done easily
         near the front doors of our big-box hardware stores) or please don’t use them at all.
     Lower your thermostat 1 degree and wear a sweater.
     Replace your furnace filter every month this winter.
     Hang laundry to dry when you can.
     Carpool to work or to take the kids to school.
     Learn how to pay more bills online.
     Invest in re-chargeable batteries (they really work these days).
     Start a compost pile.
     Plan a garden (or a larger one) for this Spring.
     Get a water filter and buy less bottled water.
     Put up a ceiling fan. It will save on air conditioning in the summer and on heat in the winter.
     Install a programable thermostat, especially if you work regular hours.
     Only buy appliances with the ENERGYSTAR’ sticker the next time to need one.
     Have a whole-house energy audit done.
And I’ld love to hear any other ideas!  Email any suggestions you might have or any personal stories of a green-change in your life that you feel particularly good about.
If you have a local business that would like to be mentioned in my column, please let me know how we can benefit the Herald Argus readers in 2012.
We can all choose to use this time of year as a fresh new start, a time to take a step back and re-evaluate our lives and what we are willing to do differently to improve ourselves, our lives, our families, our community, and our environment.
I sincerely hope we all have a happy and healthy 2012!!!

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