Lots of us have a list of things we will resolve to do in the new year. It could be getting healthier, more organized, giving back to our communities or saving money. See how going green in 2013 will help you accomplish all of the above. Here are my New Year's resolutions you can't afford to break.
Commit to cleaner air at home
Did you know that the air inside your home is usually much more polluted than the air outside? The easiest way to clean it up is to make or buy safer household cleaners. Swap out chemical-based ones for much more economical natural cleaners such as white vinegar, baking soda and borax. Check out all my green cleaning recipes at doyourpart.com/columns. Some conventional cleaners contain volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, that give off unhealthy gas that can linger in the air for years. Other sources of VOCs include certain paints and carpets and some pressed-wood furniture pieces. Look for low- or no-VOC labels and investigate how your flooring and furniture are made.
Turn electronic waste into cash
You know what usually comes with the holidays: new phones, new computers and new tablets. So what do you do with the old? The last thing is to trash it where it can sit for generations and leak dangerous metals into the environment. There are many online websites that make it easy to get money or gift cards for those unwanted electronics. Check out eBay's Instant Sale program, nextworth.com or gazzelle.com to get instant quotes for your particular device. Another option for computer equipment is to donate to Goodwill's ReConnect Program. Goodwill and Dell work together to responsibly recycle or refurbish all brands of computer equipment. The money generated goes to job training and employment opportunities for people in your community. And if you prefer to donate a cellphone, consider cellphonesforsoldiers.com.
Get organized and give back
Why wait until the end of 2013 to make donations or volunteer your time in the community? As holidays and birthdays take place, take time to get more life out of your old items. It could be donating outgrown clothes and toys to shelters or other community organizations. And there are plenty of other ways to give back to your neighborhood and town. Starting a community garden, investing in local businesses and volunteering for environmental cleanup opportunities are all effective options.
This year, don't let your resolutions go to waste. Instead, do your part to have your family living better, clean up your environment and give back to the community where you live. Here's to a happy and healthy 2013!