Imitation being the most sincere form of flattery, I stole the idea. Here’s my list: one action per month, meant to be additive so that after a year’s time green behavior feels natural.
January: Read and learn. Join Paperbackswap.com for trading books. You don’t have to stop buying books, but instead of hoarding them, pass them on to another reader through the swap network.
February: Switch to cloth napkins. This was so easy I wondered what took me so long to try it. I buy them on sale, so the investment is minimal. They go in with the rest of the wash, so there’s no additional expense for laundry.
March: Dig a garden plot. If you live in the north country like I do, this might be too early. If your ground is still frozen, plant and nurture a few seeds. Herbs grow quickly; try basil and oregano.
April: Start backyard composting. Really. It’s simple. Buy an inexpensive compost bin or build one yourself. There’s no need for the fancy ones – unless you want something really cute like my new bin!
May: Plant a garden. Vegetables for eating, flowers for pleasure, but keep them local. No imports, please. Vegetables can be so satisfying. There’s not much on Earth that can compare to a fresh tomato right off the vine.
June: Shop at a Farm Market or join a CSA. When you pass by the street musicians, drop some spare change in their cases. They offer so much enjoyment when they share their talents.
July: Use your own shopping bag. Keep a small one in your purse or the car’s glove box. It’s an easy change if you keep the bags handy. As the habit grows, you’ll collect fewer and fewer plastic bags. It’s worth the (small) effort.
August: Before hitting the school supply sales, check your home. Buy only what you need. This is both economical and eco-conscious.
September: Use a reusable lunch box, including containers and flatware. Build this habit early, and the brown bag will never feel the same.
October: Rake your leaves into a pile over the garden or compost them.
November: Cook local or regional specialties for Thanksgiving. That’s easy for me to say: cranberries grow in my state!
December: Give up wrapping paper. It’s not recyclable, it’s rarely reusable, it contains too many chemicals to be burned in a fireplace. Re-use gift bags or get creative with your wrapping.