>Setting goals? Go greener.

>I frequently admit that while I lean to the green, I’m not as green as I could be. While my family is far from no-impact, we do find ways to lower our impact on the planet. If you’re setting goals on the green side, here are a few that are easy to implement.

Bring your own bag. Many, many stores offer discounts when a shopper brings a bag. It may be 5 cents off the total, but if you bring five bags every time you shop, it’ll add up. It’ll also reduce the amount of garbage or recycling in the house when those paper or plastic bags stop piling up in the corner. For people who forget; make it a fun and easy habit. I keep two collapsible bags in my purse at all times and another in the car’s glove box. Buy a pretty one that you’ll want to use! It’s a mind game, yes, like many other goals.

Water bottles. Remember my review of the Filtrete pitcher? The family likes it. We’re drinking more water, staying better hydrated, and Chuck & La Petite are using fewer plastic bottles. I’m buying a replacement filter so we can continue using the filter pitcher. Filtered water makes good coffee, too. need I say more? Like the BYOBag goal, easy and convenient goals are more likely to continue and become habit.
Garbage. This one is new to the family, but it fits. The city offered residents a chance to downsize their curbside garbage bins, the ones picked up by the automated trucks. The reward is – it’s free, rather than a small charge for the big ones. We chose to take them up on their offer. It’ll be tougher in the winter when we’re composting less and the bunny litter doesn’t go on the brush pile, but we can do it. The real reward isn’t the absence of this small charge; the real reward is knowing we’re contributing less to the landfill.
I expect 2011 to be a year of change in many ways. One attitude that will not change is this; we’ll take care of our world as much as we can, acting locally while thinking big.

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