Creating a Life Free From Chaos

Your Green Resolutions for 2008

Here are some of the Green Resolutions I got from you, the readers! I’m still looking for some Simple Living Resolutions, so make sure you send those in too!

Gretchen: I’m also trying to remember to bring my reusable shopping bags to the grocery store, but I guess it is better that I forget the bags than forget one of the kids, right?

Casey: I also forget my reusable bags. They are even green and proclaim in big white lettering how eco-friendly I am for using them! I’ve remembered to use them all of 3 times or so, then the cashiers look all scandalized to have to use them. On a bright note, I reuse most of the plastic bags that come into my house and send the ones I don’t use to my daughter’s preschool. They ALWAYS need bags.

Becky: The only real green New Year’s Resolution I made was to stop using baggies whenever possible and use Tupperware containers instead. I should have been doing that all along though, huh?

Jamie: I’m trying to use my Trader Joe’s bags more often. It’s just hard to get them, my son and the diaper bag…At least I put them in my car.

Michelle: I plan to try a couple of things: vinegar for cleaning and making own laundry soap. And the biggest one…actually USING my recycling trash can! My city has free recycling pick-up, but we have a set-up in our house that makes it really inconvenient to actually get things out to the proper trash can. So we end up just dumping bottles and the like into the regular trash. Bad, I know. I’m going to work on it.

Emily: My green resolution: get a food waste container and use it rather than throwing scraps in the regular trash.

Kathrine: I’m resolving to give up my toxic household cleaners and try out some of the new environmentally friendly ones that are on the market.

Joseph: I’m only going to run the dishwasher if it’s full. We’ve gotten into the bad habit of running it every day, regardless of whether it’s full or only has a few plates. If there’s not much to wash, I’ll either wait or do them by hand.

Leslie: I’m going to buy several microfiber cloths for cleaning, instead of using paper towels for everything.

Charlie: We’re going to wash our laundry in cold water instead of warm, and only use hot water for really bad stains. I also want to get a laundry line to hang outside this summer.

Rosie: I got a new reusable water bottle for Christmas, so I’m going to avoid getting those plastic disposable water bottles.

Making Simple and Green Resolutions for 2008!

It’s a new year, and everyone is making resolutions. How about making a commitment to doing one thing just a little greener this year? How about making a commitment to simplify one thing in your life this year?

E-mail me or drop me a comment on your Simple and Green Resolutions for 2008, and I’ll post them. You can be an inspiration to others who are looking to make changes!

My Green Resolution: To use fewer plastic shopping bags. I have a nice selection of reusable bags, but often forget to take them INTO the store!

My Simple Resolution: Reduce my clutter. Fewer items in my house will mean less to clean! With a new baby on the way in March and a toddler already tearing up the house, I could really use the lighter cleaning workload.

What are your Simple and Green Resolutions?

Quick Guide to Giving Eco-Friendly Gifts

I know — you’re thinking “ANOTHER green gift giving guide?” Well, it IS the holidays, and shopping and gifts are on everyone’s minds, so here are 50 gift ideas to hopefully simplify your shopping and help you give greener gifts. This list is generic, so you can choose your own favorite brands or organizations to support, and many of these ideas are DIY.

  • Locally grown or made food gifts
  • Organic or fair trade chocolates or coffee
  • Gift certificates to their (or your) favorite eco-friendly retailer
  • Concert or event tickets
  • A zoo or museum membership
  • A reusable travel or coffee mug
  • Reusable shopping bags
  • Green (or your own homemade) cleaning supplies
  • A donation to their favorite charity
  • A CSA subscription
  • Solar chargers
  • A dinner or movie gift certificate
  • Homemade baked goods
  • A cool refillable water bottle (Siggs or KleanKanteen perhaps)
  • A folding (or conventional) bicycle
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Eco-friendly bath products or cosmetics
  • Power surge protectors (that can be shut down when not in use)
  • Hemp T-shirts or jeans
  • Organic cotton or bamboo sheets or towels
  • LED Christmas lights
  • Solar garden lights
  • Heirloom or organic gardening seeds and a bag of fresh compost
  • Natural beeswax or soy candles
  • Books that educate (local foods, simple living, global warming, etc.)
  • Water filter
  • CFL lightbulbs
  • Tire gauge (checking those tires can save lots of gas $$)
  • Homemade bread or goodies delivered every week for a month
  • Family recipes compiled in a wooden recipe box or notebook
  • Babysitting time or coupons
  • Monthly lunch date with an elderly relative or friend
  • Lessons in a subject you excel in that your giftee would love (French, golf, knitting, etc.)
  • Your talents, such as photography, financial planning or hairstyling
  • A photo album you put together
  • An experience, like a day kayaking or a day at the ballpark
  • A plant or a tree
  • Prepaid phone card
  • 100% recycled stationery (with postage stamps)
  • Do-it-yourself photo calendars
  • A gift certificate for a health club, exercise classes, day spa or massage
  • Homemade play dough and bubbles for the kids
  • Housewares made of recycled glass
  • A compost bin
  • A nice refillable pen with a couple of refills
  • Any cool gift you find used — hit the swap meet or consignment shop for unusual or vintage trinkets for those hard-to-please giftees
  • A wine or food of the month club
  • Automatic thermostat controls (and maybe a sweater)
  • Low-flow shower head
  • The ever-popular regift — a new item you receive that’s just not you can be “recycled” — just make sure it’s new and you cover your tracks!