It's that special time when a multitude of resolution lists get published and we start thinking about all the ways we intend to commit to improving ourselves in the new year. But we share one main goal: changing things in our lives to make this year better than the last one. Why not make sure the changes we make have a positive environmental impact, too? As the European Commissioner for the Environment put it, “A healthy environment is the foundation of our prosperity and of our quality of life.”
We kept it simple for you -- here are some of the most common new year’s resolutions, along with resources from EarthShare member charities to help you accomplish them in the greenest way possible!
"I resolve to eat healthier."
One of the easiest ways to eat well is to replace processed foods with whole foods. Tips: only shop the outskirts of the chain supermarkets (most processed foods live in the center aisles), and try to visit your local farmer's market as often as you can. Eating fresh, locally grown produce can help trim your waistline and reduce your food’s carbon footprint by reducing the time and distance your food travels. The average fruit or vegetable travels more than 1,500 miles to get from its origin to your plate!
EarthShare member organization American Farmland Trust works to protect the nation's farm and ranch lands, keeping them healthy and improving the economic viability of agriculture. Their website features great resources about American agriculture as well as how to find a farmer’s market near you.
"I resolve to lose weight and get in shape."
You know exercise should be a part of your daily routine, especially if you’re trying to drop a few pounds. Millions of Americans resolve to lose weight each year and invest money in expensive equipment or gym memberships. If that didn't work out for you last year, mix it up and take your exercise outdoors!
Explore the world outside your door and get your heart rate up while you’re at it. Thousands of miles of “rail-trails” -- abandoned railroad tracks that have been converted to biking and walking trails -- crisscross the country, thanks to our friends at the Rails-To-Trails Conservancy. Find a rail-trail near you, then upload pictures of your family exploring your local trail via TrailLink.com – maybe you’ll inspire someone else to take a hike!
"I resolve to spend more quality time with my family and loved ones."
How to get the whole family involved in an active, healthy lifestyle? Take the kids outside with you! National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) Wildlife Watch inspires kids to get out of the house and offers fun, informative activities for you and your family to do together. How about committing to NWF’s Green Hour as a family resolution? The Green Hour campaign’s success has helped seed a national movement to help all American children reap the benefits of outside play. NWF’s parent’s guide also helps inspire fresh ideas for connecting with the great outdoors.
"I resolve to manage my money and spend less."
Many of us are guilty of buying or having too much, especially after the holidays. Learn how to live with a little less with help from the Center for a New American Dream (CNAD). Resolving to buy less can help your family better evaluate purchases and save money in this tough economy. CNAD’s Conscious Consumer Marketplace can also guide you on purchasing everything from chocolate to diapers in a financially and environmentally responsible way.
"I resolve to give back."
Whether you’d like to give the gift of your time or money, it’s been proven that giving back makes you feel happier and more connected to your community. If supporting a healthy environment is important to you, consider asking your employer to offer the EarthShare @ Work giving program in 2012. Why?
Workplace giving lets you and your co-workers donate just a few dollars per paycheck to causes you care about – it’s easy and painless. Workplace giving magnifies the power of charitable giving because it gives you and all of your co-workers a convenient, effective way to give back. And donations through workplace giving enable EarthShare's member organizations to spend less time fundraising and more time working toward a healthier environment! Let us help you get started.
Prefer a hands-on opportunity? Visit our online Volunteer Calendar or the EarthShare affiliate in your state to check out local volunteer opportunities in your region.
Thank you for your support.
If you missed the December 31st deadline to make a tax-deductible year-end donation, start the new year off right by planning your giving now. Our Smart Giving Tip: Consider setting up a small monthly recurring donation. Our site offers a convenient one-click set-up, you won’t need to remember to come back, and it lets you divide up a larger gift over time. Find out how easy it is!
We’re so grateful for the generosity of each and every EarthShare donor, whether you choose to give at work or online. Every dollar helps support America’s most respected environmental charities and the important work they do to make this planet a better place for all of us. Now that makes for a happy new year!Please share! Tweet