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Healthy Living Tips: New Year… New You, Welcome Greener 2013!

Healthy Living Tips:

New Year… New You, Welcome Greener 2013!

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Every year men, women and children make so many different resolutions.  Go to the gym, lose that extra weight, stop smoking, find my dream job, fall in love, eat better, and treat people the way you want to be treated.  Now all our great ideas, but let’s get a little more specific.   Let’s come up with some new year’s resolutions for 2013 that will be beneficial for you as well as others, all while helping the earth.

It doesn’t take much to welcome a greener you into 2013.  Maybe you have been putting off recycling because you need to call your city or town and get a new recycling bin.  Well do it, pick up the phone and get that blue, green, yellow bin that you can put your recyclables in.  Not only will you be helping out the environment and turning old things into new things when you recycle you will also be cutting down on your overall household trash.  Believe me you will see a huge difference in the first week once you start putting your recyclables into those colorful bins.

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Now if you, like me, already recycle there is more you can do.  For one you can get better about cleaning out your recyclables before throwing them in the bins.  Separating your recyclables is also a great idea… did you know you can get 5 – 10 cents from cans depending on the state you live in.  Of course you did; but do you separate those out? Throw them away? Or put them in a colorful bin?  5-10 cents adds up and it’s always great to throw that change into a jar for a rainy day.  It adds up fast.  If you have kids, nieces or nephews or grandkids there are treasures within the recycling pile.  For some upcycling ideas you can do with recyclables, trash and other things in the house you just don’t know what to do with you can search online…

Pinterest is a great place to start if you want to seach for some upcycling idea.  You can search upcycle and a bunch of ideas will appear.  While searching through Pinterest I found a bunch of great ideas, some of which I am going to try in 2013.  Part of my news years green resolutions is to upcycle more.  I love making something old or used into something new and fresh.

Above I was talking about changing in your cans… well if you pop off the little flip top you can make yourself a really unique purse or tote, it may take a while to save all those tops but in the end you have something homemade and one of a kind.  Check out this post by Liz Swafford via Earth 911 to see the finished product and the how to:

Another great idea is for those little baby girls in your family… I have a few and one of them loves headbands, so what a great crafting idea to do with her, making our own headbands out of old baby clothes, or any old clothing you have.  The idea comes from Alisa Burkes blog, redefine creativity

Another idea that I love, that’s on my list for 2013, is making a blanket or quilt from old t-shirts, sweaters, curtains, any fabric really.  It doesn’t take an avid sewer to make one.  You don’t even need to sew in a straight line, which will give it more character.  It will get your spring cleaning started early.  Once you decide on the clothes, linens, and accessories (I think using ties will be fun) that you will use for your blanket or quilt you can donate the rest to a worthy cause… and hey when filing those 2013 tax returns you can say you donated clothing to a worthy cause.  Just write what you donated, where and the value and you can include it in your taxes.

Now that you have a few DIY ideas about ways to upcycle, you can start recycling or become a master recycler.    I know I’m feeling a little greener already, but there’s more we can do in the New Year to be a little greener. 

We all know we are guilty of wasting food.  Whether we forget about those veggies shoved way in the back of the crisper or we meant to freeze that chicken before the expiration date, we can all do a better job at cutting back our food waste. 

I cut back my grocery shopping; I buy what I need, what I will use for the week.  It always helps me to make out a weekly meal plan so I know what I will be cooking and what I need to buy.  Buying for the week or a couple days really cuts down on the waste.  Another great idea is something I have seen on the food network and in plenty of my foodie magazines, one meal, two dinners.  For example one night you can make a whole chicken for the family with sides of potatoes, and lots of veggies, the next day you can make chicken pot pies that you can eat later in the week or freeze for the following, no waste there.

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 Buying local is also a great plan, you cut back on your carbon footprint all while supporting the small independents and getting the freshest ingredients.  I find it’s a little easier during the warmer months to buy local, especially when it comes to fresh produce.  Fresh produce lasts longer, and when buying from a grocery store I always wonder how long it was sitting in the back room, let alone a truck on route to the store.  So if you can find a local market that supports the local farmers that the way to go.

I went to Google and typed in “buy fresh buy local”, for my area, I came across a website that lists farmer markets, farms and farm stands, seafood, restaurants, inn and B&B, as well as retail and products.  I’m guessing that wherever you are you can find a similar website to let you know where you can go to “Buy Fresh, Buy Local”. 

So now you have three goals to work on to make your 2013 a little greener.  Start recycling or become a master recycler.  Pick a project to work on in the New Year that works with upcycling, old things into new things.  There are so many great ideas out there on the web, so get searching and get crafting.  Lastly get better about your food waste.  There are a million things you can do to cut down on your food waste; buy what you need, buy fresh and local, meal planning and two recipes in one. 

Welcome to a Greener, Happier New Year, and New You!

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Tags: Recycle, Upcycle, Buy Local, Pinterest, resolutions