This year as you resolve to “go green,” “do your part for the environment” or “reduce your carbon footprint” try something a little different: making simplified and realistic eco-friendly goals for yourself. As with any resolution, going green requires dedication, sacrifice and creativity. In 2012, don’t let your green resolution go the way of so many before it and make it a tangible goal rather than an abstract ideal.
First of all, make your green goal specific. Rather than state that you will “go green” this year, decide to start composting or reduce your carbon footprint by cutting the miles that you drive each week. By making your resolution specific, it becomes achievable. If you want to make major changes, decide what you want your ultimate outcome to be. Commit to living a green lifestyle by resolving to replace all appliances with eco-friendly ones or to create zero waste by the end of the year.
Once your goal is specific, come up with a game plan. Break the resolution up into manageable chunks. For instance, if you are reducing your carbon footprint, calculate how many miles a week your drive and figure out where you can make cuts. Then incorporate small changes into your everyday life based on a specific timeline. Or start reducing waste by building a compost pile in the backyard and getting the whole family on board. Once this becomes part of everyone’s daily life, make the next change like cutting back on plastic consumption from packaging and disposable utensils.
Last, remember that making real changes takes time, effort and commitment. Our resolutions will be “two steps forward, one step back” processes, but if we really want to make a difference, the inevitable steps backward will not deter us. Reward yourself for your success and work through your setbacks and hopefully 2012 will be a greener year for everyone.