It’s a new year, and everyone is making their resolutions! You might have already made a list of personal resolutions, but have you made a list of sustainable resolutions? Try to better yourself and your community by making a few green goals this year!
It can be hard to stick to any resolution, so manage your green goals by taking them month by month. Stumped as to where to start? Check out this calendar for a monthly guide!
January – Green your New Year!
Commit to reducing your consumption. Work to not to shop for things you don’t need. When you do go to buy something, make a list before you shop so you don’t buy things that you don’t need. This will help you be both economically and environmentally sustainable!
February – Embrace Fair Trade
February is a month of love so extend your warm, fuzzy, sustainable feelings toward your Valentine! Many big companies now focus on cocoa sustainability with the products they sell. Research Ames grocery stores to see if you can find products that promote cocoa sustainability!
March – Green your Diet
March is National Nutrition Month! Improve your diet by incorporating local produce into your meals. Check out Wheatsfield here in Ames for fresh and local produce year round, and visit the Ames Farmers Market on Main Street or at the North Grand Mall during select months.
April – Make Earth Day Last All Month Long!
Focus on your community during April. Celebrate your community through improvement projects like clean-ups and fundraisers. Don’t know where to start? Visit the Volunteer Center of Story County website to find service opportunities throughout April and all year long!
May – Green your Spring Cleaning
May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month! Freshen your dwelling by cleaning up with supplies that don’t contain toxins. Make your own cleaning products with everyday items to spend less money and to decrease the amount of chemicals in your home. Clean with items such as baking soda, tea tree oil, and corn starch.
June – Green Your Green
Practice economic sustainability this June and green your bank account! Support your community and consider moving your accounts to a community investing bank or credit union. Make sure that your investments align with your values and are socially and environmentally responsible.
July – Try Composting
Summer is a great time to start composting. Recycle your organic materials by composting them instead of tossing them. Think you can’t compost because you live in an apartment? Try a red-worm bin or bokashi composting! You can also also donate food waste to local gardens or friends with a compost pile!
August – Celebrate Nature!
While you’re enjoying your time outside before classes start consider helping preserve the trees that help keep summer shady and lovely. Work on reducing your paper waste before classes start or if you need paper, purchase products with a high post-consumer recycled content.
September – Green your School Supplies
When you shop for class materials, consider the environment and buy green! There are many sustainable products available including folders, notebooks, refillable pens, and nontoxic supplies. Do you have school supplies leftover from last semester? Don’t toss them out! Reuse them to save some money and resources!
October – Energize Your Sustainable Habits
October is Energy Awareness Month! Make your home more energy efficient by using LED lights. When buying new products, purchase those with the highest-rated energy start energy- efficient models. You can also reduce your energy consumption by unplugging your appliances when they aren’t in use and by not leaving charging devices plugged in when they no longer need to be charged.
November – Recycle!
November has America Recycles Day! Celebrate by holding a clothing or book swap with your friends so you can clear out the items you are no longer using, give them a good home, and replace them with items you want! Reduce your waste by using products that have more than a single use. Replace these items with reusable items like reusable bags, water bottles and takeout containers.
December – Have a Green Holiday!
Save resources during your celebrations by making handmade items. Make sure to wrap your gifts in items that can either be reused or with items that are recycled. If you do buy gifts, consider buying products locally to support your community. There are tons of locally owned shops in Ames where you can find gifts for anyone on your list.
Set a few of these goals throughout each month to help green your life! Post reminders for yourself to ensure sticking to these habits so you can make a difference!