Environmental New Year’s Resolutions

These are recommendations for the New Year from the Tennessee Recycling Coalition:

A new year brings about changes as well as new responsibility. We all should be conscious every day of how we can personally take responsibility for our environment. The following are a few tips on how you can be “greener” in 2009.
Travel Efficiently: Take public transportation, carpool or map your route for the greatest efficiency and least amount of fuel consumption when making trips.
Pass on Paper: Take a pass on paper products. There are numerous free Internet resources to send electronic invitations and greeting cards. Set your tables with reusable dinnerware, silverware and cloth napkins when possible, or for casual gatherings, try serving finger foods that don’t require a plate or fork. Try to make your own wrapping paper out of newspaper, children’s artwork or other reusable or recyclable items. Most store-bought wrapping paper is not recyclable and ends up in landfills.
Buy Local: Buying local for your special meals is good for the economy, reduces fuel usage and adds a special touch. In addition to seasonal vegetables at your local farmer’s market, Tennessee is home to numerous specialty items like hams, baked goods and cheeses. Learn more at http://www.picktnproducts.org/.
Energy Star: Look for the Energy Star rating for your electronic products. This will provide greater energy efficiency throughout the year. And don’t forget to recycle the old electronics to keep them out of landfills. Visit http://www.earth911.com to find out where you can recycle in your neck of the woods.
Take Advantage of Nature, etc.: Watchable wildlife make great gift ideas. Consider bird feeders, bat houses and butterfly boxes paired with a book on the same subject when buying gifts in 2009. Also, consider activities like cooking school, canoe trips or tennis lessons for gifts. Visit http://www.tnstateparks.com for more ideas.
Extend the Useful Life of Gifts: Before tossing the old to make room for the new, check to see if you can donate, reuse or recycle it.
Create Your Own Heirlooms: Frame family documents or children’s artwork, or attach brass plaques to special items such as cribs.

NP NowPublic

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