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20 Ways to Go Green in 2013

If your New Year's resolution is to live a greener lifestyle, check out these 20 tips to help you stick to your plan.

If you want to be kinder to the planet and save some money at the same time, here are 20 ways to go green in 2013.

  1. Buy fresh, local food this summer at Wagon Wheel in Lexington.
  2. Have your kids make their friends birthday ards and bring gifts in decorated paper bags or a cool reusable bag. Kids love getting a handmade card—as do adults.
  3. Bring your own bags when you shop for groceries. 
  4. Shop at consignment stores such as The Evolving Closet and thrift stores such as The Salvation Army.
  5. Rip up some lawn and create new garden beds this spring, and then grow your own food this summer. Need help getting started?  Contact. John Caruso Landscaping & Contracting. Your kids will eat more veggies if they grow them themselves.
  6. Dispose of your hazardous waste properly. Here is more information on how to properly dispose of hazardous waste in Waltham.
  7. Buy a share in a community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm to support local, sustainable farming and enjoy fresh veggies weekly. Check out Waltham Fields.
  8. Ditch those dreaded plastic sandwich bags and get some washable containers or bags. I like ReUsies, created by two Seattle moms.
  9. Cut down on car trips and run your errands on your bike or on foot. Rusty on two wheels? Take a workshop!
  10. Pack cloth napkins instead of paper towels in school lunches.
  11. Look for an environmental service project you can do with your children, such as removing trash and non-native plants and planting trees in their place. 
  12. Got an older house? Install double-pane windows and you’ll see immediate savings on your heating bill.
  13. Plant a tree. A certified arborist can help you select and plant trees that will provide privacy and shade and even years of fresh fruit. Find a certified arborist in your area such as Bartlett Tree Experts
  14. Dump your bottled water costs. You could save hundreds of dollars by buying snazzy metal water bottles for everyone in the family and a personal filter for your kitchen faucet. Costco has an assortment of kid-pleasing water bottles.
  15. Organize a Halloween costume swap in September. This can be a great service project for a Girl Scout troop. Reserve a room at the Waltham Public Library and publicize to local parenting groups and preschools such as Our Lady's Academy Preschool.
  16. Replace your old light bulbs with LED bulbs. They last 15 times longer and use 75 percent less energy. You can find bulbs at Home Depot.
  17. Expand your hand-me-down circle. Organize a clothing swap for your kids’ preschool or a group of friends. Everyone brings gently used and clean kids’ clothes to your garage and parents can take as many items as they donated. The rest goes to charity. You can also swap toys and books.
  18. Replace your showerheads with low-flow models. Low-flow showerheads can save you up to 15 percent on water heating costs and reduce your water usage by as much as 20,000 gallons a year.
  19. Save up to 30 percent on your monthly heating bills by having a home energy audit done by a professional such as NStar.
  20. Give service and experience gifts this year instead of stuff. Make homemade gift certificates for services and experiences that could include tech support, dinner and a movie, yard work, pet walking or babysitting, or a day of organizing support for the clutter challenged.

TELL US: Do you think you could stick to a green New Year's resolution? Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments sections below.

Sonja Wadman February 05, 2013 at 04:22 PM
The Waltham Land Trust is our community's primary environmental group that saves open spaces while building trails to bring people to them. Help the WLT this Friday by shopping at Jenny Boston Boutique, 117 Trapelo Road, Belmont, between 7-9 pm. Get your Valentine something special; choose from a huge selection of jewelry, handbags, belts, and other accessories. The WLT will get a percentage of each sale.
Scott S February 05, 2013 at 07:29 PM
Better yet: Buy fresh, local food this summer at the Waltham Farmers Market, or sign up at Green Rows Of Waltham to get a plot to grow your own food in. Shop for clothing at the Waltham Clothing Exchange.
Kristine Conti Fusco February 25, 2013 at 06:44 PM
Scott~ Where is Green Rows of Waltham? Is it associated with Waltham Community Farms? Also, where is the Waltham Clothing Exchange? My tip to add is to sign your elementary school child up for their Children's Learning Garden programs that run after school beginning in May and they also have summer programs. My daughter is in 6th grade and has loved "getting dirty" and learning hands-on about gardening.
Kristine Conti Fusco February 25, 2013 at 06:45 PM
Oops! I forgot to add that the Children's Learning Garden is at the Waltham Fields Community Farm on Beaver Street. I find that place to be the hidden jewel of Waltham.


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