Lots of us have a list of things we have pledged to do in the new year. It could be getting healthier, more organized, giving back to our communities or saving money. Here are the resolutions that I believe we can’t afford to break.
Commit to cleaner air at home
Did you know that the air inside your home is usually much more polluted than the air outside? The easiest way to clean it up is to make or buy safer household cleaners. Swap out chemical-based products for much more economical natural cleaners, such as white vinegar, baking soda, and borax. Check out all my green cleaning recipes at DoYourPart.com/Columns.
Some conventional cleaners contain volatile organic compounds that give off unhealthy gas that can linger in the air for years. Other sources of VOCs include certain paints, carpets and some pressed-wood furniture pieces. Look for low or no-VOC labels and investigate how your flooring and furniture are made.
Turn electronic waste into cash
The holidays often bring new phones, computers and tablets. So what do you do with old? The last thing to do is to trash them. They could end up sitting somewhere for generations and leaking dangerous metals into the environment.
There are many online websites that make it easy to get money or gift cards for unwanted electronics. Check out eBay’s Instant Sale program, NextWorth.com or Gazzelle.com to get instant quotes on your device.
Also consider donating computer equipment to Goodwill’s Reconnect program. Goodwill and Dell work together to responsibly recycle or refurbish all brands of computer equipment. The money generated goes to job training and employment opportunities for people in your community. If you prefer to donate a cell phone, consider www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com.
Get organized, give back
Why wait until the end of 2013 to make donations or volunteer in the community? Donate clothes and toys to shelters or other community organizations. There are plenty of other ways to give back to your neighborhood and town. Starting a community garden, investing in local businesses and volunteering for environmental clean up programs all can be effective options.
This year, don’t let your resolutions go to waste. Instead, pledge to help your family live better, clean up your environment and give back to your community.
Terri Bennett is the author of “Do Your Part: A practical guide for everyday green living.”
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