Five Insanely Easy New Year’s Goals for Families New to Green Living

If you’re looking to go green this year, without a ton of fuss, you can! Many green goals take time, skill and willpower. However, there are also plenty of green New Year’s goals you can make that seriously take almost no effort, few funds and use up very little time.

Following are some of the easiest green New Year’s goals you can make for 2011. Commit to one or all of them. These are so easy, I promise, anyone can manage them, and although easy, these goals will still make a positive difference for your family and the earth.


GOAL 1 – Commit to a couple of organic food items: In my opinion you should buy as much organic food as possible vs. conventional, but I know that’s not a reality for every family. That said, it’s perfectly easy to purchase just two organic items. For example, this year choose to buy milk and apples in organic form – ALL the time. With this goal, it’s best to choose two food items your family eats often, over stuff you rarely eat. Maybe you’ll add more organics throughout the year, maybe not, but in any case, this is a good lesson about where to find organics when you need them. Plus this goal allows you to learn to budget for specific organics without too much pressure.

GOAL 2 – Wash your hands green: In truth, this is a four-part goal, but I swear, still REALLY easy. Washing your hand in an eco-friendly manner consists of…

  1. Using plain old soap, not antibacterial soap.
  2. Installing a simple (and totally inexpensive) aerator in your bathroom sink.
  3. Use cloth towels, not paper towels to dry your hands.
  4. Use bar soap or refill a reusable soap dispenser.

This is seriously a 100% simple goal that anyone can manage but simple as it is, it makes a large difference for the environment over a year. You ban chemicals, ban plastic dispensers (made with oil), save water and save trees. Learn all about washing your hands green and clean.

GOAL 3 – BAN store-bought ice pops! Small as they may be, store-bought ice pops add up to a whole lot of environmental problems. You’ve got boxes, wrappers and a mountain of sticks. Not to mention that most conventional ice pops contain gross high fructose corn syrup, nasty fake colors and of course, non-organic ingredients.

It’s not expensive or time intensive at all to get started with homemade ice pops at home. You need some safe molds (about $15 for two decent sets). If you have a blender great, but if not you can easily mix up ice pop flavors in a pot or other container. In the end you’ll even save money, because store-bought ice pop costs add up quickly. To get started with this goal, read the following…

GOAL 4 – Switch to a greener toilet cleaner: It’d be nice if you switched to all green cleaners this year, but sometimes that’s too much, so start small if you need to. Choose one toxic cleaner in your home, and quit using it. I suggest toilet cleaner. Most families I know clean their toilets more than other areas of their home. Plus conventional toilet cleaners are super gross and toxic. You have two choices here…

  1. Use a sprinkle of baking soda and a dash of lemon juice plus a brush to clean your toilets.
  2. Buy a green toilet cleaner. So far as store-bought toilet cleaners go, I like Seventh Generation Toilet Bowl Cleaner best.

GOAL 5 – Pick one or two stupid things you normally buy and quit buying them – forever:  People pay good money for all sorts of insanely useless items that cannot be reused or in many cases, even recycled. For example boxes of plastic drinking straws, for use at home (why!?). Or how about those tiny boxes of conventional single serve cereal for kids. Think about why you really need juice boxes or single serve medicine spoons, and if you don’t have a real reason, well, it’s not something you should be buying anymore.

Trust me, no one is perfect. I’ve bought organic granola bars in wrappers (in a box) and frozen organic veggies (in a bag) instead of fresh, but I’m working on cutting out this sort of disposable stuff. Pick just two bad products you buy and quit buying them. Later you can eliminate more, but two is a good goal to start with. If you need help figuring out what stuff to quit buying read…

If you’re looking for some more challenging goals, stay tuned. I’ll be back with some goals that are a bit harder for those of you who are up to it.

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Comments

  1. says

    Bring it on! I think we’re doing pretty good on these…we can always step it up on #1 (bananas are a hard one!), still using up a large container of antibacterial pump soap for #2, we’ve been there done that for #3 – we’ve even made home made ice cream! =), only using BS and vinegar for #4, planning to analyze things for #5. We eliminated the single serve oatmeal packs and a few other things in exchange for bulk goods, but again, we could certainly step it up. I was just having a discussion w/my SIL about things we already do but could step it up a notch…so yeah, I am always looking for challenges =)

  2. Holly says

    Two other super easy ideas: Stop buying bottled water and only use cloth shopping bags. These two are about as easy at it gets! ; )

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