3 Eco-resolutions Any Family Can Keep

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Story Updated: Dec 21, 2011

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3 Eco-resolutions Any Family Can Keep

By Marisa Belger for Green Goes Simple

This year, make a resolution to keep your resolutions. Whether you’re hoping to make changes in your body (lose those 10 pounds!), your mind (finally learn Chinese!) or your home (start recycling!), begin by creating a realistic list of goals for 2012. When it comes to living a greener life, start with these three simple eco-resolutions anyone can keep:

Stop Drinking Bottled Water

According to the Environmental Working Group, every 27 hours, Americans consume enough bottled water to circle the equator with plastic bottles stacked end to end. Make sure your family is part of the solution by filling reusable water bottles with filtered tap water.

Rethink Your Shopping Bag

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps are consumed in the U.S. each year -- and the majority of them do not get recycled. Make sure reusable totes are part of each shopping trip for you and the other members of your family. Stash totes in the car and have younger family members create colorful reminders to post on the doors so you’ll see them whenever you head out.

Turn Down the Thermostat

You can reduce your energy bill and save resources simply by turning down your thermostat. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, setting the thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours each day will help shave between 5 and 15 percent off your yearly heating bill.

The easiest way to save energy and money is to keep your thermostat at 68 degrees while you're awake and set it lower while you're asleep or away from home. And the whole family can get in on the energy-saving game by stopping before they raise the temperature and instead resolving to put on a sweater when chilly or curling up with a throw blanket when on the couch.

Marisa Belger’s work has appeared in Travel + Leisure Family, Natural Health, Prevention and TODAYShow.com, where she wrote a column about eco-friendly living. She was an editor at Lime.com and collaborated with author Josh Dorfman on his bestselling books, The Lazy Environmentalist and The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget. She is the managing editor of and frequent contributor to Green Goes Simple.

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