It’s that time again – New Years Resolution time! Many of the classic promises to yourself (losing weight, saving money, learning a new skill) make everyone’s list, but this year we challenge you to make some green resolutions! Not only will you benefit from some sustainable choices – the planet will too!

1. Start being more mindful of leaving lights on and appliances and chargers plugged in. This is energy waste, and by getting the whole family involved (make it a home challenge, for example – someone leaves a light on? they have to do the dishes that night!) you can make lifelong habits happen. Those appliances and cell phone chargers that aren’t currently charging anything are using a lot of power of the course of the year – so unplug ’em!

2. Re-do the insulation and duct work in your home. A lot of heat and energy escape from aging homes, and now you can get eco-friendly insulation to replace fiberglass insulation that most homes use.

3. Try to eat more locally! This can be done by sourcing out what food grows within 100 miles of your home. Try and get to 75% of your total groceries locally, and you will improve the economy, the environment and your family’s health and well-being.

4. Consider eating vegetarian one day a week. A new movement called Meatless Mondays suggest using the first day of the week to prepare non-meat meals for your household. If everyone in the US had one meat-free day each week, it would reduce carbon emissions equal to taking 8 million cars off the road.

5. Christmas has just past, but for next year, switch to energy-efficient lights and a real Christmas tree garnered from a sustainable tree grower. Check out our post on having an eco-friendly Holiday season!

6. Commit to not buying bottled water. This cannot be overstated. Plastic water bottles are a huge dirge on our planet, and even though millions of people have stopped buying them, millions continue to do so. Plus, bottled water isn’t better than tap water.

7. Stock up on some good, reusable canvas grocery bags. Make 2012 the year you stop using plastic bags completely. Those plastic grocery bags, even if you use them again, are way too prevalent, and they are choking our planet with their sheer numbers.

8. Make the environment something that is considered and discussed regularly in your home, especially if you have kids. Teach them about the importance of recycling, and the facts about carbon emissions and clean water. Kids should be aware of just how precious and rare having clean water is. Our kids are the next in charge of this planet, and we want to make sure they have incredible respect for the fragile planet we call home.