Mother Nature By Angie Howard

The big gleaming New Years Ball (covered in LED energy-saving illumination, make note) has made its sparkling descent over Time's Square. Now it's time to make good on those annual New Year's resolutions we optimistically pen as a brand new year full of new opportunities and promise approaches!
I thought I might take this opportunity to offer a game-plan for those who have procrastinated on setting a resolution for the year, or even propose a "back-up resolution" to those of us who may (in the past two weeks or so) already have broken our initial declarations. Studies have quantified that approximately 50 percent of American's make New Year's Resolutions, but only 15 percent manage to keep them. So for 35 percent of us who try, but just can't manage staving off late-night hunger pains with a rice cake and cannot muster the guts to accomplish an earnest vow of organizing the kid's toy closet (a place I am truly scared to enter without a helmet for protection), I have a new, very reasonable set of resolutions to attempt.
In this new year, let's make a promise to forge new habits in ourselves and encourage those in our family to conserve and protect our planet's resources. It's really not so hard to do and is something we can involve the entire family in - not to mention we may see some extra cash left in our pocketbooks as a result at month's end! Take a look at these ideas for making "Green Resolutions" and/or let them inspire up an idea or two of your own!
⢠For those of you who do not recycle in your homes or places of business - jump on board! Recycling has never been easier in Faulkner County thanks to curbside recycling programs both in the cities of Conway and Mayflower and conveniently placed recycling trailers in the towns of Vilonia and Greenbrier. The best part is that recycling in Faulkner County is "co-mingled," which means you don't have to sort your materials. Dump everything into one container and smile - saving our precious natural resources just couldn't be easier!
⢠Go purchase something (depending upon your budget and stage of life) of the compact variety and let the savings crowd your wallet! A compact car is definitely a smart choice to save on your monthly fuel bill; but let's be real about this, when you are like myself and have children who undoubtedly find something to fight over if they are sitting within 6 inches of each other (even if it is a used Kleenex or petrified French fry from weeks ago), space is at a premium. Most days, elbow room for kids in the vehicle is worth more to me than saving a gallon or two in the gas tank. The European Smart Car is terrific, just not for everyone. My family and I have gone another route to resolving to become compact by purchasing all compact florescent bulbs for our home lighting fixtures. The energy used by the bulb is 75% less than a regular incandescent bulb (thereby producing a noticeable cost savings on our utility statementâ¦a pretty nice side effect from doing something good for our environment!).
⢠Become a pre-packaged snack snob Admittedly, this one if definitely going to take some conscious effort on my part. Prepackaged snacks have never been so abundant or convenient; one trip down the grocery store's cracker/cookie aisle will prove that. But, that individual packaging amounts up to a tremendous sum of unnecessary wasteâ¦and a lot more cash to purchase what is usually a lot less quantity. Take this example: Nabisco packages some of their popular products in the convenient "Go-Paks" that fit oh so nicely in your vehicles' nearest cup holder. The Go-Paks retail around $1.75. You can purchase a package at least twice the size, yet not so cutely packaged, for just a smidge over the same retail price. Make homemade "Go-Paks" by purchasing some fun reusable containers and decide your own portion sizes. You'll save money and valuable space in our landfill from the extra waste generated from the extra packaging.
Let's all find motivation in that big luminous display of Earth-friendly LED brightness that ushered in 2009 and change our habits through a New Year's Resolution to become more environmentally savvy. They can be easy decrees to keep all through the year, and your "Go Green" resolutions will truly do a world of good!