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6 Green Resolutions That Lead to Happiness

Every year we plan to make changes to our lives for the better. But what about doing something to help out Mother Earth? Here are six resolutions that’ll make you and our planet that much more healthy.

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Photo: Thinkstock

Making small changes can not only lead to a healthier you, but can help the planet too.

While we make these resolutions to lose weight and get in shape, we do very little to promote and maintain the health of the very thing that enables us to be alive at all: the planet Earth. We tend to neglect the delicate balance that exists between us and the environment that we are completely dependant on for survival. Without clean air to breathe, clean water to drink and clean soil to grow the food we eat, we wouldn’t survive very long. Here are six green resolutions you can make this year, all of which will lead you to a new level of happiness and healthy living.

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Resolution #1: “This year I will stop feeling helpless and will only focus on what I can control.”

“Saving the planet” is an extremely daunting concept. Many people say things like “What possible difference can I make? I’m just one person.” People tend to feel so overwhelmed that they sometimes wind up doing nothing. But what we need to realize is that we are in complete control of everything we do on a daily basis. Don’t burden yourself with the guilt of rainforest destruction, but rather, limit your use of paper products, bring your own grocery bags, and turn off the water faucet while brushing your teeth. These little things add up, and when these actions are multiplied by millions of people, you will be able to witness the power of the individual.

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Resolution #2: “This year I will pick one environmental cause to help out.”

Resolve to pick one environmental cause that resonates the most with you and make whatever donation you possibly can. Your donation could be in the form of money, or by volunteering your time. Worthwhile causes include habitat loss, deforestation, oil spills, and animal extinction prevention.

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Resolution #3: “This year I will stop using toxic chemicals and start using eco-friendly products.”

Rid your home of all toxic products including insecticides, oven cleaners and wood polish. Do not throw these out with the regular garbage or pour them down the drain. The chemicals in these products damage the environment when released into landfills or waste streams. Contact your local recycling centre or city waste management program to learn how to properly dispose of these products.

Next, replace your household cleaning products with eco-friendly, biodegradable, non-toxic ones. You may even want to consider creating your own green cleaning kit that could include items such as baking soda, white distilled vinegar, and tea tree oil.

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Resolution #4: “This year I will create a green exercise program I actually enjoy.”

There are many green alternatives to help you get in shape and that are also better for the environment, including:

Yoga – Incredible for strength of body and mind, flexibility and balance, yoga can also increase your self-esteem and confidence.

Running or Walking – A nice jog or a brisk walk through the woods will help you reconnect with nature, filling your lungs with fresh oxygen while soothing your mind with the sounds of the birds and the wind through the leaves. Running outdoors becomes its own form of therapeutic meditation, the scenery always changes and you’ll never need your iPod to jog or walk again.

Join a Team Sport – Team sports are fantastic for cardio, they are a great way to meet people, and they really give you a full body workout.

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Resolution #5: “This year I will reduce my carbon emissions when I travel.”

This resolution is fairly self-explanatory but is certainly worth repeating. Use public transit or car pool when traveling to work. Bike or walk whenever possible, and seek out ways to offset your carbon emissions whenever you fly.

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Resolution #6: “This year I will eat foods that are better for me, which are inherently better for the environment.”

One trick to eating healthy is to only buy food from the outer circle of the grocery store. This is where you find all the fresh produce like fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, cereals, and dairy, covering the full spectrum of the food required for a well-balanced diet. Once you turn your cart towards the middle aisles you start to enter processed and packaged food territory, which is not only less healthy for you, but is a huge contributor to carbon emissions from the manufacturing plants, all the way through the distribution chain.