December 31st, 2012 by Loryn Dion
Another year has gone by and we’re already looking at 2013! Did you keep your New Years resolutions? I’ll admit it. I never stepped foot into a gym and I still spend too much time on the computer. Rather than making the same New Years resolutions again this year, why not try out some Green New Years Resolutions and create a healthier you and a healthier universe.
Kick Your Bottled Water Habit
Plastic bottles are well-known pollutants, leaking chemicals into our water and polluting our environment. Invest in a reusable water bottle this year and vow to not purchase any bottled water in 2013!
Use Public Transportation One Day A Month
While using public transportation may not be a convenient solution for your everyday commute, committing to using public transportation once a month can help lessen your carbon footprint and save money on fuel. If you don’t have a reasonable means of public transportation in your area, try carpooling!
Invest in Reusable Bags for Grocery Shopping
Plastic shopping bags are filling up our landfills by the gallon. Many shops are starting to hop on the reusable bag bandwagon and offer discounts for bringing your own bags. This is just one of the reasons that taking earth-friendly shopping bags with you on shopping trips would make a great green new years resolutions.
Try One New Organic Food Every Time You Shop
Many foods are now being offered as organic, including popcorn and ice cream. This year, try committing to buying one organic product every time you shop. Organic foods are healthier for you, healthier for the environment and healthier for your local economy.
Buy American Made
I’m sure by now you’ve read all about our successful American Made shopping challenge this holiday season. If you haven’t, we were part of a nationwide movement to generate thousands of American jobs buy purchasing American-made gifts this year. Keep the spirit going and support American jobs all year long by making a conscious decision to purchase American-made goods this year.
Recycle and Compost
If you don’t have a recycling program implemented at your home or office, what are you waiting for?! Make a New Years resolution to start a recycling program in your home, office or town. If you’re already an avid recycler, try composting this year.
Line Dry Your Clothes
Dryers use a very large amount of energy and could cost you up to 10% more on your home electric bill. Line drying your clothes saves time, energy and your clothes will have that fresh outdoor scent without the use of artificially scented dryer sheets.
Buy Less and Simplify Your Life
This green New Years Resolution is simple. Buy less junk you don’t need and get rid of last years junk that you don’t use. On January 1st, go through all of your closets and cabinets and; if you haven’t touched it in over a year, donate it; if it’s broken or threadbare, toss it; or if you think you can breathe new life into it, repurpose or recycle it. Then, all year long be mindful of the things you want to buy. If it’s not a necessity, be strong and say “no”!
What are your green New Years resolutions this year? Let us know here in the comments or on our Facebook page.
December 16th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh
In my mind, green businesses are our best chance to make America great again. NGOs (non-governmental organizations) are effective in many ways but they have to be funded by either government or business. Governments (both state and local) are so big, and bulky and fickle. They can help, but they're not really providing much leadership these days, are they?
So it seems to me the burden of leading an American renaissance rests squarely on the broad shoulders of business. In Vermont, businesses are small though. The average business has only a handful of employees. But that hasn't stopped all of us from trying to change the world… because we have a secret weapon. It's collaboration over competition.
Take, for example the Vermont Wood Manufacturer's Association, VWMA. This is an organization of over 100 small businesses in Vermont's wood industry that employ about 6000 people who produce wood furniture, bowls, toys, carvings, flooring, windows, doors and much more. VWMA's mission is to "support the industry in Vermont and promote its long-term viability by expanding members presence in the marketplace, ensuring a sustainable supply of raw materials, increasing workforce skill and acting as responsible employers and community members". All of us who produce wood products in Vermont need the services that VWMA provides us, but none of us could do that work on our own.
Organizations like VWMA are going to play a huge role in making America great again. Does your small business belong to an industry group like VWMA? If not, maybe you need to sign up and get a seat at the table. There is strength in numbers and the Internet has made collaboration pervasive and necessary. If you're not collaborating with the right people, you're being passed by. Don't get me wrong… Vermonter's aren't just collaborative. We're extremely competitive too, but we're competing against foreign imports that steal American jobs and wreck local economies. Join us. Let's get going! There's no time to lose.