UGA GreenWay News

A Greener Way of Living, at Home and Abroad

Green & Healthy Resolutions for the New Year

My New Year’s Resolutions are a few days late, but I’m not stressing over it. My resolution is to relax and not stress about minor things (like a late blog post). This year I encourage you to focus your goals on relationships, your health, and the health of the world. Below are resolutions I suggest for 2015. Select one that fits you, your relationships and your life.

#1: Don’t make your bed. The average bed is home to hundreds of thousands of dust mites that can trigger asthma and allergies. They thrive on warm, moist, dark environments, like your bed. When you get out of bed, pull the covers back and air out the bed to reduce moisture. This will help reduce the dust mite population in your bed. Additional tips can be found on the EPA website.

Unmade bed

Air your bed out then you can make it later.

 #2: Save money and reduce food waste. Learn to love leftovers and use the food that is already in your refrigerator and cabinets. When you go to the store, make a list and buy items on sale and/or in season.

food in fridge

This fridge has all kinds of possibilities for dinner.

#3: Buy locally grown foods. When I was visiting my Mom on the ranch I had the opportunity to eat an omelet made with fresh eggs. So much more flavorful then the ones from the grocery store! It’s a good reminder of the benefits of being part of Food buying clubs, CSAs, Farmers’ markets, and Coops.

Eggs & Produce

#4: Schedule nature time. Spending time in nature and engaging all of your senses can increase pleasant feelings and reduce anger and stress. Researchers are finding that time in nature may even reduce mortality. Start off with 10 technology-free minutes a week of nature time, then move up to one hour.

Family_Time_With_Nature_By_Carole_Robertson

Walk in the park, hike in the mountains, or just sit on the grass.

#5: Travel. I find travel invigorating and researchers agree. A change in the routine of your life can add adventure and interest to your life. You don’t have to spend a lot of money or go far, just discover something new to you.

Beach

The ocean is a feast for your senses!

#6: Buy less stuff. The best way to reduce household waste is to consume fewer goods. When you buy, choose reusable high quality goods.

Pentagon City Mall

Pentagon City Mall provides lots of consumption opportunities.

#7: Keep in touch. Research indicates that a lack of social bonds may be as harmful to your health as alcohol abuse, smoking, obesity and lack of exercise. In the age of technology it is easier to maintain contact and renew old relationships. This doesn’t mean you should contact everyone you have been in a relationship with. (Your current significant other may not appreciate that!) This is about positive relationship building.

Using technology to connect to family & friends

Using technology to connect to family & friends

#8: Get enough sleep. Transform your life by sleeping. In study after study, researchers found links between lack of sleep and serious health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.  Make time in 2015 to take care of your health. Set aside 30 minutes before your bedtime relaxing (no phones, laptops, computers, or other electronic devices).  More sleeping tips from the National Sleep Foundation.

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The secrets to living greener and healthier are:

  • Take it one day at a time
  • Start where you are at, and move forward
  • Don’t get stressed out if you stumble
  • Remain positive and laugh often

 

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About Pamela Turner

I am an Associate Professor and Extension Housing & Environment Specialist at the University of Georgia. I have a passion for helping people improve their home environment and live greener and healthier lives. An important part of that is helping people weed through all of the information to find trustworthy sources. www.gafamilies.org/home

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