meatlessThere are many things that you can do to make 2014 just a little bit greener. Start small and see how much you can accomplish over the course of the year. Here are some simple suggestions that can collectively make a BIG difference. The start of a new year for many people includes embarking on a New Year's resolution. For some people, bars are set too high and they quickly get in over their head. For others, they soar to success as they stay focused on their goals. And, of course there are those who fall somewhere in between, taking 2 steps forward and maybe 1 back. Many resolutions focus on health and fitness, while others are centered on professional goals or finances. This year, we are suggesting green resolutions that can keep your body, wallet, and planet healthier.

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  Health Financial Planet Bits of Info

Start biking more

Whether you cycle to work or to the grocery store, taking your bike and leaving your car at home gives you exercise, saves you money on gas and car maintenance, and reduces air pollution. An added bonus, you don't have to wait in traffic!

Eat less meat

Start with 1 day a week and work your way up. Studies suggest that vegetarians are 25% less likely die from heart disease. It takes 634 gallons of water to make 1 hamburger. Livestock production contributes to 18% of our greenhouse gas emissions. Taking meat out of a few meals a week can save you $$$.

Stop buying bottled water

At least 25% of bottled water is just tap water. The U.S. has one of tbe best water systems in the world, yet we pay up to 3000x more for bottled water. Drinking 8oz of water a day from the tap costs $0.50 a year, while the same amount from bottles costs $1,400. Tap water is monitored more closely for contaminants. Only about 30% of plastic water bottles get recycled.

Bring for reusable bags and mugs

  Globally, we use 1,000,000 plastic bagsevery minute! With only 1% of these getting recycled in the U.S., our landfills and landscapes are being filled with plastic bags. Many stores charge taxes on plastic bags and give discounts for reusable bags. In addition, the average office worker uses about 500 disposable cups a year! So keep a reusable mug around at the office and in the car.

Start a garden and compost

There have been countless studies showing the health benefits to home gardening. Vegetable gardeners have less stress, better mental health, and a healthier diet. Growing your own produce saves you money. Gardening with native plants can provide habitat for wildlife. Starting a compost bin will reduce your waste generation and provide for a healthy soil amendment.