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Seven "green" new year resolutions. Americans set on doing more.

A new nationwide survey by Tiller Research LLC brings good green news for the rising year. 

A little more than half – 53% – of all American adults say they will make a green New Year’s resolution this year. Two years ago, according to previous Tiller polling, just under half – 49% – of all American adults were resolving to go green in the year to come.
“Like a commitment to dieting, adopting more environmentally friendly living habits has become a primary focus for New Year’s resolutions,” said Rob Densen, CEO of Tiller, LLC.  “It’s clear that safeguarding the environment has become top of mind for many Americans ...

Given a list of environmentally responsible lifestyle changes:

85% said it was at least somewhat likely they would reduce household energy consumption in 2010.

It was followed by recycling more (84%) and

buying from environmentally responsible companies (76%). 

Nearly three quarters (72%) of Americans say it is at least somewhat likely they’ll carry their own bag with them to the grocery store – by comparison, just 42% of Americans resolved to do this two years ago.
It’s clear, however, that green behavior isn’t just the subject of good intentions; many such behaviors are already entrenched in Americans’ day to day routines.
More than three quarters – 76% – of Americans said they moderated their personal or household use of energy in 2009.  Nearly half – 47% – bought products from a socially or environmentally responsible company, and 50% said they declined to buy a product out of concern for the effects the product or its packaging might have on the environment.

Most Americans (53%) believe that it’s individuals who are positioned to have the most positive impact on the environment , as opposed to communities (22%), business (17%) or the government (8%).
More than nine of 10 Americans also agree that “doing small things on a regular basis that make the world a better place is just as important as participating in a formal, organized effort.”

“There’s no question that individuals are committed to environmentally responsible behavior in their daily lives,” Marren said.  “But there’s plenty business, government and the media can do to strengthen Americans’ resolve to ‘go green.’  It’s particularly critical to educate the public about the big impact that small, relatively easy green behaviors can have over time and to encourage and facilitate those behaviors along the way."

To help the good intentions take hold, here're seven suggestions from the  Austin Green Architecture Examiner as new year resolutions:

The landscape for the Wolfe Den by, M. J. Neal Architects, in collaboration with Rain Lilly, is a great example of contemporary xeroscaping.

1. Go Native:
When you landscape, consider using plants that are native to your area. They last longer,  they use less water and require less maintenance.

2. Go Cold:
Washing your clothes in cold water instead of hot gets them just as clean, and the average family will save over $100 per year.

3. Go Fabric:
You may consider replacing your paper towels with cloth towels. If you currently use two rolls of paper towels per week, you'll save over $100 year by switching to cloth.

4. Go MultiTrash:
Have three trash bins, one for recycling, one for compost, and one for regular trash. I tracked some examples for you:

Stainless Steel Trash Bins:

Recycled Plastic Bins:

Fabric bins:

5. No go:
Take fewer flights this year. If you cut back even just one cross-country flight, you can cut your footprint by as much as 4 tons.

6. Go vegetarian:
You can reduce your carbon print by a ton a and a half per year according to the New York Times, and according to Neil Barnard, MD (whom I've personally met and admire) you will eliminate diabetes type two, high colesterol, high blood pressure and a wide array of other maladies. Even cutting back just a bit makes a big difference.

7. Go green power:
by buying green power from the city of austin.

Americans have an average per capita carbon footprint of 20 tons per year while the sustainable level is 2 tons, but since Americans are also notorioous for accomplishing what they set their mind to, let's try to make those resolutions really mean something this year!

(photos Viviane Vives)
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