It’s so tempting to set really lofty New Year’s Resolutions.

Every year, we get a new shot at overhauling our lifestyles, our relationships, our waistlines.

But the most successful long-term changes are almost always the little ones, the baby steps.

Sustainable changes are those that don’t leave you feeling deprived, pining for your old life, your old boyfriend, your old….well, maybe you won’t miss your old waistline, but you get the picture.

It’s a bit like the Butterfly Effect, that tenet of chaos theory, where the slightest fluttering of a butterfly wing sets into motion the most monumental events. Change your toothpaste today, and who knows what greener trajectory you may find yourself on tomorrow?

In celebration of small shifts that make big differences, I have a new resolution for your consideration:

Resolve to be just a tiny bit greener.

Don’t feel overwhelmed, don’t dwell on all the things you think you “should” be doing, don’t be paralyzed by the idea that one person can’t change the world. (What if all these people  had decided to sit around eating bonbons all day?)

Here are a few of my favorite tiny green bits.

Pick one thing. Just one.

One a day, one a week, or one for the new year.

But, in the wise words of that painfully cliché yet eternally true Nike tag line…Just Do It.

  • Change your toothpaste. The chemicals in your personal care products can be absorbed into your body and our groundwater. Choose healthier alternatives when you can.
  • Compost. If your town collects compost, toss food scraps and other compostables into your yard waste bin. If not, call your garbage company and ask if they can start!
  • Ditch your anti-bacterial products. Bacteria is important for your immune system, and anti-bacterial products are bad news for public and personal health.
  • Take a hike. Regular time spent in nature makes you happier, healthier, chillax-ier, and skinnier. Wow!
  • Pull a sunscreen switcheroo. Many chemical sunscreens don’t work, and they can harm you and delicate ocean eco-systems. Keep an eye out for smarter sun protection options.
  • Stash a reusable shopping bag in your purse or glove compartment. Learn new ways to reduce plastic usage.
  • Use rags instead of paper towels. Cut up old T-shirts and towels to re-purpose them, and keep them under the kitchen sink.
  • Teach your children well (hum to Crosby Stills and Nash tune). Give your kids tiny green things to do, too.


What are your favorite easy ways to go green?