6 WAYS I PLAN TO REDUCE MY CARBON FOOTPRINT IN THE NEW YEAR!

 Here are the usual suspects: cook more, exercise more, meditate more. This year I wanted to add another resolution to the list...reducing my families carbon footprint.

I have come up with a few more ways to improve our recycling habits, reusing materials and reduce the plastic our family consumes in 2017.

1. Recycling Bins in the Bathroom: We have a recycling bin in our kitchen which we are great about filling, but we are not great about bringing our recyclable bottles & TP rolls out from our bathrooms.  This year I am putting boxes dedicated to recycling (complete with a sheet of what can be added) into each bathroom to capture more of our bathrooms recyclable material.

2. Home Recycling System: I am determined to become more active in recycling materials that require hauling it to a location ourselves.  To make this easier, I am setting up a mini station in our garage to place all used batteries, light bulbs, electronics and paint to haul away once the boxes are full.  I will take each box of materials to the designated location for proper disposal. Check out this awesome recycling chart from Goop that provides tips on where you can take certain materials (under the Special Treatment section).

3. Plastic Consumption Awareness: This year I also want to focus on reducing my consumption of plastic products.  Buying in bulk and purchasing more paper packaging as opposed to plastic containers will help to reduce the plastic waste our family brings home. I always struggle with remembering to bring my reusable grocery bags to the store so this is a big focus for me as well!

4. Build a Compost Bin: I was spoiled in our last home.  Our city offered a composting program that accepted just about ANYTHING and used it to create soil.  This spring I am having the hubby build us our own compost bin in the backyard to add scraps and yard waste. Check out composting 101 here.

**Psst...Denver readers - the compost program may be available to you and it is AMAZING!  For only $10-$12 a month you get a large compost bin (the size of a recycling bin) and can throw yard waste and all of your food scraps into this bin.  This includes moldy food, bones, meat, old baking products, etc (no dairy products or liquids).  You could even share this service with a neighbor and still have plenty of room in your bin.  $5/month to decrease your garbage waste is a steal!

5. Purchase gently used clothes & furniture:  This year I am going to up my thrift store shopping game.  I want to master finding amazing furniture pieces on Craigslist and save a few bucks while I'm at it!  I am also going to make a conscious effort to shop at gently used baby stores.  Once Upon a Child has SO  many clothes that could be found at any Target but were worn a few times by another child...no biggie.  I can also take my bins of clothes that my children continue to outgrow and score some cash at Once Upon a Child while I am there.

6. Utilize the INVENTORS BOX!: This is a really fun concept that I found on pinterest where you compile a bunch of materials that otherwise would be thrown away or recycled and bring it out for your kids to come up with their own invention.  My son is really into making his inventions so I think this is the perfect activity for him on a quiet day (More on what I added to this box later this week).

There are so many fantastic ideas out there on how to reduce your carbon footprint, check out my pinterest board to see all of the ideas I have for my family to REDUCE, REUSE AND RECYCLE!

Do you have any tips on ways you reduce your carbon footprint? Please share!