14 Ways to Change Your State in the New Year

These 14 actions will help you, NC State and our world be more sustainable:

Use a reusable water bottle.

They help reduce waste and they’re awesome (see our favorite reasons why).

Drive less, walk more to reduce your carbon footprint.

Both you and the world benefit when you start stepping. You reap benefits of more exercise while also preserving clean air and natural resources.

Eat more local food.

Nothing’s better than homegrown — both in taste and benefits to your local economy (read reasons why you can go loco for local food).

Take shorter showers.

You’ll save at least 2 gallons for every minute you reduce your shower time. Reduce your daily shower by one minute and you’ll save 730 gallons a year!

Use natural lighting instead of overhead lights and lamps.

Lighting accounts for up to 15 percent of all energy use, so hit the switch when you can to save energy.

Use reusable bags.

Why waste a plastic shopping bag when you can bring your own? Check out other reasons why reusable bags rock.

Grow your own kitchen herbs.

Nothing will make a dinner better than adding some homegrown herbs. Plus, indoor plants help improve your indoor air quality.

Pick up one piece of litter per day.

It beautifies our communities and ensures that loose trash doesn’t later interfere with waterways or wildlife.

If you are able, take the stairs instead of an elevator.

Think of all the extra calories you’ll burn while saving the electricity used by elevators.

Use dish clothes instead of paper towels.

You can use a reusable dish cloth over and over again instead of throwing away paper towels. It’s an easy way to save trees.

Turn up your thermostat in summer and down in winter.

Aim for indoor temperatures of 78 in the summer and 68 in the winter to cash in on the biggest energy savings.

Wash your clothes on cold.

Often the hot isn’t hot enough to clean clothes more effectively, so save some energy and click the temperature dial to cold.

Line dry your clothes instead of using the dryer.

You’ll use less energy and your clothes won’t shrink in the dryer.

Reduce food waste.

Up to 40 percent of food is trashed, so make sure your eyes aren’t bigger than your stomach when you’re picking your portion size. Get what you know you can eat so you’ll waste less food. Live on campus? Check out the real weight of campus food waste.


Image: Flickr

Change Your State through simple, everyday actions.
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