Eco-Rep Green Corner: This year’s resolution: Keep it green in 2011

“What you don’t do can be a destructive force.” — Eleanor Roosevelt.

According to The New York Times, four out of five people abandon their New Year’s resolutions before Feb. 1. Rather than making lofty goals only to drop them in a matter of weeks, one would be better served being more realistic. Join the green movement and make a difference while also helping yourself. Although going green could be a complete lifestyle change, taking it step by step is easy to follow.

Step 1: Stop buying water bottles, once and for all.

Most water bottles originate from petroleum, which is chemically processed into PET plastic, the most common form of plastic we use. Worldwide, it is estimated that 15 to 35 percent of plastic bottles are actually recycled. If you must buy water bottles, recycling is key, but the unfortunate part about PET plastic is that it can only be downcycled. As said in the April 1 Rider News article, “Eco-Rep Green Corner: ‘Upcycling’ trendy new way to reuse,” downcycling means to take waste materials, like plastics, and turn them into new products of lesser value or quality. So, a recycled water bottle cannot be reprocessed into a new water bottle. It is used instead for other materials such as recycled lumber and fleece.

Another negative factor of disposable water bottles is the cost. A reusable bottle that lasts around three years can save up to $200 in that time span. Check out to personalize your own reusable bottle.

Step 2: Vow to follow Meatless Mondays.

Fossil fuels are used in the growth, production and transportation of meat. It is estimated that the meat industry produces one-fifth of fossil fuel emissions. Along with fossil fuels, one pound of livestock requires 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water. If that’s not enough encouragement, consider this: cutting down the amount of meat in your diet reduces the risk of cancer, prevents obesity, limits the threat of heart disease and fights diabetes. Check out for more on these facts and meatless recipes. To take even more initiative, try buying local and organic. Check out to find grass-fed meat, eggs and dairy near you.

Step 3: Make a home improvement green promise.

Sign up to make a change at In the fall and spring the website sponsors a “Green Cure” program. Easy green fixes are provided to make your living space more efficient. Over eight weeks you will take part in various assignments including decorating, cleaning and organizing your home. Don’t think you can make it eight weeks on your own? No problem. The website allows you to communicate with others in the program and share struggles and solutions. When your revamp is complete, you are able to post photos of your newly green nest. Best part about it? At the end of the eighth week you have to throw a party to celebrate and show off your environmentally friendly pad.

Make 2011 the year for change. Join Rider sustainability in the green movement and lead a more efficient, earth-friendly life. Be sure to check out the Rider Eco-Rep Facebook page for daily info and tips.

– Stephanie Eppolito

Lawrenceville Eco-Rep

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