New Year’s Eve will be here in just a few days. This means it’s time to start making resolutions. The most popular New Year’s resolutions are lifestyle choices. According to a poll from market research company ComRes, these include exercising more, losing weight, eating healthier, taking a more active approach to health, and learning a new skill. But what if you are trying to go green or become greener? Here are four projects that will help you and the environment feel better this upcoming year:
Plant Some Trees
The first of the projects you can do to be greener next year is plant some new or plant some more trees.
Trees offer a substantial benefit to both humans and the environment. They are one of the primary producers of oxygen in our atmosphere. They are also great at stopping ground erosion. The roots hold the ground together. They also catch things like pollen, dust, smoke, and carbon dioxide—not only are they producing oxygen, but trees clean the air in the process.
Plant a tree this year, and leave a legacy for future generations to enjoy.
(Instead of throwing this paper away, grow some smaller plants of your own.)
The second of the projects you can do to help the environment this upcoming year is make eco-bricks.
Plastic waste is one of the biggest polluters in today’s environment. It is still building, and not all plastics are recyclable. Make an eco-brick instead of throwing your plastic away.
Eco-Bricks are usable building materials made from two-liter bottles filled with other trash and non-recyclable plastic materials. They are very easy to make—just compress your plastic down into the bottle. You’ll know the brick is ready when the bottle compresses less than 10 percent of what an empty one would. A quick internet search will give you the closest drop-off point where they will be used in actual construction.
In Nigeria they are filling empty bottles with sand and using them to build houses.
(With reusable water bottles, eco-bricks can become a thing of the past.)
Build an Owl Box
The third of the projects you can do to support the environment in the next year is building an owl box.
Owls are an eco-friendly, sustainable way to manage pests around the house. Instead of pesticides, you can use these birds to keep your yard free of mice and other small rodents. By building an owl box, the feathered visitors will have a place to nest and raise their chicks.
You can find instructions here: https://www.birdlife.org.za/get-involved/owl-boxes.
While this website is from South Africa, you can easily research the owls in your area and their nesting habits online, or talk to a staff member or volunteer at a local wildlife center.
Make Your Own Compost Heap
The fourth of the projects to support Earth in 2019 is making your own compost heap.
Composting not only reduces the amount of waste you produce, but it is also great for those with a green thumb.
You’ll need four things for this fourth project: Carbon is the first ingredient. It can come from things such as brown leaves, straw, wood, paper, or cardboard. Secondly, nitrogen; this can come from green leaves, grass, or vegetable waste. Water is the third, and easiest ingredient. Each time you add a layer, water your compost heap. Lastly, it needs oxygen. This can be done by regularly mixing and turning over your heap with a pitchfork. If you leave it in the sun, it will decompose even faster.
Once the heap looks and smells like rich, dark, earth, it’s ready to be mixed with the soil and fed to whatever you are growing–even grass!