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Palatine: Ways to Go Green in 2013

If your New Year's resolution is to live a greener lifestyle, check out these tips to help you stick to your plan.

  1. Buy fresh, local food at the and summer. The next winter market is January 19 from 8 a.m. until noon. 
  2. Have your kids make their friends birthday cards and bring gifts in decorated paper bags or a cool reusable bag. Kids love getting a handmade card—as do adults.
  3. Bring your own bags when you shop for groceries. 
  4. Shop at consignment stores and thrift stores such as Sparrow's Nest, Wings, New for You Resale, Anne's Unique Boutique, Misericordia's Twice Blest Thrift Shop and PHD Resale. 
  5. Rip up some lawn and create new garden beds this spring, and then grow your own food this summer. Need help getting started? Contact Knupper Nursery for more information. Your kids will eat more veggies if they grow them themselves.
  6. Dispose of your hazardous waste properly. Check SWANCC for more information
  7. Buy a share in a community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm to support local, sustainable farming and enjoy fresh veggies weekly. Here are some CSAs that deliver locally, such as Sandhill Family Farms and Prairie Crossing Learning Farm. An option for winter is Door to Door Organics.
  8. Ditch those dreaded plastic sandwich bags and get some washable containers or bags. I like ReUsies, created by two Seattle moms.
  9. Cut down on car trips; run your errands on your bike or on foot or carpool with a friend who has shopping to do at the same retail spot.
  10. Pack cloth napkins instead of paper towels in school lunches.
  11. Got an older house? Install double-pane windows and you’ll see immediate savings on your heating bill.
  12. Plant a tree. A certified arborist can help you select and plant trees that will provide privacy and shade and even years of fresh fruit.
  13. Dump your bottled water costs. You could save hundreds of dollars by buying snazzy metal water bottles for everyone in the family and a personal filter for your kitchen faucet. Target has an assortment of kid-pleasing water bottles.
  14. Organize a Halloween costume swap in September. This can be a great service project for a Girl Scout troop. Reserve a room at the Palatine Public Library and publicize to local parenting groups and preschools. 
  15. Replace your old light bulbs with LED bulbs. They last 15 times longer and use 75 percent less energy. You can find bulbs at Home Depot.
  16. Expand your hand-me-down circle. Organize a clothing swap for your kids’ preschool or a group of friends. Everyone brings gently used and clean kids’ clothes to your garage and parents can take as many items as they donated. The rest goes to charity. You can also swap toys and books.
  17. Replace your showerheads with low-flow models. Low-flow showerheads can save you up to 15 percent on water heating costs and reduce your water usage by as much as 20,000 gallons a year.
  18. Save up to 30 percent on your monthly heating bills by having a home energy audit done by a professional. Make an appointment with a Sustainability Guru. 
  19. Give service and experience gifts this year instead of stuff. Make homemade gift certificates for services and experiences that could include tech support, dinner and a movie, yard work, pet walking or babysitting, or a day of organizing support for the clutter challenged.

Palatine Patch Editor Melanie Santostefano contributed to this report. 

Mike Marshall January 06, 2013 at 02:15 PM
4: there is also twice blest thrift store. it supports misericordia, heart of mercy, instead of being a forprofit.
Melanie Santostefano January 06, 2013 at 02:19 PM
Good morning Mike, Thanks, I just added that in to the article, thanks for the heads up. Happy Sunday! Melanie
Vanessa January 06, 2013 at 08:42 PM
And join Palatine's newly formed homesteading club! We're still working on the format, but we'll be up and running with meetings and events soon. Check us out at http://www.facebook.com/VillageHomesteadingPalatine.

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