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20 Ways to Go Green in 2013 in Needham

If your New Year's resolution is to live a greener lifestyle, check out these 20 tips to help you stick to your plan.

If you want to be kinder to the planet and save some money at the same time, here are 20 ways to go green in 2013.

  1. Buy fresh, local food this summer at the Needham Farmers Market. Planning meetings recently began.
  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 such as the Needham Community Council's thirft store, or consign at places like Boston Consignment and Above and Beyond Consignment
  5. Rip up some lawn and create new garden beds this spring, and then grow your own food this summer. Need help getting started? Speak to the Needham Garden Center, who should be able to help you find resources on installing a bed. Your kids will eat more veggies if they grow them themselves.
  6. Dispose of your hazardous waste properly. Any questions? The Recycling and Transfer Station takes most types of materials, and their website has more information.
  7. Buy a share in a community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm to support local, sustainable farming and enjoy fresh veggies weekly. Head over to Needham Family Farm for information on their CSA, if you don't already have one.
  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 and run your errands on your bike or on foot. Rusty on two wheels? Take a workshop at International Bicycle West in Newton or Dedham Bike. 
  10. Pack cloth napkins instead of paper towels in school lunches.
  11. Look for an environmental service project you can do with your children, such as removing trash and non-native plants and planting trees in their place. The Friends of the Hemlock Gorge have an annual clean-up in the fall, for example.
  12. Got an older house? Install double-pane windows and you’ll see immediate savings on your heating bill.
  13. 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. Find a certified arborist in your area. The Mass. Arborists Association has a list of certified arborists in the area.
  14. 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. 
  15. Organize a Halloween costume swap in September. This can be a great service project for a Boy or Girl Scout troop. Reserve a room at the Needham Free Public Library, and use the Patch Events calendar to publicize it.
  16. Replace your old light bulbs with LED bulbs. They last 15 times longer and use 75 percent less energy. You can find bulbs at Harvey's Hardware or other local hardware stores.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Save up to 30 percent on your monthly heating bills by having a home energy audit done by a professional. The Needham Green Collaboration has resources and references for energy audits. 
  20. 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.

TELL US: Do you think you could stick to a green New Year's resolution? Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments sections below.

Susan McGarvey February 06, 2013 at 02:02 PM
Please call 866-867-8729 to schedule your no-cost, detailed home energy assessment from Next Step Living, a Mass Save Participating Home Performance Contractor. The Green Needham Collaborative and Next Step Living have partnered to provide residents of Needham an opportunity to reduce the energy consumption in their homes. This energy assessment will provide you with instant energy savings measures and recommendations for how to save energy, reduce your monthy bills and make your home more comfortable. Homeowners are eligible to receive 75% off insulation work up to $2,000 and will receive an application for a 0% interest weatherization loan. All homes that receive energy assessments will be rated for their solar potential and qualifying homes can Go Solar for little or no money down! Complete a no-cost home energy assessment and $10 will be donated to your referring Needham organization. Complete a no-cost solar evaluation and $50 will be donated to your referring Needham organization. Take advantage of this amazing opportunity to improve the comfort of your home, lower your utility bills and help the environment! Fill out the form below and a Next Step Living Customer Service Representative will be in touch to schedule your no-cost energy assessment.
Susan McGarvey February 06, 2013 at 02:03 PM
The Green Needham Collaborative and Next Step Living have partnered to provide residents of Needham an opportunity to reduce the energy consumption in their homes. Please call 866-867-8729 now. This energy assessment will provide you with instant energy savings measures and recommendations for how to save energy, reduce your monthy bills and make your home more comfortable. Homeowners are eligible to receive 75% off insulation work up to $2,000 and will receive an application for a 0% interest weatherization loan. All homes that receive energy assessments will be rated for their solar potential and qualifying homes can Go Solar for little or no money down! Complete a no-cost home energy assessment and $10 will be donated to your referring Needham organization. Complete a no-cost solar evaluation and $50 will be donated to your referring Needham organization. Take advantage of this amazing opportunity to improve the comfort of your home, lower your utility bills and help the environment! Fill out the form below and a Next Step Living Customer Service Representative will be in touch to schedule your no-cost energy assessment.
Debbie Schmill February 06, 2013 at 03:49 PM
Debbie Schmill 10:48 am on Wednesday, February 6, 2013 Thank you Kathleen for the tips. For those interested in following up on your suggestion to start a garden, the Needham Community Farm (www.needhamfarm.org) runs two family gardening education program. A beginners program during July and August and an intermediate program which runs from the end of April through the end of August. We are also offering workshops through Needham Community Education related to food and gardening. Information about the Needham Community Farm Education programs can be found at www.needhamfarm.org. In addition to running educational programs for the community, the Needham Community Farm also grows produce for donation to the Needham Community Council Food Pantry. Anyone interested in volunteering to learn how to maintain and harvest for the pantry, should email the Farm at needhamfarm@rcn.com.
Karen Peirce February 25, 2013 at 03:33 PM
The Needham Beautification Town-Wide Clean up Day organized by Needham Park and Recreation is scheduled for Saturday, April 27th 8:30-11:00. Sign up at www.needhamma.gov Choose Park and Recreation on-line registration under "For Residents" and click on Town-wide Clean Up or call the Park and Recreation Office at (781) 455-7550 ext. 3. Spend a few hours to help make Needham Beautiful!

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