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20 Ways to Go Green in Marlboro and Colts Neck

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 in Marlboro and Colts Neck.

  1. Buy fresh, local food this summer at Delicious Orchards in Colts Neck. 
  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 and thirft stores such as One Green Shoe in Freehold and The Second Hand Rose in Freehold.
  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. Your kids will eat more veggies if they grow them themselves.
  6. Dispose of your hazardous waste properly.  Visit Colts Neck's website for their tips from Monmouth County.
  7. Buy a share in a community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm to support local, sustainable farming and enjoy fresh veggies weekly. Marlboro has been in talks about creating a community garden since 2012.
  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. Is your bike a little rusty? Visit Wally's Bicycle Shop in Marlboro for a tuneup. 
  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. Keep your eye on Marlboro's community calendar, Arbor Day and Township Beautification Day will be coming in the spring months.
  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. 
  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 Girl Scout troop. Reserve a room at the Marlboro Library or Colts Neck Library and publicize to local parenting groups and preschools.
  16. Replace your old light bulbs with LED bulbs. They last 15 times longer and use 75 percent less energy. 
  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. 
  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.

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