Making 2012 Forever Green!

New Year’s resolutions tend to be all kinds of goals to make us better people. This year lets encourage us and others to start thinking and doing the right thing for our planet. GSUSA is marking the 100th Anniversary with the Forever Green Project.

Girl Scouts Forever Green (GSFG), Girl Scouts’ 100th Anniversary Take Action Project, is a national effort of girls leading their families, schools, and communities in improving the environment and protecting natural resources. GSFG invites girls to Take Action on three month-long projects taking place in February, March, or April: Reduce Waste, Earth Hour, and Rain Gardens.

By changing your habits and making a few changes you can make a BIG difference in our world. Here are many ways you can help make our planet Forever Green.

Save Paper
The average American uses approximately one 100-foot-tall Douglas fir tree in paper products per year. Learn to use ebooks over tree books, read newspapers online, opt out of unwanted catalogues and junk mail, request electronic bank and utility statements, limit paper towel usage and purchase recycled paper products.

Ditch Plastic
It pollutes the land and fouls sea – it’s the modern day affliction that sticks around a long, long time. Say no to plastic and carry a reusable bottle instead, use canvas bags instead of plastic ones.

Start a Compost Pile
Compost is magical. It improves soil quality physically, chemically and biologically. It also reduces the estimated 1.3 pounds of food scraps that American throw away daily.

Recycle
So easy to do. Join your community in their recycling efforts. Almost all cities and towns have a recycling program. Doing your part can help save the planet from tons and tons of waste.

Reduce Your Footprint
Almost everything we do contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, but there are a lot of little things you can do to reduce your footprint. An added benefit is that these things will also save your money. In winter, try and keep your thermostat at 68 degrees or lower and during the summer months, try for 78 degrees or higher. For each degree you vary from these recommended settings, you can increase your energy bill by four percent. Plus, less energy use means fewer emissions. Make Friday carpool day at work or school. This simple act will bring your closer with your neighbors, co-workers, and family and help cut down on pollution. Ride a bicycle or walk to work more often. Hook up a rain barrel to your gutter spout so you can reuse the rain water to water plants and gardens. Line dry your sheets and towels or try drying smaller items on a drying rack. This will use between 5 to 10 percent less energy on your home. Change your light bulbs to the new LED and compact fluorescent lights (CFLs).

Simply Use Less
It is so easy and convenient to use paper plates, paper towels and single-use mops, but think about all the waste you have to throw away. Try to avoid single-use products and excessive packaging. Invest in plates, mops and towels that you can reuse over and over, instead of ones you throw away after only a few uses.

Take Action
Don’t just think green, act green. Acting upon your convictions can make the world a better place. Also, pass it on – teach others to be green and mindful of our planet.

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Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.
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