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Reduce, reuse and recycle

Green new year resolutions

When deciding how to better your life, don’t forget the planet’s

Another year has come and gone and once again it's time to write, on a crisp clean page, our new year resolutions. Sure, we have made the usual ones; shedding those extra pounds gained during Christmas, reading more and watching less TV, saving more and spending less, etc.

But when deciding how to better your life, don't forget the planet's. Now that polythene has been banned it's easier to follow Friends of the Earth's eco-friendly resolutions and aim to reduce, reuse and recycle? You are guaranteed to look and feel better for it.

Resolution - get fit and cut car pollution

Ditch the car and start walking or cycling.

Good for you: regular exercise can reduce heart disease and provide protection from strokes, diabetes and cancer. A staggering 70 per cent of all car trips are less than five miles - the ideal distance for a quick spin on the bike.

Peddling burns 300 calories an hour and helps to firm up legs, bums and tums. Walking doesn't cost a thing and gets you in touch with the great outdoors. A brisk walk for 45 minutes a day, four times a week on a calorie controlled diet could result in a fat loss of 18lbs over a year.

Good for the environment: You'll be helping to cut back on carbon dioxide emissions.

Resolution - eat healthy and buy organic

Say no to fast food and supermarkets and yes to organic and local produce.

Good for you: It tastes better and you'll feel better for it. The production of organic food causes much less environmental damage than conventional agriculture. It comes without those pesky pesticides and the demand for organic food is growing at 40% a year.

Grub from farmers markets or grocers helps the local economy and also makes you feel part of the community. Surely it's mad to buy apples that have been flown all the way from New Zealand when we produce fantastic papayas, mangoes,pineapples, plantains etc.

Resolution - reduce stress and pesticides

Take up Gardening

Good for you: Get fit, save money and grow something new from seeds. Growing your own fruit, vegetables and plants in the garden is proven to help reduce stress. Digging deep is good exercise and therapeutic at the same time. Get composting. It minimises landfill waste and recycles it back into the earth.

Good for the environment: The garden is the one place where you can make a small but real difference. No pesticides, and no wasteful packaging.

Resolution - save money and energy

Switch off the telly

Good for you: Small changes in your lifestyle can make a real difference to the health of the planet and your pocket. Energy saving measures just within the home can cut bills for a typical family of four in remarkable ways. It's easy to do. Fit energy efficient light bulbs, and turn off lights and appliances when you're not using them. It's claimed that living an exemplary green lifestyle from cradle to grave could save you a fortune during your lifetime.

Good for the environment: Almost half of the world's emissions actually come from things we do everyday, such as leaving the TV on standby. So good house-keeping really does help.

Resolution - simplify your life and recycle

New Year usually means out with the old and in with the new - but don't be so hasty. Recycle and reuse.

Good for you: Getting more than one use out of something not only saves you money but is hugely satisfying. Half of the electrical goods thrown out may require only very basic repairs, so think before chucking out. Give and buy from charity shops. Victoria Beckham did her bit for recycling when she bought a little black and white dress from Oxfam. Sales soared by 40 per cent. Try antique shops when you need furniture.

Good for the environment: Help stop the planet going to waste by recycling and reusing what you already have. The average person is said to throw out their body weight in rubbish every 3 months. Most of this can be reprocessed but instead it's sent to incinerators or landfill.

Now that polythene has been banned this year will surely be the best beginning for the environment around us.

Source: Friends of the Earth.

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Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Sri Lanka
Kapruka -

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