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20 Ways to Go Green in 2013

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

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 Dearborn Farmers Market, which runs from the end of May through October.
  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 Sweet Peas Baby Boutique and thrift stores such as the Dearborn Goodwill Store.
  5. Rip up some lawn and create new garden beds this spring, and then grow your own food this summer. Need help getting started? Check out our directory for names and contact information of Dearborn landscapers. Your kids will eat more veggies if they grow them themselves.
  6. Dispose of your waste properly. The City of Dearborn's Public Works Department hosts a free disposal day the third Saturday of every month, as well as period shredding days. Wayne County also hosts hazardous waste and electronic recycling events—watch Patch for updates about 2013 dates.
  7. Buy a share in a community-supported agriculture farm to support local, sustainable farming and enjoy fresh veggies weekly. Some farms, like Living Stones, offer weekly pickup at the Dearborn Farmers Market.
  8. Ditch those dreaded plastic sandwich bags and get some washable containers or bags—such as ReUsies, created by two Seattle moms.
  9. Cut down on car trips and run your errands on your bike or on foot. Need a new bike, or a tune up? Try Jack's Bicycle and Fitness or Eddie's Bike Shop in Dearborn.
  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. Friends of the Rouge often hosts events, or kids can get involved with the local Going Green Foundation.
  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. Or, buy a tree from the City of Dearborn's tree program and they'll plant it for you in your easement. The 2013 program is coming this spring.
  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 Henry Ford Centennial 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. You can find bulbs at ACO Hardware, Home Depot, or most grocery 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. Watch Dearborn Patch for upcoming mom-to-mom or rummage sales.
  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. Weer Energy, based out of Dearborn, will do a free energy audit on your home.
  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.

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

marooned in Dbn January 06, 2013 at 06:47 PM
The last time I rode a bicycle to the corner store,to be environmentally responsible, I was stopped on the sidewalk by Dbn. P.D. because they were looking for a suspicious person, also on a bike, that was suspected of ripping off garages in the neighborhood. (not me, I didn't know what was coming down at that time) I showed the officer my ID and explained that I was peddling down to the store on one of my kid's bikes. (to be environmentally responsible). The cop actually asked me if "I drove". I said yes. (left Benz in the garage) I was then released. To think you could almost be a patsy for a criminal just because you wanted to hop on a bike.
City of Dearborn January 07, 2013 at 03:38 AM
That's an interesting take on Dearborn needing to be more bicycle friendly! Good for you for riding a bike, even if it did make you a suspect :-)
Marci January 08, 2013 at 12:53 AM
I suggest banning plastic bags within the city. Other places are doing this in an effort to protect local environment. The local clerks, especially on Eastside, use 2 a 3 bags for one item. I bring my own and they want to bag items then put bags into my reusables. The citizens of Dearborn can get plastic bags banned, their is no excuse anymore for bags polluting our environment.
City of Dearborn January 08, 2013 at 02:51 AM
Wow, Marci - that's a new concept! Do you know which cities are trying that? I'd love to learn more.

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