We all love to resolve to make big changes for the New Year. Let’s be honest, real behavior change is hard. Many behavioral scientists recommend writing down goals and steps you can take to help you meet those goals. Full disclosure: we didn’t invent these resolutions. We took some them from this year’s most popular New Year’s resolutions and put a green spin for small steps to make 2016 an eco-tastic year.
Reduce stress – get outdoors
Small doses of the outdoors can make a big difference in mental health wellness. Just 10 minutes of exposure to nature, two to three times per week, produces mental-restoration benefits. How can you get outdoors more in 2016? Go for a walk along some of King County Parks’ 175 miles of regional trails and 215 miles of backcountry trails. Great for leisurely day hikes, our trails are appropriate for all skill levels, from outings with the kids to trails for advanced mountain bikers. Each trail offers a unique opportunity to walk, run or ride through the quiet beauty of our region’s natural heritage.
Get better organized – Threadcycle
New York Times bestseller, Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, explains that organization begins with decluttering. Oftentimes, this means discarding items. While you’re in a decluttering frenzy, you can give your used items a new life by donating them to local organizations. Up to 95 percent of the clothes, shoes, and linens thrown in the garbage could have been reused or recycled. King County has partnered with many locations that will accept all your clothes, shoes, and linens – even items that are stained, holey, or damaged.
In 2015, volunteers provided more than 53,000 hours of service in our parks and on our trails. From building and repairing backcountry trails, to removing invasive blackberries, to promoting recycling and composting at summer concerts, our volunteers play an important role in stewarding our 28,000 acres of open space. King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks also offers opportunities to do volunteer habitat restoration work and help out salmon. Visit our volunteer portal to sign up for volunteer opportunity alerts.
Get out of debt and save money – waste less food
Did you know that the average American family tosses out about $1,500 of food yearly? Small shifts in how you shop, prepare, store and save food can make a big difference and save you a lot of money. Wasted food is also a big component of what ends up in our landfills, and when it decomposes, it emits methane— a potent greenhouse gas linked to climate change. King County’s Solid Waste Division helps residents improve waste prevention – and they’ve put together a resource hub with tricks and advice on how you can waste less food.