Help Save The Planet: Minor adjustments in your life can affect major change.

By Anneliza Itkor, Outside Hilton Head

We all do it. The New Year rolls around, and we start making all kinds of resolutions.

I’m going to get back in the gym. I’m going to lose these last 10 pounds. I am going to give up _______ (sugar or carbs or wine or…well, you can fill in the blank).

These are all admirable and worthy resolutions, but they pale in comparison to committing to SAVING THE PLANET. Wow. How cool does THAT sound?

And what’s amazing is that it only requires minor adjustments in your life to affect major change. Because Hilton Head Island is an oceanfront community, I looked to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for some ideas about how to make better choices for a better planet.

First and foremost, we need to remember the three R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle. By cutting down on what we throw away, we conserve both landfill space and natural resources.

Here are a few tips to help you make a positive impact on the environment in 2019 and beyond:

Conserve Water. It’s so simple. Turn off the water while you brush your teeth or wash your hands. Don’t run the dishwasher or the laundry until it’s full. Install a rain barrel, and use that water to hydrate plants. There are all kinds of little ways to save lots of water.

Plant a tree. You don’t need to plant a forest. Or even two trees. Plant one single tree. If every person in the United States planted one tree a year, we would create 330 million little miracles that can help save energy, clean the air and prevent climate change.

Bike more, drive less. Here on Hilton Head Island, we have more than 100 miles of paved bike trails. It makes getting around on two wheels convenient and safe. Grab your helmet and get out and ride.

Use energy-efficient light bulbs. They help cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. And remember, the energy used over the lifetime of an incandescent bulb is five times the cost of an LED or CFL bulb.

Volunteer. The Outside Foundation, as well as other organizations, help organize community, beach and waterway cleanups. Not only do you help protect the local watershed, you can meet great people, get outside and have some fun.

Don’t send chemicals into our waterways. Be sure to choose non-toxic cleaning products around your home and office. And never flush medications or wash them down the sink. Inquire at your doctor’s office for a safe way to dispose of expired prescriptions or no-longer-needed medications.

Choose sustainable foods. When dining out or purchasing seafood, be sure to ask where and how it was sourced. To learn more about making smart seafood choices, check out fishwatch.gov.

Educate yourself. By furthering your own knowledge of our local environment, you can help the 2.5 million+ visitors to Hilton Head understand the importance of our natural resources. Outside Hilton Head offers several ways to get outside and learn more about our unique ecosystem and beautiful waterways.

Visit www.outsidehiltonhead.com and www.outsidefoundation.org so you can get up close and personal with the incredible environment we are looking to conserve. #getoutside

To book an outing with Outside Hilton Head, call (843) 686-6996.