As 2016 kicks it into gear, many are setting resolutions for the new year — to be healthier, to spend more time disconnected from technology or to travel more, just to name a few. So, we thought it would be fun to see what people are resolving to do this year in efforts to help our environment. Here’s a few of our favorites, shared by our Facebook friends!

1. Recycle, recycle, recycle!
Recycling is one of the easiest ways to help out the environment. For those of you who already recycle, consider ways you can take it a step further, or perhaps consider taking on composting. But, for those who currently don’t recycle, it’s not hard to start! Even if you begin with baby steps — plastic bottles, cardboard boxes or cartons, yesterday’s newspaper — you will be making a difference!

recycled glass bottles

2. Diversify your backyard or garden.
Many don’t realize that conservation efforts can start right in your own backyard. If done properly, your landscaping can boost biodiversity. The key? Selecting native plant species. With an eye toward the ecosystem, you can find the perfect combination of native species that are both aesthetically please and beneficial!

native plant nursery
Native plant nursery. Credit: Tom Potterfield.

3. Clean up our forests.
Forests are all around us, and we LOVE to enjoy them. From national forests to those in our backyards, they provide recreation, relaxation and, not to mention, they’re beautiful to look at. But, unfortunately, people litter… a lot! So, make a resolution to pick up any trash you see when you’re in the forest. Or, consider planning a “clean up” day and make it into a community event!


4. Plant more trees!
Yes, we know this is going to sound cliché coming from American Forests…but, there is a reason we do what we do! Trees provide so many benefits to the environment, and the earth is constantly losing them. So, it’s up to all of us to make sure that our forests are restored, enabling them to provide benefits to our planet at their full potential.


Okay, I know what you’re going to say: “no one keeps resolutions past February.” But, come on! Have a little faith. We know you can do it! Maybe you have other resolutions you’re making this year to protect our forests? Please share them with us! Comment and tell us how you’re making a commitment to our planet this year.