‘Tis the season for holiday shopping. The gift-giving time of year offers the opportunity to make your purchasing power speak volumes on what’s most important. What’s more, for those inclined to be environmentally conscious, now is a great time to “buy green” like you never have before. Because money tends to speak louder than words when trying to get the business industry to listen, my New Year’s resolution for improving the planet is twofold. The first component is to purchase goods that are sustainably created and can be reclaimed or recycled when I’m finished with them. The second part is to donate to at least one company or organization that promotes environmentalism as a core philosophy. This way, I can focus on preservation of natural settings as well as promote the innovation of a new-age model. To divulge further, let’s start with the purchase of great green goods. On 1-800-RECYCLING.com, we have profiled a few companies that are breathing new life into sustainability and recycling by crafting and selling products made from recycled materials. The first part of my resolution is to ensure a greener tomorrow by purchasing from companies that are trying to do the same. To achieve this step I am choosing between stylish bags and other swag at Alchemy Goods; an always useful, 100% recycled, recyclable and PBA-free water bottle from Liberty Bottleworks; or maybe a few of the impressively sustainable earthCell batteries that are revolutionizing the portable power industry. All of these companies stand out for their industrious way of taking a stand to better the environment by offering a new genre of products — those that improve quality of life as well as mitigate negative effects on nature. Innovation is made every day in regard to truly “green” products. Now, on to step number two. recycled resolution products This step will require a little more legwork on my part, as I haven’t decided which niche in the environmental realm to support. Really, there are so many quality options and causes to support that it might make choosing one difficult. However, I feel that a revolution is coming in the way that we are creating, storing and using energy. The days of the coalmine and oilrig are coming to a close over the next several decades (well, hopefully). As such, the focus on clean, local and sustainable energy is paramount. Finding companies that create and promote wind, solar, wave, hydroelectric, biomass and geothermal energy is of particular interest to me. Zeroing in on a local company in Washington State has led me to Farm Power Northwest. The company takes organic waste materials like cow manure and food waste and transforms it into usable methane gas for energy production. Companies like this are creating new ways to solve a handful of old problems through hard work and innovation. And it is companies like this that need our help most to ensure we have a bright future with working eco-systems and sustained, comfortable lifestyles. If you want to do the same and promote eco-friendly businesses, do some Internet research to see what companies in your area are driving the economy while saving the planet. But remember to keep an eye out for the greenwashers — those that promote their product as being sustainable without any real evidence or data to back the claim. Look for products that are made locally in a sustainable manner; those that are crafted from reclaimed or recycled materials; and those that can be recycled when they’re no longer needed. Also, keep an eye out for those organizations in your area (nonprofit or otherwise) that are striving to restructure the ways in which our society works so we can all look forward to a greener future.