A purple coneflower. (Portage County Gazette photo)
A purple coneflower. (Portage County Gazette photo)

If you enjoy gardening, you may already think of yourself as having a green thumb. Even if you don’t garden, you can think about ways to make your daily life greener. Consider some of these simple resolutions to make a big impact and leave a smaller imprint in the New Year.

Plant a tree. Conservationist Aldo Leopold suggested that every person plant at least one tree to absorb the carbon dioxide and provide the oxygen required by humans. Trees properly placed around buildings can also reduce air conditioning needs by 30 percent and can save 20 to 50 percent in energy used for heating, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service. Trees reduce storm water runoff, provide aesthetic value and increase home property values by 15 percent or more. When choosing a tree, consider its mature height and width, how fast it grows and conditions it needs to thrive.

Plant a native of Wisconsin. Whether a tree, shrub, perennial flower or ornamental grass, plants native to the region help preserve nature’s diversity. They tolerate temperature changes and soils, resist pests and diseases better than non-natives and require less water and virtually no fertilizer or pesticide once established.

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