As we welcome the New Year, we often make promises and resolutions involving personal health, wellness and improvement. This year, look beyond yourself by committing to make a difference in your community and beyond. Be an “agent of change” in 2013. Change is the only constant in life. By acting in ways that are respectful and thoughtful of yourself and your surroundings, you can make positive, real and sustainable improvements. There are endless possibilities to pursue as an agent of change. Here are 10 things you can do right now.

Don’t just wait for the future to happen, SHAPE it. Even something as simple as turning off the water while brushing your teeth can save a lot of water, especially if everyone in the household follows this one tip.

Work at understanding your SYSTEM (immediate and extended family, neighborhood and school communities, office community). Carpooling, for example, not only spares the environment from unnecessary pollution, but also gives you an opportunity to form new friendships.

Look for the variables within your system that INFLUENCE your surroundings. Unplugging appliances and other electronics when not in use eliminates unnecessary energy use when they are not actively serving a purpose.

Reduce, reuse, RECYCLE. Even recycling one soda can saves enough energy to watch three hours of TV and helps create a better environment.

Learn, ADAPT and evolve. There are still many new products that cannot be recycled, but you can still eliminate unnecessary use of resources by “upcycling” – taking an un-recyclable product and turning it into a product of greater value, such as license plate purses or gum wrapper wallets.

Listen to nature for INSPIRATION and make better choices whenever possible. Take an hour out of your day to plant a tree. It connects you with nature and beautifies your yard while also offsetting carbon emissions.

Get INVOLVED. What is it in your community that could perhaps use your help? How can you contribute? Join a cause or find something you’re passionate about.

Be COMPASSIONATE. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes before giving the first word of advice. Become better aware of other cultures. By learning another language, taking a class, or traveling, you can better appreciate different cultures, people and their values.

RESPECT yourself, others and nature. Be a conscious consumer and purchase products that promote shared value, that are made of organic materials, or that promote a cause. You are showing the rest of the world that you have a universal respect for your world and its inhabitants. 

Accept and embrace the CHALLENGE to become an “agent of change.” Listen carefully to the adventurous spirit within you to find the resources you need to succeed. Step up and share your knowledge; challenge others – friends, family, colleagues – to also become agents of change.

Source: Lonesome George & Co.; the company invests 10 percent from the sale of sustainable apparel to fund programs that will create a long-lasting impact in communities around the world. For more information or to become part of the change, visit

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