50 Resolutions for a Sustainable New Year

50 Resolutions for a Sustainable New Year

Perhaps the most intimidating factor of any global crisis is its nature to be far bigger, far more complex than the average solution. The climate crisis being no exception. Looking into the New Year, we want to change the approach. This crisis in its entirety is far more of a challenge than any single individual could take on—so why not work together? A collective effort of sustainable practices. Individuals creating change within their own environment. And, with any luck, a team of humans with the understanding that their efforts, no matter how seemingly trivial, matter. This New year, allow your resolutions to be an encouragement and vision for others as you consciously live for the betterment of our planet. Here’s fifty ways to cultivate those resolutions into a viable reality and commence sustainable change:

Perhaps the most intimidating factor of any global crisis is its nature to be far bigger, far more complex than the average solution. The climate crisis being no exception. Looking into the New Year, we want to change the approach. This crisis in its entirety is far more of a challenge than any single individual could take on—so why not work together? A collective effort of sustainable practices. Individuals creating change within their own environment. And, with any luck, a team of humans with the understanding that their efforts, no matter how seemingly trivial, matter. This New year, allow your resolutions to be an encouragement and vision for others as you consciously live for the betterment of our planet. Here’s fifty ways to cultivate those resolutions into a viable reality and commence sustainable change:

PLASTIC

 

Plastic is one of the world’s most persistent pollutants. It takes anywhere up to a thousand years for a single plastic item to decompose entirely. (Graber) This means that that plastic cup you threw away two, three—even fifteen years ago is still circulating and contaminating our environment. The silver lining? This is one of the most humanly feasible problems to resolve. We’re here to give you a few hacks, if you will, in order to reduce your personal plastic consumption while simultaneously caring for your immediate and global environment!

 

  1. Let’s start simple with the world’s most commonly enjoyed routine remedy: caffeine! Over half of Americans aged 18 and up consume coffee regularly and the beauty about making that habit sustainable is that you don’t need to eliminate it from your day entirely. Merely invest in a re-usable coffee cup and bring it with you to your coffee stand—at some stands you might even get a cup discount for your effort.

 

  1. This minute alone one million plastic water bottles were purchased and consumed across the globe. Count to sixty and another million will be introduced into that rotation. How to break this insistent cycle? Re-usable water bottles! Similar to to-go coffee cups, investing in and utilizing a water bottle that can repeatedly be filled is an efficient and cost-effective way to offset single-use plastic consumption. (Laville)

 

  1. Bamboo is a natural and biodegradable product—lucky for us it’s uses have recently expanded as people have utilized it as a material for bowls, utensils, straws etc. Carrying these bamboo items with you is one of the easiest plastic reducing concepts that only requires a one-time purchase. Keep a set in your car or in your bag so you’re prepared for sustainable snacking.

 

  1. Bamboo—you’re so good! Which is why integrating any and all bamboo products into your living tendencies is anything but harmful. Another easy plastic product alternative is the use of bamboo toothbrushes.

 

  1. Let’s follow California’s lead and ban plastic bags at the grocery store from our personal shopping routines. Reusable bags are all the rave right now—join the party and invest in plastic free grocery runs! Recently, the company 4ocean has created shopping bags made from 100% recycled water bottles if you’re in the market for a sustainable change.

 

  1. The best thing about eating out is having leftovers. The worst thing is when those leftovers are brought out in a Styrofoam or plastic box. Bring your own to-go container for extra food at restaurants and enjoy those leftovers plastic-free.

 

  1. Leave the boxes of single use plastic baggies in the store and try re-usable silicon bags out for size.

 

  1. What’s just as toxic as plastic pollution? Smelly pits! Use raw citrus for natural deodorant and kill two birds with one stone. Simply cut a lemon, lime or grapefruit in half and rub on the inside of your armpits—the acidity of the fruit will kill germs and leave you smelling citrusy fresh. Or even use… ALOE! Have you seen our aloe vera YouTube video?!

 

 

FOOD

 

Food has consistently and habitually been an area of struggle related to waste. In the United States, the population collectively wastes 30-40 percent of their food supply. All while others around the world fight to nourish themselves at all. Knowing, but more importantly understanding numbers like this creates the kind of space needed to begin eliminating wasteful tendencies.

 

  1. Ever see a bruised apple or lonesome banana at the store and pick anything but those particular pieces of produce? Us too, until we learned that produce that doesn’t look all too good is inevitably wasted when it doesn’t sell. Don’t let those perfectly good items of food go to waste—instead, consciously pick them at the store and limit the surplus of thrown away items.

 

  1. Buying items such as seeds, nuts, nut butters, grains, etc. in bulk allows you to skip out on single use plastic wrapping while simultaneously saving money by investing in a greater amount of product at one time.

 

  1. Once you have become friends with the bulk section of the grocery store, you can clean out and re-use glass jars to shop for bulk items sustainably.

 

  1. Eating vegan and personally reducing your demand for animal products is an incredibly powerful opportunity for change. However, if this lifestyle modification isn’t conceivable for your specific needs, make the conscious decision to create vegan meals a few times a week to lessen the impact.

 

  1. While altering eating habits to incorporate a fully vegan diet is sometimes challenging, you can also start slow. Begin by eating vegetarian for as long as is comfortable before making the final shift.

 

  1. Grow some of your own food! Small, manageable gardens are a real way to attain fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables while saving money and reducing your food waste. Below are some tips on how to get more free, organic food!

 

 

  1. If you live in a neighborhood and your garden is producing fruits and vegetables at a rapid rate, collect the produce that would spoil and set it outside your house in a bin with a sign telling others to eat and enjoy.

 

  1. Know your eating habits and needs intimately. In doing this, you’ll better understand how to buy groceries as you need them and thus diminish waste that comes from your fridge.

 

  1. If you have any furry friends, make them food from scratch and show them you care with real, raw ingredients.

 

HOME

 

Home is a safe word. There we should be safe. There we should create safeness. There we must radiate safe behavior onto our external environment. It starts from within. Begin introducing positive habits inside of your home to reduce the risk of impact your home inflicts on its surrounding and distant environment.

 

  1. Hang dry your clothes to save energy while additionally preserving the condition of your clothing.

 

  1. If machine drying your clothes is desired, using dryer balls is a cheaper alternative to dryer sheets. Dryer Balls can last up to one thousand washes and are made of only one material—wool.

 

  1. Adjust your disposal methods to include recycle and compost—then do some research about the recycling plants and municipal composting programs in your community to confirm that you are disposing of your waste at the most efficiently sustainable level.

 

  1. If finding composting programs is difficult in your area, use your compost to stimulate growth in your garden. Putting compost in the soil gives natural and crucial nutrients to your plants.

 

  1. Limit your water use by applying the military shower system into your routine. Quite simply turn the water off while you are applying shampoo or washing your body in order to only use the amount of water essential for your shower.

 

  1. Cook noodles, drain them and then cool the boiling water! As long as the water is unsalted, it is the ideal water to feed to your plants. The starch released into the water from the pasta gives your plants essential vitamins and minerals all while eliminating water waste.

 

  1. You spill some water or a smoothie on the floor—what do you do? That’s right! You grab a washable cloth and get to cleaning. Save the expense of paper towels and throw the dirty rags in with a load of laundry instead.

 

  1. To more resourcefully apply this system, use old clothes as rags around the house to personally recycle old and used material.

 

  1. Purify your air with plants instead of an air purifying machine that requires additional energy. Choosing plants with a particularly large surface area will escalate the efficiency by increasing the amount of toxins the plants consume. Increasing this consumption will accordingly increase the amount of fresh Oxygen they release back to our air. You’ll notice our apartment is full of thrifted furniture… and plants!

 

 

  1. Clothes aren’t the only items you can find at a thrift store. In fact, they might just have everything you could possibly need hidden in those second-hand shelves. Shop for minimalistic home décor, kitchenware, furniture, etc. and give a new home to those saved and salvaged items.

 

PRODUCTS

 

There has been an influx of product in recent years—something to fix everything. The shortcoming of these products is their tendency to be manufactured in plastic and infused with harsh chemicals. There are other options to the disheartening reality of mass-produced products.

 

  1. Make your own cleaner. Making your own products allows you to control what goes in, ensuring that your countertops and surfaces won’t be harmed by any chemicals. An easy two ingredient recipe for glass, counters and steel: fill glass spray bottle with white vinegar and add 20 drops of preferred citrus essential oil.

 

  1. Find homemade recipes for basic cosmetic products that you can store in glass jars. An easy place to start is with homemade toothpaste. Just mix together coconut oil, baking soda and peppermint essential oil for a natural, sustainable product.

 

  1. Evaluate your most regularly used bathroom products in plastic bottles (i.e. shampoo, soap, face wash, etc.) and make an environmentally friendly decision to purchase those products in bar form. Here are some easy  eco-products to implement:

 

 

  1. Bamboo toilet paper is a preferable alternative to regular toilet paper; however, it tends to be more expensive. If you’re not able to compromise on price, the next best thing would be to purchase toilet paper that isn’t wrapped in plastic, but paper instead.

 

  1. If you’re feeling a little funky—or maybe even just a little European—invest in a bidet to eliminate toilet paper waste altogether.

 

  1. If you use make-up, buy organic make-up that isn’t tested on animals.

 

  1. To our lady audience: let’s talk about menstrual cups. And then let’s widen this conversation and talk about menstrual cups to our friends! These cups reduce waste by eliminating the packaging that comes with consistent use of tampons while also benefiting your body as the cup is made of silicon and doesn’t leak any artificial fragrances or chemicals.

 

ENERGY

 

All non-renewable energy gained from the burning of fossil fuels (i.e. coal, oil and natural gas) emits Carbon Dioxide and other greenhouse gases—contributing to global warming through the greenhouse effect. Changing our practices related to energy consumption is a vital part of sustainable transition.

 

  1. Invest in solar panels to generate clean and natural energy for your homes energy supply.

 

  1. If solar panels are a stretch, downsize your living into a smaller space that requires less energy to heat/cool.

 

  1. A convenient way to save energy in your home is to only wash clothes when they are dirty and furthermore when the washing machine is full. Each cycle requires the same amount of energy to fulfill—maximize that opportunity.

 

  1. Delete files, email, etc. that you don’t have a need for from the cloud. It takes energy to store them, even when you can’t physically see it.

 

  1. Sometimes it’s as simple as turning the lights off before you leave a room. Be intentional.

 

  1. Keep your chargers unplugged from the wall—they are constantly demanding energy, even if you aren’t charging a device.

 

LIFE

 

The movement of life creates opportunities for change. It’s our job to keep our eyes open, keep our mind turning and keep listening to the world when it’s so desperately trying to talk to us.

 

  1. Rechargeable batteries are a worthwhile way to power electronics while avoiding the further cluttering of landfills with a product that leaks chemicals into our soil.

 

  1. Grab your bike or throw on your walking shoes for short distance commutes to reduce your carbon footprint.

 

  1. Fast fashion is a dominant outlet for the current clothing industry. Nonetheless, we have the control over what brands we choose to fund and encourage. Doing research prior to purchasing items can guarantee that you are creating demand for sustainable companies and their products rather than contributing to fast fashion.

 

  1. Thrifting is an important mitigation to fast fashion that you have the ability to utilize! Thrifting your clothing allows you to re-use and give love to materials that would otherwise be thrown out.

 

  1. Learn the simple practice of sewing and patching clothes so you’re able to recover and continue using clothes you otherwise might have wasted.

 

  1. Take immediate action against waste pollution and make an effort to pick up trash each day. Waste continuously litters our individual communities, but we have the power to reduce that contamination. Every piece matters.

 

  1. Small businesses are doing some typically sustainable and entirely remarkable things in today’s highly industrialized world. Support them.

 

  1. Giving is one of the most generous and rewarding acts humans can do for other humans. As you make sustainable changes, begin to gift experiences rather than inflicting consumerism by gifting stuff.

 

  1. Refusing unnecessary items and minimizing your ownership of things is the most effective way to succeed in zero waste living.

 

  1. Lastly—stretch, expand and give the knowledge you carry with you every day. This community should be an inviting and eager space to share education and innovative thinking.

 

There’s more. There always will be! That’s the thing about zero-waste and sustainable living—it requires a conscious mind and consistent effort. Be okay with failing. Be okay when others fail! Always continue to do the little things, because sometimes, when they’re all put together, they’re big. Sometimes these little efforts, these little successes, these little moments of sustainable change–matter. (:


Sources

Graber, Amica. “This Infographic Proves That We Have A Towering Coffee Cup         Problem.” Green Future, Green Future, 7 Nov. 2016,             https://greenfuture.io/recycling/coffee-cup.

 

Laville, Sandra, and Matthew Taylor. “A Million Bottles a Minute: World’s Plastic Binge ‘as    Dangerous as Climate Change’.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 28 June        2017, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/28/a-million-a-minute-       worlds-plastic-bottle-binge-as-dangerous-as-climate-change.

 

No Comments

Post A Comment