We’ve reached the time of year where many people begin to brainstorm on New Year’s resolutions. If you’re looking to become more aware of your environmental impact and practice sustainability in 2021, you’ve come to the right place.
Whether you already have a passion for the health of our planet, or you’re interested to learn more and want to determine how you can help, we applaud you. No matter where you are on your journey, this guide for sustainable New Year’s resolutions is a great resource for you.
But first, we wanted to talk about the importance of setting goals. Goals help define what’s important to you. They help you identify your core values and dreams, while keeping you motivated in pursuing them.
We all know how common it is for someone to have their heart set on a New Year’s resolution, but as time passes that resolution becomes less and less important, and is no longer a priority. I think most of us can say “guilty” to that one. It happens!
It’s important to keep your determination high and follow tips on how to set goals effectively that we’ve outlined in our article, The Importance Of Setting Both Personal And Professional Goals.
Now, let’s get to the fun part. There are countless ways to practice sustainability in your everyday life, but we wanted to highlight our top 10. These sustainable new year’s resolution examples come directly from our team, and are baked into our everyday lives.
- Eliminate paper towels
- Instead, try using rags, a sponge or cloth napkins.
- Eliminate single use plastics
- Avoid plastic bags.
- At the grocery store, ask for paper bags or better yet, bring your own reusable bags.
- Instead of zip lock bags, use tupperware.
- Make coffee at home instead of grabbing one at the coffee shop which will most likely come in a styrofoam or plastic cup.
- Avoid disposable silverware when possible.
- If you love your straws, buy a reusable stainless steel or glass one. Or, when you’re out at a restaurant, ask them for no straw!
- Many household items (such as laundry and dish detergent) come in cardboard packaging. Try this over plastic packaging.
- Use reusable water bottles. Set up a filter in your house to fill your reusable water with and eliminate the need for single use plastic water bottles!
- Try composting
- You’ll feel good knowing that your food waste is being put to good use, instead of piling up in a landfill.
- Look into your town’s compost offering. One of our employees, Jacqui, uses a local residential composting service – Mr. Fox Composting. They provide you with a bin for your food waste, and empty your bin every week or every other week depending on what you prefer, then they make soil out of it!
- Grow your own produce
- If you have the opportunity to grow your own fruit, vegetable, and herbs, take advantage of it! It’s a fun hobby and we bet you’ll learn something in the process.
- Cook more
- Lessen the amount of meals you have at a restaurant. You will go home with less takeout containers, and you will absolutely save some money.
- Look into local markets, these are fun to shop at and it supports local businesses!
- Make the right sized portions to eliminate food waste.
- Think before you buy
- Really stop and think, do I NEED this?
- Is there an alternative to what you’re considering buying with less packaging/plastic?
- Drive less
- Shop at local stores closer to home.
- Plan your shopping ahead to lessen your trips out of the house every week. For example, you can avoid multiple trips to the grocery store by getting everything you need for the week at once.
- Shop local
- Support your local community and small business owners.
- Save energy
- Turn off lights when they’re not needed or when you leave a room. And, make the switch to LED or CFL light bulbs. It can make a big difference on your electric bill!
- Take shorter showers.
- Wash full loads – this goes for both dishwashers and washing machines.
- Invest in a programmable thermostat. This will allow you to set your heat or air conditioning to run only when you need it, saving both energy and money.
- Spread the word
- Share your accomplishments and milestones with your circle!
- Create a network of sustainable thinkers.
Setting goals, experiencing milestones, and achieving those goals is extremely rewarding. Better yet, if your resolution(s) focus on practicing sustainability, you reaching your goal can help make our planet a better/healthier place to live..it’s a win-win.
The last recommendation in our list of 10 sustainable New Year’s resolutions is a really important one. Tell your family and friends about your achievements, what you’ve learned along the way – what you love and maybe what you don’t love so much. Spread the word about your dedication and we guarantee you will inspire someone in some way.
Our team continues to build sustainable goals of our own. And we can honestly say that the sustainability that we’ve already instilled into our everyday lives, has stuck. These aren’t goals that we ‘tried out’ for a few short weeks. They matter to us because they have an impact on the health of our planet. So, these goals have turned into habits.
What sustainable habits will you form?