There’s no better time for goal setting than the New Year. While many turn towards weight loss or higher productivity goals, we must consider the environment because climate change is a real problem.
Current popular lifestyle changes can help reduce your carbon footprint, like eating well and exercising more. So why not take advantage of the New Year by making a resolution that counts? Let’s make 2023 the year of sustainability with these eco-friendly New Year’s resolutions.
Plan Your Trip With Sustainability in Mind
The new year is an exciting time for travel and exploration opportunities, and it’s easy to get caught up in booking cheap flights or going shopping for a new outfit.
But before you book that trip, plan it with sustainability in mind. That means planning your trip with eco-friendly travel companies that put sustainability and conservation at the forefront of their missions, and learning how you can travel more sustainably.
Buy Food on an As-Needed Basis
More than 108 billion pounds of food is thrown away in the United States every year. One of the best sustainable New Year resolutions that you can make is to only purchase food when you know it will be used to avoid as much food waste as possible. If you have a store near you, this is also a great chance to get out and take a daily walk or bike ride, instead of driving, to grab what you need.
If you do end up with food waste, try composting! Worm composting is a fantastic way to quickly break down food waste into nutrient-rich compost and it can be used in your own garden or tossed back into nature.
Plant a Garden
Did you know that one 600-square-foot garden can produce 300 pounds of produce, worth around $600, each year? Growing your own vegetables is a great way to help reduce your carbon footprint and saves you money.
You also benefit by avoiding synthetic fertilizers and buying produce wrapped in plastic. Home gardening means that you’ll get completely organic veggies for way less than you’d pay for them at the grocery store and reduces your plastic use.
Become a Better Driver
Eco-driving is equipped in some cars, making it easier to know how to drive more efficiently. In challenging economic times, improving gas mileage saves money and decreases our collective dependence on oil.
If your car doesn’t let you know when your driving is “in the green,” a good way to be more efficient is to reduce the amount of fast accelerating and hard braking you do while driving.
Recycling is the easiest, most impactful way to quickly and easily reduce your carbon footprint. It reduces the need for the production of new materials. This includes the work that goes into mining and processing, as well as the production of materials like plastic and glass. Think of all the gas that’s burned by the machines digging, scooping, mining and hauling.
Recycling also cuts out the need for those raw materials to be transported from the source to numerous manufacturing plants across the country, which is another gigantic source of greenhouse gas emissions.
Turn Off Lights
Turning off the lights when you leave a room is a really easy way to reduce the amount of energy you’re using in your home or office. It takes time to get into the habit, but just like any new habit, you have to put some effort in before it becomes second nature. But it’s a habit worth making.
Swap Single-Use for Reusable
We can’t make a comprehensive list of the best New Year resolutions without including the standard swapping of single-use products for reusable ones.
Cleaning supplies are essential, but instead of buying plastic bottles from the store with a lot of chemicals in them, try plastic and chemical-free alternatives. In the bathroom, you can swap single-use essentials like cotton buds for reusable ones. And when it comes to staying hydrated, opting for a reusable stainless steel water bottle is not only better for the planet, but also for your health and wallet.
Order Fewer Items Online
We know. The thought of giving up online shopping entirely is stressful, especially when it’s fast and convenient. But hear us out.
Did you know that 165 billion packages are shipped in the US each year by Amazon alone? Every single item you order requires a cardboard shipping box (made from trees) and emits pollutants during transportation. Now think about the other online retailers you shop from. Consider just how many trees and boxes will be used, and how much pollution will be in the air.