A simple list of 12 Sustainable New Year's Resolutions. Whether you are wanting to live a little greener, eco-friendly, or start a journey to zero waste this new year. One goal a month is easy to do and will make a positive impact for the year ahead.
1. Quit Disposable Straws
I'm still getting caught out by unexpected straws and I hate it. The new goal is to start saying 'Can I have that without a straw please?' every single time I order a drink. This is going to be tricky to remember, so I'll be starting this one straight away and make it my main goal for January as my New year's resolution.
Maybe your goal isn't straws, but think of the one single-use thing that seems to catch you out more than you would like. Here are a few more ideas on how to have Waste Free Drinks on-the-go
2. Plant or grow something New
We all know greenery is great for our surrounds and can even make us feel happier and healthier. We will be planting some oat seeds at our place that we received a while ago, so the kids can watch how they grow over the summer break, and slowly add to our indoor and outdoor plants throughout the year. You might even want to try some windowsill gardening.
3. Start A Zero Waste Challenge
The War on Waste Challenge will take you through simple steps to reduce your household waste AND recycling across key areas in your life.
I'm always on a mission to cut back on waste, and aiming to reduce trash and recycling is a fantastic goal. You can start slow and it's a new year's resolution that can keep you challenged the entire year. Choose one thing a week or a month to change for a more zero waste option or just a low waste option. It's all about fitting your personal goals into steps that work for your lifestyle.
4. Remember Your Reusables
If you're anything like our family, this requires more than just a scheduled reminder on your phone. I'm pretty good at keeping shopping bags in my boot, and a coffee cup in the glove box at all times, but not so great on remembering the small things.
Reusable produce bags, cutlery and a few small containers just in case I make a quick stop while I'm out, will really make a difference over the year.
Aim to make this an automatic habit, like grabbing your purse, or keys. I'm even considering making a tailored grab bag with slots for the regular items I need, so it is obvious what I'm missing.
5. Make a Plastic-Free Product Swap
This is another sustainable action that is simple and worthwhile, often saving money in the long-term.
This past year, I've made numerous swaps to more sustainable options and my next big move is safety razors (and hopefully I can convince my partner to hop on board too!).
Picking one product swap at a time and giving yourself a chance to adjust and alter until its successful is often better than changing a hundred things and making it too hard on yourself. Here are some of my favourite eco-friendly products.
6. Eat More Whole Foods
Making a switch to eat more whole foods this year will have health benefits as well as environmental.
We all know we should eat far more vegetables, fruits, nuts and legumes and these are the most easily found foods in stores that allow you to use your own containers or bags. Processed and packaged foods contain loads more salt, preservatives and fake flavours, plus the packaging is generally plastic inside more plastic.
Doing this action for 1 month will set you up for incorporating it into your daily life. One example I have started doing is to replace crackers with carrots, its simple, cheap and takes little time to implement.
7. MAKE Something You Would Normally Buy
This one can be adventurous as you like and could be food or product based. You can make bread, butter and wine, here you will find some low effort food recipes that help you avoid packets.
Go for something interesting and rewarding and bonus points for fun factor! Making eco-friendly glitter is the latest thing for us, not that we buy it very often, it is just something we don't want to purchase again, and it sparkles!
8. Do Something in Your Community
Acting locally can help make your community more sustainable, and it doesn't have to have an environmental focus at all.
Maybe you are able to volunteer on a project or for a charity, join a community garden, help out at a little library, or perhaps you will pick up one piece of trash every time you go for a walk. One thing I did this year was a Soupahero Challenge .......and ate soup for an entire week, to raise funds for homeless and those at risk. If everyone took a community minded action, no matter how small, the world would be a better place for it.
9. Learn a New Skill
This might help you achieve some of the other items in the list. Having more skills gives you the freedom to make, fix or do things yourself, and of course be more sustainable.
Think of something that really appeals to you. It could be fixing your own bike, hanging a picture, learning to sew, or learning something from your grandmother (Older generations have some seriously valuable knowledge, so get it while you can!).
You could also try a few of these:
10. Take on a Short Term Challenge
This is great for motivation as well as the potential to compete with friends while doing something positive. It can be as simple as ride your bike to work day, Plastic Free July or participating in Earth Hour.
Remember to choose something that suits the amount of time and effort you can realistically devote to your cause. I created a super easy, printable, 30 day challenge you might want to try. (Subscribe below to download a free copy)
11. Visit Your Library
I can never say this enough, but libraries are awesome and full of books, music, games, magazines plus fun activities for kids and adults. If you aren't yet a member of your local library, please make this your first goal.
This is a perfect place to get hold of knowledge you need to become more sustainable, not to mention access to the latest books, movies and music for free and zero waste. (Unless you have a puppy and he eats one of your books, and now you have to go and confess the sin and probably pay up....but that's probably just me!).
If your a fan of audio books, ask if your library has a free app to borrow and download them on your device. My library uses OneDrive and Libby which is brilliant.
12. Get Into Nature
Don't just look at the world, get out into your parks, botanic gardens, beaches or just stargazing in your backyard.
Take the time to get some sunlight, fresh air and feel the grass under your feet. There's nothing like the outdoors to lift your mood and remind us that we are just a small part of the world, yet have the potential to make a big impact!
What are you hoping to achieve this year?
Looking for a little more inspiration, then check out these other sustainable ideas: