I love New Year’s Resolutions; it always seems like the “best” time to start fresh, when everyone is on the same page and is motivated to make their lives better. That being said, I tend to fail and give up on my resolutions. I make big, lofty goals which I, inevitably, become overwhelmed with and never complete. I forget that real life gets in the way. So, this year, I’m focusing on smaller, more attainable resolutions I can more easily incorporate into my day-to-day! Consistency is key in sustainability. Instead of those huge, overwhelming goals, I’m focusing on starting and maintaining smaller habits. Over time, these smaller goals add up and can create a more meaningful impact!
- Do a trash audit.
- Bring your reusable water bottle with you.
- Switch to handkerchiefs.
- Bring your own cutlery.
- Purchase more often from small businesses. Independent grocery stores, clothing, toys, bakeries, coffee shops, craft stores, restaurants… You name it, there’s a small business trying to provide it!
- Keep takeout as a treat.
- Learn about Greenwashing and how to avoid it.
- Switch to reusable cleaning cloths and stop using paper towels.
- Start using reusable napkins.
- Walk, bike, or use public transportation.
- Stay informed.
- Read more social justice or environmentally focused books.
- Bring your reusable shopping bag.
- Try for a “Buy Nothing” month or “Buy Nothing New.”
In the Bathroom
- Invest in a safety razor.
- Start using bar soap.
- Try out a shampoo/conditioner bar.
- Switch to reusable cotton rounds.
- Switch to more sustainable makeup brands.
- Simplify your skin care and shower routine.
- Take shorter showers.
- Invest in an eco-friendly period. Try out a menstrual cup, period undies, or reusable pads!
- Switch to a bamboo toothbrush.
- Try out a bidet!
- Or switch to a recycled paper toilet paper brand.
- Eat one meatless meal per week.
- Try Veganuary if you’re up for the challenge!
- Eat seasonal produce.
- Support local farms/join a CSA.
- Start a balcony/windowsill food garden. Try out some microgreens if you’re low on space and/or sunlight!
- Grow your own herbs. Mint, Rosemary, oregano, and thyme are great for beginners!
- Find recipes to use your food scraps.
- Compost your organics.
- Avoid plastic produce bags.
- Try cloth diapers.
- Opt for glass instead of plastic bottles.
- Buy secondhand clothing.
- Opt for plastic-free toys if you can.
- Use the local library.
- Teach your children about animals and nature.
- Buy fewer toys.
- Switch their food – Purina, Beneful, Friskies, and Fancy Feast are owned by Nestle!
- If you have the option, buy their food in bulk.
- Buy treats in bulk to reduce packaging.
- Make your own treats.
- When it’s time, buy leashes/collars made from recycled or biodegradable materials (ex. soy leashes).
- Buy secondhand or from small businesses.
- Avoid fast fashion.
- Learn how to mend your clothing.
- Learn how to repurpose old clothing.
- Wash your clothes in cold water.
- Hang your laundry to dry.
- If you have to use a drier, switch to wool dryer balls. They reduce static and dry time!
- Swap to an eco friendly detergent. Dropps, Smol, and Tru Earth are all well-regarded brands at this time! We use soap nuts or go to our local refill store for liquid detergent in our house.
Slow Living Resolutions
- Reduce screen time.
- Looks for the hopeful or success stories in the news.
- Reach out to your loved ones. Email, video call, online games (like Drawful 2 or Among Us) are super fun!
- Go for more walks.