Have a Eco Friendly New Year With These 11 Easy Goals
This past year has been a huge year of changes and growth. I got married, I quit my job, I’ve travelled for volunteer work, I’ve even started this blog! 2019 will bring many exciting challenges as well, I have many goals for this blog and plans to grow it this year. I will also be embarking on my first ever international trip this year (I’m so excited!). Who knows what else this year will bring. Yet as 2018 draws to a close I am looking ahead to a more sustainable and eco friendly new year on the horizon.
You can look ahead too with these 11 tips for an eco friendly new year.
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1. Bring Reusable bags!
Very likely this is not a new concept for you, in fact you probably have your own reusable bags already! But, do you always remember them? I know I don’t. Make it your goal this year to remember your reusable bags! One tip that has helped me is to put some in the car or purse so that you always have some if you need to do last minute shopping. If you don’t have any reusable bags you can start by reusing plastic ones you get from the grocery store until you can buy some. Often times you can find some options for bags at the store itself, yet they are often made of plastic too. If you really want to steer clear of plastic bags I recommend these organic cotton bags for shopping! They are so cute and eco friendly!
2. Reusable Bottle/Mug
This is another item you are likely familiar with and probably already have, yet make the most of your reusable bottle this year! Bring your bottle with your and fill up with water as you go! Most places you go will likely have public water fountains which are great areas to refill your reusable bottle. You can also bring reusable mugs when visiting coffee or tea shops and have them fill it up so you can enjoy your favorite drink without producing waste! Not only does this save our planet from further plastic bottle pollution but it also saves you money! I personally love hydroflask bottles as they keep liquids insulated for hours and hours and they come in great colors.
3. Compost food scraps
Composting has truly been the greatest way that I have reduced my waste this past year and I plan on doing it even better this next year! If you have never composted it’s actually quite simple and there are lots of easy tips out there for doing it at home! Now if you are like me and don’t have a yard to put a compost bin in it’s ok you can still compost! To learn more about composting without a yard, check out my post here.
4. Choose Plastic Free!
When you shop look for plastic free options. Do you need the plastic bag of apples or can you pick them out individually? Is that sauce you love available in a can or a glass container instead of the plastic one? Can you buy the ingredients plastic free and just make it yourself at home instead of buying it packaged? Items made of glass or metal (like tin cans) have a huge recycling market because they can be broken down and recycled indefinitely. yet, plastic has a small market for recycling because it costs more to recycle than to make new and it can only be recycled so many times. So when given the option-opt for plastic free!
5. Try Second Hand Clothing
We waste crazy amounts of garments each year and buying new uses many resources to create the product. Why not try buying second hand? Sure it may not be as glamorous but think of all the resources you save by not buying a new item and using something that already exists! Plus buying secondhand is becoming a trend, you can buy items in nearly new condition for a much cheaper price on online thrifting stores like poshmark and ebay. You can learn more about this on my post here.
6. Plant a Tree!
Trees help clean our air by absorbing pollutants and producing oxygen. Tress help fight the effects of global warming as well by reducing the amount of carbon emissions. Planting trees can help us to have cleaner air and a cleaner planet. Since the oxygen trees produce go into our atmosphere it doesn’t matter where in the world a tree is it still helps our planet. Because of theis, you can help by simply planting a tree in your own yard! If you don’t have a yard you could help a friend plant one in their yard, or plant one in a community garden. If neither of these are options look online for organizations that plant trees in your area a volunteer with them!
7. Pick Up Trash
Trash pollution is terrible and it is everywhere. Simply properly disposing of trash can reduce the chances of it ending up in our environments and our oceans. So set a goal for yourself to pick up some trash you see. Do you have a goal to go on a walk everyday? Set a eco friendly new year goal to pick up three pieces of trash every time you go on your walks! Or try a weekly goal of ten pieces of trash a week, etc. Think of how much you will save by the end of the year! You could make a difference in your community.
8. Meatless Mondays!
This is another great and easy way to have an eco friendly new year. Plan one day a week to have no meat and/or dairy! Because the meat industry is one of the leading causes of greenhouse gas emissions, reducing the amount you eat can actually help prevent further negative effects of global warming. Get creative and try out just one day a week and see how it goes! Who knows, maybe you will like it so much you will one day cut it out entirely!
9. Say NO to Palm Oil
Palm oil is in almost everything, from food to beauty products! Yet the palm oil industry is extremely unsustainable and is destroying forests and homes for animals like the Orangutan and the Tiger. It is largely due to the palm oil industry that these animals are becoming critically endangered. These beautiful creatures are losing their homes at alarming rates all for an ingredient that is not even necessary. When buying packaged foods and beauty products look for items that are palm oil free, and get familiar with all the terms for palm oil so that you can avoid it.
10. Find Your Tribe
This next year look for and befriend others who also wish to have an eco friendly new year. This will give you a sense of responsibility with your new goals and can even encourage you to make more goals and to do better. Find your support group. If you aren’t sure where to start looking, leave a comment below! We can all be a tribe!
11. Be Positive!
Ghandi didn’t say “force the change you wish to see in the world”, he said “be the change”. Forcing our opinions on others will get you no where. Promoting love and kindness, although maybe having slower results, will have much better results in the long run. There is enough negativity in the world, we don’t need any more.
So, whatever 2019 brings I know that I can have an eco friendly new year and you can too if you follow these 11 steps. What tips did you especially enjoy? What goals do you have for the new year? Share with me in the comments!