This year I want to make 12 eco-friendly New Years resolutions that will help me further my journey to being zero waste and living an environmentally friendly lifestyle. These are reflective of where I am on the journey, not quite a beginner but certainly not a pro. Hopefully, they inspire you to consider where you are on your journey and come up with a couple of resolutions that fit where you are in the lifestyle change.
Use Electronics 1 Hour Less Each Day
I use electronic devices a lot. All-day every day would be the perfect way to describe my usage. For most things, I am using my PC including work, blogging, and watching Youtube. But I also have my phone on me ALL THE TIME. This means I am constantly using power. Not only is that bad for my health because it impacts my sleep and my eyesight, but it’s also bad for the environment too. So it is going to be the first of my eco-friendly New Years resolutions to use my electronics 1 hour less every day. I may even take that a step further and turn off everything in my house except for the fridge. What will I do with this extra hour? Enjoy the sun, go for a walk, or just sit and chat with my husband.
Find a Local Compost Drop-Off
Because I live in an apartment composting isn’t something I can engage in on my own. The complex doesn’t seem interested in starting a composting program so I am going to look for people in my neighborhood who might have a compost pile they’d like added to or a compost drop-off program. Unfortunately, where I am composting hasn’t become very mainstream yet so I may not be able to find somewhere. If I don’t find anywhere nearby that is willing to take my compost scraps then I may consider trying out worms instead.
Make 1 Plastic-Free Swap Every Month
Despite trying to live a more eco-friendly, zero-waste lifestyle there is still a lot of plastic in my life. So every month I would like to make 1 swap to a plastic-free option. One of the biggest challenges I’d like to tackle is sourcing meat that doesn’t come wrapped in plastic. I’m eating a lot less meat than I used to but it’s still a lot of plastic waste. I’m also going to switch to canned wet food for my cats. What else will I do? I’m not sure yet! But I’ll be posting about it on social media throughout the year as it happens so if you want to follow me on this adventure follow me there.
Plant More Flowers for the Bees
Bees play such an important role in our society and they’re such fragile creatures. They need our help. That’s why I was really happy to be supplying them with a bunch of bee-friendly flowers this year. But next year I want to do more! They really loved the lavender and the catnip this year so I’ll be planting more of that for sure. I’m not sure what else though. I’ll be planning my garden next week.
Eat Vegan Once a Week
This year I’ve been trying to eat Vegan at least one day a week but I’ll be honest, I’m not always successful. I do try to make my lunches plant-based throughout the week but I want to extend that even further and have one day of nothing but vegan eating. This will mean doing more meal planning in advance. This is one of the most important eco-friendly new years resolutions to me personally because I haven’t succeeded so far.
Get Outside in Nature Once a Month
I don’t get outside in nature nearly enough, especially when the weather is cold and miserable. But I want to change that this year. I’m going to make it my mission to get outside and enjoy nature at least once a month. This will include going on hikes, going to the beach, or just going to a really big park. The goal is to get away from the house, away from society, and just take in the beauty of nature. I will also bring a trash bag with me because let’s be honest, there is going to be trash and why not spend that time making the world a little bit cleaner?
Grow My Own Food
This year I experimented a little bit with growing my own food on my apartment balcony. I wouldn’t call it a huge success but it was enough of a success that I want to try growing even more next year. Now I know that I’m going to want a whole lot more radishes, I didn’t have much success with onions but I do want to try planting potatoes. They’ll be plastic-free, locally sourced, and their carbon footprint will be small. A win all around!
This year I really want to put an emphasis on shopping locally. This means buying products that are made within 100 miles of where you live. For me, that isn’t always going to be easy because a lot of things that I love like avocados and almonds just won’t grow where I am. That’s why I’m making it a year-long goal. I’ll be transitioning away from rice, one of my favorites, to locally grown potatoes. (Hopefully my own!) One thing I know I won’t be getting locally is my cat food. My cats love their Royal Canin and I won’t take that from them. We are also planning on trying out some locally made raw cat food if and when our vets across the street start stocking it. We give our cats a combination of wet food and dry food.
Switch to Reusable Pads
For the last couple of years I’ve been looking at making the switch to reusable sanitary pads and I want 2020 to be the year I finally pull the trigger and make that leap. There have been a number of small things that have kept me from doing it so far but honestly, they feel like they’re just excuses. I’m planning on starting with 1 just to try it out this month. No, that won’t see me through my period, but it will ensure that I am happy and haven’t wasted a whole lot of money on products I end up not liking. If it goes well I’ll get another in February and keep adding to my collection throughout the year.
Wait 2 Weeks Before Buying Anything
Last year my husband and I bought a waffle iron and since we’ve had it we have only used it a few times. This isn’t because we don’t love waffles, we really do. But it’s the type of waffle iron that only makes one waffle at a time and it takes FOREVER to cook. It was an impulse buy that I regret now. We tend not to be impulse buyers generally speaking, but from time to time we do make mistakes we later regret. That’s why this year I want to wait 2 weeks before I buy anything and really spend some time reflecting on if I need that thing or not. By planning our purchases ahead of time and waiting on anything we feel like impulse buying we’re hoping to cut back on how much we spend and how much we buy. Which in the end is helping the environment.
Switch to Reusable Toilet Paper Alternatives for Number One
Reusable toilet paper. The very idea is enough to make your skin crawl and if it does, that’s ok! You don’t have to make that switch if you aren’t ready to. I’m only partially making the transition myself and I’m not going to force it on anyone else in my house. But for my own personal use, I’d like to start using cloth toilet wipes for when I’ve done my business but only for peeing not for poo. Both bathrooms in my house will still be fully stocked with toilet paper. But our house will be using less of it. Who knows, I might end up converting others too!
Talk More About What I’m Doing to Help
I’m generally a little bit on the quiet side when it comes to talking about my life choices with friends and family. But I think that it’s important for people to talk about the things they’re doing to help the environment as it inspires people to see that real-life people are taking action and changing their lives. So, the final part of my Eco-Friendly New Years resolutions for 2020 is simply to talk more about the things I’m doing. Not everyone will understand my choices and that’s ok. But my hope is that through exposure I’ll be able to convert people, even if it’s just getting them to stop drinking bottled water.
So, those are my 12 Eco-Friendly New Years resolutions for 2020. But my list is going to look completely different from yours because we aren’t all at the same place in our journey. I’d love to know what you’re doing to be more eco-friendly this year, let me know in the comments below.