2020 has just begun and, being about a week in, it’s okay if you have yet to decide on your New Year’s resolution! Resolutions are usually focused around bettering ourselves for the year ahead, but when you can do better for others, the planet, and yourself, you really can’t go wrong!
Environmentally-conscious changes may be the way to go for 2020.
1. Shop conscious brands. If your 2020 goal is to make more earth-conscious decisions, then you should give your money to people and companies that feel the same. For clothing and beauty products alike, there are easy ways to shop more consciously. The most important thing you can do before purchasing is to research the brand. They should have ethical practices when it comes to sourcing materials, their employees, and the environment.
2. Switch out your contacts. If you’ve already tackled buying from ethical clothing and make-up brands, you can still go further. Think about your health products; what are your toothpaste, floss, or even contact lenses like? For example, you can switch your daily contact lenses to a brand that uses less plastic than other lens providers and practices sustainability.
3. Eat local. It’s definitely convenient to shop at your big-name grocery stores, but when possible, try to support local farmers or family-owned shops. During the summer months, go to a farmer’s market for fresh produce and then head to a locally owned store for other items you may need. This can help reduce your carbon footprint and you’ll feel good knowing that you are supporting people that live in your community!
4. Use reusable grocery bags. Reusable grocery bags are an easy eco-friendly change to make to your regular life. Lots of stores sell them now, so pick some up to reduce regular plastic bag use the next time you’re shopping. Keep them in your car at all times so you don’t forget to bring them to the store when you shop!
5. Buy a reusable water bottle. Making the change from single-use water bottles to a reusable one can be a big adjustment. However, there are so many pros for ditching the single-use ones! Metal water bottles help keep your beverage colder, longer. Reusable water bottles are also usually bigger than single-use, so you don’t have to fill it up as often as you’d have to go grab another bottle of water. And, of course, the environmental, health, and financial effects of having a reusable bottle are astounding.
6. Start composting. Composting is a huge step to take in living a more sustainable lifestyle and, if you’re already an avid recycler, then this may be the right step for you to take in 2020! If you have a garden, composting can save you money on buying fertilizer, but it’s beneficial even if you don’t. If you just want to take steps in living sustainably, then add your compost to potted plants or find out if you can donate your compost to farmers in your area.
7. Swap light bulbs. This eco-friendly swap is probably one of the easier ones you can start to make. Go to the store and stock up on LED light bulbs, so you can swap them with the ones you currently use when they go out to conserve energy in your home.
8. Alternate modes of transport. Try to start by dedicating one day a week to using public transportation to get to work and around town. Whether it’s the train or bus, this can help you reduce your carbon footprint and save money on gas. You can take it a step further by riding your bike or carpooling with coworkers too!
9. Use non-toxic cleaners. Using non-toxic household cleaning supplies helps keep these chemicals out of your home for the safety of your family and pets. Additionally, buying cleaners in the store increases your plastic waste. Consider making your own cleaning supplies and using reusable textiles to clean up around the house.
10. Volunteer your time. Make an attempt to volunteer once a month to a non-profit that supports the environment. This may be picking up trash, planting trees, or even volunteering to work at a state park. No matter what you chose, make it something you enjoy doing!
If New Year’s resolutions aren’t normally your thing, then try making a change that’s not all about you. Throughout 2020, you will find that picking a few of these small changes can have a big effect on your lifestyle and how you treat the planet.