Many of us are glad that we will soon be done with 2020 and are eager to welcome a new year. This has probably been one of the most challenging years. Well goodbye, 2020…hello, 2021!
As we usher in the new year, we look forward to a renewal, characterized by new year's resolutions. Letʻs try to be even more eco-savvy and reduce our carbon footprint. The decisions that we will make in 2021 and beyond will go a long way in making the world a better place.
Here is a look at 20 simple and doable eco-friendly new year resolutions to consider:
#1: Start using a reusable water bottle
Of the more than one million plastic bottles purchased globally every minute, only nine percent are recycled. The remaining bottles end up in oceans and landfills, potentially harming wild land and aquatic animals and living organisms in the soil. To prevent that from happening, start using a reusable glass or stainless steel bottle.
#2: Cut back on the meat
Going on a 100 percent veggie may be a bit of a challenge, however, you can still be eco-friendly by reducing your usual meat intake. If you are used to consuming meat every day of the week, try to spread out the frequency. This aids in biodiversity, greenhouse gas emissions, and possibly your overall health.
#3: Skip the palm oil
We have been losing precious tropical forests at a rapid pace, and humanity may not ever be able to revive them. The best thing to do now is to reduce their speedy extinction by saying no to palm oil.
# 4: Eat local
Greenhouse gases continue to have a negative effect on the world. Mass food production and its subsequent transportation are contributing factors. You can help lessen this by sourcing locally grown produce. Youʻll be surprised what you can find in your hometown.
What do you usually do after using a plastic straw or utensils? Probably throw them away, right? Times this action by the millions of other individuals who do the same and it ends up being a lot of unnecessary waste, including manufacturing and even recycling of these products. The next time you order takeout, politely request to hold the utensils and “BYOU” - bring your own utensils.
#6: Consider marine life
Whenever you wash your car either at home or professionally, check the label on the cleaning product to see if they contain harmful chemicals that may affect marine life. Whatever enters storm drains end up in the ocean.
#7: Only use natural cosmetics
Buy cosmetics made from natural and organic ingredients. The carcinogens and components found in conventional cosmetics help our planet and are even known to affect fertility and bring about breast cancer.
#8: Embrace second hand
Purchasing second hand items like clothing, kitchenware, home décor, etc. prevents them from ending up in landfills. Youʻll be amazed at what you can find thrift shopping locally or online too. Plus, you can potentially save money instead of buying these items new from the store. You can also give away your unwanted items to those in need or sell them online.
#9: Share a ride
Driving yourself to the office increases the emission of greenhouse gases. When traveling far, consider taking public means of transport or carpooling. If it's a close distance, walk or ride a bike. This has health benefits too.
#10: Get an organic mattress
Since you spend a more significant part of your life sleeping, detoxify it by purchasing an organic mattress. Organic mattresses are devoid of synthetic materials and harmful chemicals.
#11: Create the habit of using a reusable bag
When you go out for groceries or shopping, carry along a reusable bag. Always leave one in your purse for unforeseen purchases, and keep reusable bags in your glove box.
#12: Recycle often
If you have been recycling for a while now, consider taking your eco-conscious efforts to the next level in 2021. Through recycling, you get to cut on the waste that goes to the incinerators, landfills and save on energy.
#13: Upcycle first
Be creative and brilliantly re-use products that you would normally throw away. Think out of the box to have success with this. Maybe you could use it in your garden or do a fun craft project with your kids or friends.
#14: Avoid impulse buying
Before purchasing something, think twice about whether you need it. Impulse buying can be one of the reasons you end up with lots of waste. If you do not need something, put it back.
#15: Sun-dry your laundry
After doing a load of laundry in the washer, pump the auto-pilot brakes. Instead, sundry your laundry. It may take less than a day for the laundry to dry and will go a long way in cutting back on carbon dioxide from dryers and your electricity bill.
#16: Wear clothes made from microfibers
The next time you want to change your wardrobe, look for clothes made from microfibers like organic cotton and hemp since these do not create as much of a carbon footprint like synthetic fibers do.
#17: Grab a rag
Spills happen, and paper towel trash can add up quickly. Try to opt for cleaning towels or rags that you can wash and reuse.
#18: Make your bathroom eco-friendly
Use soap, conditioners and shampoos that are eco-conscious. Donʻt forget about the cleaning products under your sink too! There are eco-friendly alternatives to these also.
#19: Check your fridge
How often do you throw away old food or expired canned products? Minimize food waste by eating what you already have, including leftovers or using produce or frozen items before they go bad. It can help save you money, too.
#20: Cell Phone Waste
Do you have a drawer filled with old cell phones? Instead of tossing them, recycling them, or taking up space in your home, consider handing them down to your children, a niece or nephew, your neighbor, friend, etc. One man's trash is another man's cell phone.
#21: Consider joining a conservation effort
You can make 2021 better than ever by being a part of your local conservation efforts. You do not necessarily need to give money. Setting aside the time to participate in such effort's will prove worthwhile. Your help can make a positive difference in your community, and volunteering is also said to help physical and mental health.
Hereʻs to an eco-friendlier us in 2021...Mahalo!