15 Items to Help You Live More Sustainably in the New Year

Did you catch our post where I broke down the most common New Year's Resolutions and explained how living a sustainable lifestyle encompasses all of them? 

If you not, you've got to give it a read! That post inspired this post which is my top 15 items to kick your new years off sustainably! 

Some of the links below are affiliate links!

1. produce bags: 

If eating healthier is in the cards for 2020, then it's time to load up on produce! And, one of the best ways to avoid those pesky plastic bags is to be equipped with your own! 

Check out these organic cotton mesh produce bags. The tare weight is on the bag which is super handy, and at the end of their life, you can simply toss the bags into the compost.

2. nice knives: 

When you start cutting plastic out of your life, you start making a lot more food. Having a nice set of knives is crucial for quick prep work and getting meals on the table fast! 

Speaking of seasonal meals, have you seen the delicious in-season meals you can make in the month of December

I like these knives because they're made from the same type of material from handle to blade making them very easy to recycle if it ever breaks. But, honestly, you should have these knives for a lifetime as long as you sharpen and take good care of them.  

3. cutting board:

If you're starting to ditch the delivery and cook more at home, you'll need a cutting board to go along with those knives. Can I recommend John Boos

They're a sustainable choice because they have a National Hardwood Lumber Association certification.

All of their butcher block wood is responsibly harvested, and no scrap goes to waste. They use every piece of wood in their product and if anything is leftover they grind it into sawdust and use it as fuel for their boilers and kilns to dry out the lumber. How's that for zero waste? 

 

4. blender: 

My blender is my favorite kitchen tool. I can quickly whip up homemade nut milks, hummus, and of course all different types of smoothies and sauces to prevent food waste. 

When I first started getting more into cooking from scratch and started reducing my overall packaging waste, my blender quickly became my best friend. 

I have a Blendtec which I absolutely LOVE because it has an 8-yr warranty! It's a machine that's absolutely built to last.  

5. sustainable workout wear:

If getting healthier is more your aim, can I recommend some sustainable workout wear? 

When girlfriend collective rolled onto the scene, they were one of the first to take plastic water bottles and turn them into activewear.

I like how detailed their about page is from how their fabric is made to their factories. “Taiwan, where we source all of our post-consumer water bottles, used to be called “Garbage Island". A small island nation of 23 million people, the government saw the danger of ignoring the problem, and through widespread change has transformed Taiwan into a world leader in recycling.”

Check out more sustainable and ethical activewear brands

6. water bottle: 

If you're working out more, then you're going to need a sturdy water bottle.

Check out Klean Kanteen a certified B Corp and member of 1% of the planet so portions of each sale go to an environmental organization.

7. yoga mat: 

Wanting to learn a new skill or pick up a new hobby like yoga in the new year? Here's a sustainable yoga matt made from cork! 

After Cork Oaks have matured enough, highly skilled workers remove the cork bark using large axes, and with great precision, remove only the bark.

Portugal’s carefully regulated cork industry protects the integrity of the environment, while creating high-wage seasonal jobs for more than 10,000 workers annually. Once the bark is removed from the tree, the cork is referred to as planks.

8. cloth towels:

I've found that cotton fabric with a wide weave does a great job of absorbing moisture instead of pushing it around. 

I don't like using microfiber because every time they're washed they release microplastic particles into the waterways. 

If you want to help the planet, save money by throwing away less, and avoid paper towels, check out these organic cotton towels from Coyuchi

9. beeswax wraps:

I can't stand plastic wrap. I think it's a total waste of money, and to be perfectly honest with you... I'm not even sure what it's good for? We never used it in our house simply because it's such a pain to use. 

It doesn't cover bowls or plates very well and always sticks to itself. Instead of reaching for the plastic wrap, why not try a tea towel or beeswax wraps instead. 

If you're using plastic wrap to cover bowls while the bread rises, you can use a tea towel or a beeswax wrap. 

If you're using plastic wrap to save food for later, you can use a beeswax wrap or a Tupperware container.  Beeswrap is a certified B Corp so you can feel great about purchasing from them. 

10. bidet:

Americans flush 27,000 trees every single day. This isn't super great for the environment or for your wallet. So, why not reduce the amount of toilet paper you use with a bidet attachment.

I have a tushy and it's really easy to install at home, and it's honestly been one of my favorite zero-waste

11. fermenting book:

Want to preserve food and prevent food waste? Look no further than fermenting! This helpful guide will get you started with pickling and preserving so you can feast on the harvest all year long. 

12: repair kit:

It's no secret that caring for and maintaining your things is one of the best ways to be more eco-friendly. Learning to stitch on a lost button, mending a hem, or simply giving your leather goods a little self-care will make your belongings last. 

This repair kit is actually on my holiday wishlist because I would love to refresh my leather goods so they'll be shining into 2020 and beyond. 

13. get a library card:

One of the original examples of the sharing economy is the library. It's a place where you can go, check out a book, have it for a short period of time, and then bring it back so someone else to read it.

If you don't already have a library card, why not go get one? Pick up a book or a movie, and get a new one when you're done! It's like Netflix... except in real life, and free. 

14. forest app: 

This is one of my favorite apps for staying present. If you struggle with staying focused and off your phone, the Forest app may be able to help you.

This app helps people beat their phone addiction and manage their time in a productive, pleasant way that actually helps the Earth. 

Users can earn credits by not using their cell phones and plant real trees around the world with the credits. Isn’t that awesome?

15. a planner: 

And, of course, you're going to need a planner. I find that one of the best ways to stick to all of your resolutions is to SCHEDULE them. Actually block out time for reading, for learning a new skill, for spending time with family, etc. 

The more you write down and block out time for what you want to do, the more likely you are to actually do it. 

Check out this amazing sustainable and ethical planner made by Kamea Chayne the host of the Green Dreamer podcast!