How Sustainable Living Checks off All Your New Year's Resolutions

NEW YEAR, NEW YOU! Or something like that right? 

I'm going to be perfectly honest with you... I don't like the idea of New Year's Resolutions.... maybe it's because no one sticks with them?? 

I don't know, I just feel like if you want to make a change - do it. There's no need to wait until a specific time of year to take action. Get started the moment you feel inspired.

But, if the spirit moves you the first of Jan, then the spirit moves you the first of Jan - who am I to complain? 

I wanted to round up the most common new year's resolutions and show you that living a more sustainable lifestyle can help you accomplish each and every one. Here are the top seven in order. 

  1. Eat Healthier 
  2. Exercise More
  3. Save Money
  4. Learn a new hobby or skill
  5. Quit smoking
  6. Read more
  7. Spend more time with family and friends

1. Eat Healthier:

When you switch to a zero-waste lifestyle, you avoid single-use plastic packaging. And, without having easy access to chips, cookies, soda, fast food, and most delivery options - you're probably going to drastically change the way you eat. 

Instead of opting for over-packaged and processed foods, you'll shift towards whole, plant-based foods. And, while getting used to cooking a few hours a week might be a bit of a lifestyle shift, it's going to be pretty rewarding! 

Besides, you wanted to eat healthier anyway so why not do it in a sustainable way. 

2. Exercise More:

You want to exercise more? AWESOME! I've got a few great ideas for incorporating some more exercise into your daily routines. Instead of hitting the gym, why not change the way you commute?

We all know relying on fossil fuels isn't super great so ditch your gas-guzzling vehicle for your own two feet or riding your bike to work. That's what I call a win-win-win-win. 

Now, I know this isn't going to be feasible for everyone, but I go by the 30-minute rule. If it's under a 30-minute walk, I walk or bike instead of hopping into a car.

How does that sound? Think you could spare 30 minutes a day to get in shape and help the planet? 

3. Save Money:

You can save a BUNCH of money if you just stop paying for trash. The average American throws out 4.4lbs of trash each day, and that adds up to a huge environmental problem. 

On top of that, who wants to spend money on something they throw away? We're led to believe that throwing things away makes our lives more convenient and saves time, but I would like to seriously challenge that. 

Once I stopped paying for trash my life became way more simple, and I actually saved time. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Stop ordering delivery food (so much packaging and you have to pay a hefty delivery surcharge)
  2. Ditch the paper towels
  3. No more aluminum foil
  4. Skip the plastic wrap
  5. Get a bidet

And, this is all the tip of the iceberg. Check out our blog post on saving money and the planet.

 

4. Learn a New Skill: 

It's been proven time and time again that the secret to having a happier life is to opt for experiences instead of things.

And, of course, accumulating a bunch of stuff isn't super great for the environment so instead of going shopping on the weekend learning a new skill is a great way to reduce your environmental impact. 

A few skills I think would be beneficial to reducing your impact on the environment:

  1. fermenting and preserving food to avoid food waste 
  2. learning to sew and repair your clothes
  3. taking a few cooking classes to prepare food from scratch
  4. learning another language
  5. learning a musical instrument

Learning a language or instrument might not have any direct impact on sustainable living, but neither of them has a large waste footprint and are fun! 

5. Quit Smoking: 

Did you know the most common item found on beach cleanups is cigarette butts?

While they look like paper, they're actually plastic. The filter is made up of tons of tiny pieces of plastic that shed microplastic pieces when they get into the waterways. One butt can contaminate 200 liters of water! So, if you're looking for another excuse to quit, #SaveTheTurtles.

6. Read More: 

You know a great way to read more AND save money? Check out your local library! Libraries are a great example of the sharing economy. 

By sharing, we're keeping our precious resources in play much longer which is way more eco-friendly than buying something using it a few times and then throwing it away. 

Check out our blog post on 7 Ways You Can Join the Sharing Economy. 

7. Spend More Time with Friends and Fam: 

One of my favorite things about living a more sustainable life is that I have time for the things that truly matter. Hanging out with my friends and fam is something that happens pretty naturally.

I know that so many people view eco-friendly living as time-consuming, but I promise you, it's anything but! You're cutting out all of the excess and focusing your time and energy on what truly matters the most to you. 

And, if you're interested in exercising more and learning a new skill, these are both great activities to do with loved ones!