It’s nearly the end of the year. It’s gone by so fast. At least with me. And like always you should try to set some goals for the coming year. Unfortunately, most people give up on their New Year’s resolution after a month or so which is not good. How about you switch it up this year and set yourself some realistic eco-friendly, sustainable resolutions and make the world a better place?
The reason most resolutions fail is that people try to implement a big lifestyle change overnight. That’s not possible. If you want to change yourself, do it in small steps. If you are consistent, you will soon see big changes.
Here are some goals you could set for yourself. You can pick one or a couple to start with and then go from there. Some are harder than others so it depends on how much dedication and motivation you have. They are all feasible, however. It’s all about gradual change.
01. Switch to reusable bags
Ok, let’s start with an easy sustainable New Year’s resolution. It might even be the easiest one on this list. There’s no excuse for still using single-use plastic bags. Make the switch to reusable bags in 2021. Take your own reusable to the supermarket and to every other shop.
02. Become plastic-free
Ditching plastic altogether will require a bit more commitment. It’s hard to be plastic-free in our society since nearly all food and items are packaged in plastic. However, it’s not totally impossible.
Even if you can’t totally become plastic-free, make it your goal to at least reduce your use of plastic. There are various ways to do this. Ditching single-use plastic is the first step.
03. Declutter your wardrobe
Start the year by decluttering your wardrobe. Simplify it and create your own capsule wardrobe. Enter the new year with a defined style.
04. Become a minimalist
Are you familiar with minimalism? It’s a great way of life that goes against the normal consumerist lifestyle. I started this lifestyle around a year ago and I’m loving it. It has many benefits. It can give you freedom and make you a happier person. It’s time to reject excessive consumerism and get a hold of your life. Only have and do things that add value to your life.
05. Learn to cook
Learn how to cook so you can stop eating out all the time. It’s not as tricky as you might think. There are many recipes which only require a handful of ingredients. Cooking at home is cheaper, healthier, and better for the planet. Also, did I mention that it’s so much fun?
06. Switch to a plant-based diet
We couldn’t talk about sustainable resolutions without, talking about reducing your meat intake. I’m sure you’ve heard it before but reducing your meat intake lowers your environmental impact the most compared to other lifestyle changes.
What better year to switch to a plant-based diet? The planet is suffering and we all need to play our part in this crisis. Start by cooking yourself vegan or vegetable meals once a week and take it from there. As time goes on cook more vegan/vegetarian meals and try to eliminate as many animal products from your diet as you can.
07. Declutter your life
I suggested that you could declutter your wardrobe but if you are up for it, you could take it a step further and declutter your whole life. This includes physical items in your house but also how you spend your time. Stop doing things you hate. Remove what is sucking your energy, your money, and your time. There are many reasons why you should consider decluttering. Just to name a few, it makes your life less stressful and you gain a lot of lost time.
08. Reduce your carbon footprint
Reduce your personal footprint by doing small little things like biking instead of driving, buying local ingredients, and eating a plant-based diet. Click here to find a downloadable infographic with many tips to reduce your own personal carbon footprint.
09. Simplify your life
Slow down and simplify your life. Stop wasting so much time in front of a screen, stop chasing new trends, and start searching for new and exciting experiences. When you start living simpler, you will feel happier, all the while helping the environment because you will not be living the consumerist lifestyle most people are living.
10. Become zero waste
I must admit that going zero-waste might be one of the hardest sustainable resolutions on this list. But don’t let that scare you. Slowly try to reduce your waste a bit every week and who knows what you’re life will look like in a year. Even if you don’t get down to zero-waste, you would have reduced your waste and environmental footprint and that’s always a good thing. To make it even easier for you, I wrote a post filled with tips on how to reduce your waste. Imagine what the world would look like if it was filled with imperfect zero-wasters.
11. Use your bike and public transport
Stop driving everywhere. Use a bike or simply walk. It’s healthier for you and better for the planet. If it’s too far, use public transport like buses or trains. These are really the best options.
Of course, I know that these are not an option for everyone but I’m just saying when you do have the choice, choose one of these. Walking, biking or public transport.
12. Say no to fast fashion
Boycott fast fashion brands. Stop funding these destructive brands who make cheap, low-quality clothes, completely disregarding the environment and people’s rights. Instead, find sustainable and eco-friendly brands. They might be a bit more expensive but they last longer and are better for the world. The fashion industry is one of the most polluting so if you want to become more sustainable this coming year, you cannot keep shopping like you are. Make sustainable fashion a new habit.
And if sustainable brands are just too expensive for you, simply try to reduce how much you buy and take care of your clothes so they last longer.
13. Do a clothes/ book swap
Get together with your friends and do a swap. Either with clothes or books (or something else). It’s a great way to get new stuff without having to buy anything.
14. Go to bulk stores
If you have one near one, try it out. Unfortunately, I’m not lucky enough to have one near me but if you do, take advantage of it. It makes it so easy to reduce your waste. These need to become more widespread and accessible to everyone. It’s the only way the world will be able to stop this plastic madness.
15. More time in nature
Here’s a simple resolution that every one of you can do. Find a local park or a forest or somewhere away from the noise. Being in nature has many benefits. Did you know it has health benefits? Yes, that’s right. For your physical and mental health.
16. Become a thrift shopper
This is one of my favorite resolutions because it’s such a fun and easy way to become more sustainable. There is literally no better time to start thrift shopping. It can be done online too if there are no thrift stores near you. As you can see, there’s no excuse for not trying this one out.
17. Invest in energy-efficient appliances
If something breaks or needs to replacing, get one that is highly efficient to reduce your energy consumption. Just to give you a few examples, switch to LED lighting, get a water-saving showerhead, and get a smart thermometer. It might seem expensive to buy all these energy-appliances but no one said you must get them all at the same time. Slowly, slowly upgrade things in your house and before you know it, your energy bill will be a lot less.
18. Start a compost pile
Do you know how to compost? If not, don’t worry. Learn this valuable skill this year to further reduce your waste. It’s great and easy especially if you have a garden. If you want to become zero – waste, this is a must-know skill for 2021. Here’s how to start a compost.
19. Learn how to mend
Learning how to sew is an underrated skill. I’m not saying you need to master the skill and create clothing from scratch but learning how to mend old clothes is something worth learning. It saves you buying new clothes so often (and saves you money too). All you really need for this one is a needle as some thread.
20. Get a bamboo toothbrush
Switch to a bamboo toothbrush this year which is biodegradable to replace those plastic toothbrushes which can’t break down. I’ve been using these for a while, and I love them.
21. Become a community member
Find like-minded people in your community who believe in the same cause as you. Do something bigger than yourself and help your local community become more eco-friendly. In most towns, there are local organizations that are working towards making the area more environmentally friendly so go ahead and join.
22. Make your period plastic-free
If you are a girl and still use pads and tampons, make it your resolution to get plastic-free period products such as menstrual cups, period pants, and reusable pads. This one is actually one of my New Year’s resolutions to become more sustainable. I want to invest in these plastic-free alternatives because I really don’t like how much single-use plastic we use during that time of the month.
23. Grow your own food
If you have a garden, consider yourself lucky. You have the opportunity to grow your own fruit, vegetable, and herbs. This is definitely something I want to do this in the future. There are many tutorials and guides online that teach you how to do this.
24. Carry your own reusables
It’s not that hard to carry your own reusable utensils and metal straw. Boycott all single-use plastics. Refuse them at every opportunity. Carrying these reusables doesn’t take that much space and they can fit in every bag (or pocket).
25. Volunteer your time
Are there any volunteering opportunities around your area? If there is, why not join along and do some good to your local community. Being out in nature, really makes you appreciate the world and I find it so fulfilling when I’m outside and physically doing some good.
There are more people than ever writing blogs and making social media profiles to raise awareness about the environment and while this is amazing, we can’t forget that nothing will change if we don’t go outside and actually do something.
26. Shop locally
To lower your carbon footprint and to support local farmers, shop locally instead of buying imported food. In addition, imported food comes in plastic packaging to ‘protect’ the fruit and vegetables. ( I don’t see why fruit and veg need protecting, they already have a protective layer but anyway, carrying on). At the farmer’s market, they come loose and you can just put them in your reusable bag.
27. Plant a tree
Plant a tree in your garden or somewhere else. It will only bring happiness to you and nature. It doesn’t even have to be a tree. Just plant something and get your hands dirty.
28. Buy less
Generally, start buying less stuff. As they say, the most sustainable product is the one you didn’t buy. If you don’t need something, don’t buy it. After you declutter your life and house, you need to keep your life decluttered, and buying less stuff is the easiest way to do that. Buying more products just contributes further to the depletion of natural resources.
Donations are always appreciated. I prefer donating to local organizations but that’s up to you. Give a bit of money to organizations who are supporting a cause and are trying to solve a problem that concerns you.
30. Make hand-made products
My final sustainable New Year’s goal on this list of resolutions will be to learn how to make your own products. Did you know you can make shampoo, makeup, cleaning sprays, perfume, etc with just a few natural ingredients? Some of them you can even find in your kitchen cupboard.
There you have it, 30 easy new year’s resolutions to make 2021 more sustainable. But it doesn’t have to be New Year’s day to start these. You can start your eco journey any time of the year. Just start today.
So, which ones will you choose? We’d love to year from you.