It’s time for New Year’s resolutions once again! Instead of promising to go to the gym or something else super cliche, maybe it’s time to make some resolutions for a greener future instead.
Here are our favorite ideas.
1. Eat Local, Seasonal Foods
Where does your food come from? Food that comes from other places in the world requires fuel and energy to transport it.
By buying local, seasonal foods, you can help cut down on the carbon footprint of your dinner and you’ll save money at the same time.
2. Avoid Fast Fashion
Are you a fan of buying cheap clothes to always have something new? If you’re throwing them away when you’re done, you are contributing to a serious waste buildup. Clothing and textiles contribute 15 million tons to the landfills in America each year.
Instead, shop for quality clothing that will last for years or pick up some favorites at the thrift store. You’ll save money and keep a perfectly good piece of clothing from going to waste.
3. Get the Chemicals Out of Your Cosmetics and Cleaning Products
You might be surprised at the list of toxic chemicals that appear in common cosmetics and cleaning products. Aside from being bad for you, many of these ingredients get washed down the drain to negatively affect the environment as well. Resolve this year to research brands that create eco-friendly products for cleaning and cosmetics that aren’t full of harmful chemicals for a healthier future.
4. Shop for Products With Less Packaging
Packaging makes up a large percentage of what we throw in the garbage bin each week. Choosing products that use less packaging or compostable or environmentally friendly packaging can help cut down on this waste considerably.
5. Encourage Small and Fair Trade Companies
Giant companies that make throwaway products on an assembly line seem to have taken over. But you can make a difference by supporting small companies who craft ethically made quality products instead. Search out local artisans who take pride in their work, like those that we offer on our site.
6. Cut Back on Paper Towels
How many paper towels do you use in a day? If you use them for everything from wiping up spills to wiping your mouth at dinner you probably create more waste than you think. In fact, collectively we send 13 billion pounds of paper towels to the landfills each year.
The good news is that switching to fabric napkins and cleaning cloths is easy. All you have to do is drop them in the laundry when you’re washing other items anyway.
7. Eliminate Phantom Energy
It sounds like something from a superhero movie, but phantom energy isn’t quite as exciting as it sounds. It is, however, exciting how much energy (and money on your energy bills) you can save when you’re aware of it. Appliances, chargers, and other electronic devices draw a small amount of power whenever they are connected, regardless of if the device is on. Be sure to unplug everything when not in use to take advantage of the savings. If that is too much of a hassle, simply use power strips and timers to shut off multiple electronics at once or automatically.
8. Compensate Your Carbon Footprint When Traveling
The world has never been more connected. You can hop on a flight and visit far-off lands or take a quick trip to visit your family a couple of states away in no time.
Unfortunately, large planes can burn a gallon of fuel in just 1 second and contribute to the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. You can use a flight search tool like FlyGreen which allows you to calculate and compensate for the carbon footprint you leave when traveling.
9. Never Buy a Bottled Water Again
Clean drinking water is a blessing of the modern age, but buying that water in plastic bottles is not so blessed. In fact, plastic water bottles are a double curse for the planet. First, over 17 million barrels of oil are used each year to make plastic water bottles. Once you’re done with them, the vast majority end up in the landfill (even if you recycle them) and every day America throws away 60 million of plastic bottles.
10. Bring Your Own Fair Trade Coffee With You
Each year we throw away 16 billion coffee cups. Plastic-lined cups usually mean that none of this gets recycled.
You can stop the waste before it starts by brewing your own coffee at home and using a reusable travel mug. For an even greater impact, choose a fair trade brand and use a French press that doesn’t require electricity.
Creating a Greener Future
It might surprise you how easy it to create a greener future. By making — and following — just a few New Year’s resolutions, you can make a difference!
Why not get started today by shopping our selection of locally made household items that come with minimal packaging and support small, fair trade businesses?