2021 is here and that means new year’s resolutions! The new year is a great time to set goals. If you’re looking to live a greener life in 2021, you’re in luck! I’ve put together a list of 10 easy eco-friendly new year’s resolutions that anyone can do.
Not sure you can stick to a habit? I also wrote a quick guide on how you can stick to them. You don’t have to do each of these goals. Pick the ones that you think you can do this year.
Making these habit changes in your life are a great way to reduce your plastic waste and be more environmentally friendly. See the quick list of resolutions or take a deeper dive into each of these resolutions and see how they help the environment.
- Trash audit
- Meal prep
- Bring your own bottle
- Bring a bag
- Bring produce bags
- Invest in reusable products
- Create a capsule wardrobe
- Meatless Monday
- Farmers market
- Give experience gifts
1. Do a Trash audit
If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll know how important I think a trash audit is. It’s the first step you should take on your sustainable living journey.
A trash audit is a great way to understand what trash you create. It’ll help you figure out what steps to take to reduce it.
For the new year, make a resolution to do a trash audit monthly or biweekly to see what trash you generate. Make a plan to reduce it.
Don’t know how to do a trash audit? Find the step by step guide here.
2. Meal Prep
Make it a goal to meal prep every week. If you can’t plan all your meals, try to do at least breakfast and dinner. Starting slow is a great way to get you used to this new habit.
Often, we buy groceries that we forget to use so they go bad and end up in the trash. Meal prepping prevents that because you know exactly what dishes you’re making. This way, you know exactly what ingredients you need and how much of it.
Take a reusable water bottle with you everywhere you go. My water bottle is practically attached to my hand. Every time I leave the house, I check for keys, wallet, phone and water bottle.
Make it a habit in 2021 to always leave your home with a water bottle with you so that you never have to buy a plastic one. You can find plenty of places to fill up your water wherever you go.
Plastic is filling up our oceans and and takes hundreds on years to decompose. Opting for a reusable water bottle will prevent all that plastic from ending up in our oceans.
4. Bring a bag
Take reusable bags with you to the grocery store and to the malls. This will prevent you from bringing home plastic bags that end up in landfill.
I’m sure you have a large bag full of plastic bags in your home that you’re dying to make use of. It’s hard to use them all when you add more than you use.
Make it a habit to leave the house with a reusable bag. Keep the bags in your car, near your front door or next to your purse so that you never forget it.
Plastic bags are taking up space in our landfills just like the plastic water bottles.
5. Take reusable produce bags to the grocery store
You know when you’re grocery shopping and you grab those small plastic baggies to hold your apples? That plastic bag is going straight to the landfill.
Instead of using them, get reusable ones. Keep them next to or in your reusable grocery bags (from the previous tip). This will ensure that you only need to remember to grab one bag but will still have both of them.
In 2021, make it a resolution to never use plastic baggies and use these reusable produce bags instead.
6. Invest in reusable products
In 2021, make it a goal to invest in one new reusable product this year.
When you invest in these products, you prevent thousands of pounds of plastic from ending up in landfill. Make sure to actually use these items! People buy plastic straws only to leave them at home.
7. Create a capsule wardrobe
Fast fashion is harming our planet. One way to combat this is to embrace a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe is a closet that only has 25–30 basic items. These items can be paired in different ways to make multiple outfits.
This leads to you buying fewer clothes but also making sure that they are good quality.
If you think you might not be able to limit yourself to a few basics, shop at ethical and sustainably made clothing brands.
In 2021, make it a resolution to stop shopping fast fashion and invest in ethical and sustainable clothes instead.
8. Start Meatless Mondays
In 2021, make it a habit to eat food that doesn’t have any meat every Monday. Instead opt for plant protein like chickpeas, beans, tofu or more. This is a great way to reduce your meat intake without completely giving it up.
9. Shop at a farmer’s market
I love shopping at farmer’s markets. They are great because of a few reasons:
- You’re supporting a local business
- The food generally comes with less plastic
- The food tastes fresher
- (Most) of the fruits and vegetables are locally grown
Big box grocery stores oftentimes get fruits and vegetables that are not in season from other countries. Pineapples in winter? Those come from really far away. This means that all the transportation of that produce is resulting in an increase pollution.
Eating food that is in season from your local farmer’s market will help reduce that pollution.
In 2021, commit to shopping at your local farmer’s market each week. If you are meal prepping, schedule in dishes that are in season so you can make sure your local market has all the ingredients you need.
10. Think twice about gifts
Giving gifts for anniversaries, birthday and holidays is so common that oftentimes, we give gifts because we are expected to. Sometimes, these gifts end up being random things we give that the recipient does not care for.
Have you ever gotten chocolates you don’t enjoy or clothing that is definitely not your style? These items end up in the trash if they aren’t given away.
This year, commit to not giving presents unless you are confident that the recipient will enjoy it. Or give experience gifts instead of physical gifts. If you can’t think of something to give, everyone loves getting money!
How To Commit To Your Resolution
It’s common for people to make new year’s resolutions and not always follow through with it past mid-January. In fact, about 80% of people that set resolutions end up giving up on their resolutions by February.
Make 2021 the year that you actually commit to a resolution!
Not sure how to make sure that you commit to these simple habits? Here are a few tips that will help you commit to these goals:
- Make a plan — When you write down your goals and have a clear plan on how you will achieve them, it helps you stay organized and motivated
- Get an accountability buddy — When you’re only accountable to yourself, it’s easy for you to give up. When you tell someone about your goals, they can help you make sure you stay on track and encourage you to hit your goals. Tell a close friend or family member about your goals this year and have them keep you accountable.
- Stay inspired — It can be hard to work on a goal if you are not inspired by the result you want from it. Make sure to read up on what’s happening in the environment and know that making these changes are helping you create a better world.
- Surround yourself with others on the same mission — If you’re the only one working towards this goal, it can make you feel isolated. Find people that are also working on similar goals or have the same vision for a better future like you do. Seeing them achieve their goals will help you achieve yours too.
- Measure your progress — Each month or week, look at the progress you made. Did you use your reusable grocery bags 15 times? You prevented 15 plastic bags from going to the landfill! Did you commit to Meatless Monday this week? You reduced your greenhouse gases! Seeing the progress you made will encourage you to keep moving forward.
Which Resolution Will You Choose?
Make 2021 the year that you ditch plastic and help the environment before it’s too late! Whether you carry your own water bottle, shop at the farmer’s market or take part in Meatless Mondays, you are making a difference.
And don’t forget to stay motivated and track your progress each week. By the end of 2021, you’ll be amazed at how big of a difference you’ll have made in the world!
Let me know in the comments below what eco-friendly new year’s resolutions you plan on making in 2021!
Originally published at https://sustainably-yours.com on January 4, 2021.