It’s a brand new year! For many people, that means making meaningful resolutions.
And for fewer people, that means...sticking to them. 😬
A popular resolution this year is to be more environmentally friendly. A great idea, for sure, but it’s definitely easier said than done. We get that. Climate change is more of a threat now than ever before, and making any real difference can feel hopeless when you consider the dire straits we’re in.
The good news is that, while you aren’t going to single-handedly save the planet, there are many simple positive contributions we can make that will compound to have an impact – and, yeah, they can all be your New Year’s resolutions!
Here are some of the best, and simplest, ways to be more eco-conscious in 2022.
According to the EPA, the average car emits 404 grams of carbon dioxide per mile – that’s a whopping 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year! Consequently, driving is one of the many daily activities we don’t give a second thought to, but are direct contributors to climate change.
Even driving less often in a week can have a positive impact on the planet. Look at your daily routine to identify where you could realistically cut back on your driving. See if you can take public transit to work or run errands. If WFH (work from home) is something that’s available to you, take advantage of that!
Exercising more is an always-popular New Year’s resolution. (We know. It’s our’s too. Like, every year. Ahem. MOVING ON.) Let’s say you want to hit the weights and you’ve got yourself a new gym membership. Or maybe you’ve found a calisthenics section of your local park. Well, get your cardio in! Instead of driving to the gym – or wherever you work out – take a walk! Or if you’re really feeling like you’ve got the energy, ride your bike or run to your destination.
This is a great way to take care of you, while taking care of the Earth.
This is a low-lift (heh) switch you can make every time you run errands. Reusable fabric bags are not only better for the environment than plastic bags, but they’re also much more durable.
What’s more, most reusable bags are larger than single-use plastic bags or paper grocery bags, which means it’ll be infinitely easier to take everything in one trip. (And you know we all play that game.) Plastic bags take as long as1,000 years to decompose in a landfill, so the planet will definitely thank you.
Many people don’t realize just how many paper towels they use each day. In fact, the United States goes through 13 billion pounds of paper towels each year! Since used paper towels can’t be recycled, many of them end up in landfills. Switching to reusable fabric rags makes cleanup just as easy while helping you cut back on waste.
If you have to use paper towels, try to use smaller sections to minimize waste. (Bonus points: this’ll also minimize the amount of money you spend on cleaning materials!)
Food is life, for us and the planet. It’s easy to overlook the impact our diet choices have on the environment – you’re just trying to feed yourself! But, depending on the foods you choose to eat most of (and most often), those impacts may not be minimal.
Eating less meat is one choice that reduces your carbon footprint. The meat processing industry is a huge source of greenhouse gasses and is also one of the biggest causes of deforestation around the world. We’re not saying you have to go vegan, vegetarian, or even pescatarian! Going meatless just a few times per week can make a real difference.
It’s also helpful to look for food that’s grown near you. When food is grown and sold locally, it generates far less CO2 in transport. (See? Less driving. It’s all connected.)
Fast fashion brands may be convenient, but they're responsible for approximately 92 million tons of waste each year. If you’re on a budget but want to be more environmentally friendly, try shopping at the thrift store instead! Many secondhand stores have one-of-a-kind pieces at the same or even lower prices than fast fashion retailers.
And you can do more than shop at thrift stores; you can give to them too! Instead of throwing clothes away, consider donating them to a thrift store, giving them to friends who will wear them, or make some extra money rehoming them via platforms like Poshmark or Depop.
Cutting back on the amount of clothing you buy each year can also make a big difference. Look for pieces that you really need rather than buying trendy items that might go out of style in a few months.
If you’re going to buy new, be selective! Buy high-quality, ethically-produced items that will last a lifetime. Not only will you be doing something good for the planet, but you’ll also have a carefully curated wardrobe that’s 100% unique to you.
You know we had to go there! 😉 Whether as an accent feature or a full floor, wood creates a warm, organic home environment. BUT it can also be really bad for the environment outside your home.
We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: reclaimed wood cuts back significantly on impacts to the environment. It’s harder than virgin wood, meaning it’s more durable and needs to be replaced less often. It doesn’t require the cost and emissions produced by manufacturing of products made with virgin wood, and, perhaps more sentimentally, it comes with a story!
We may be in hot water with Mother Earth, but it’s never too late to start making an effort. Making these small changes in your life can have an impact on our planet in the long run.