When making your New Year’s Resolutions for 2017, consider making a few that will benefit the world around you! Here are a few ideas for “green resolutions” to make this year…
While it’s important to take stock of where you are personally, and where you want to go in the New Year, don’t forget about your impact on the planet you live on!
There are lots of simple things you can do to minimize your footprint and live more sustainably. From the way you eat, to the way you shop, to what you do with your waste – your personal habits can make a real difference.
Here are just a few green resolutions that you can make to help improve the environment this year, and build a more sustainable future for our species:
1.) Don’t be trashy.
In 2017, let’s all make a promise to not trash the world. The average American creates a whopping 4.5 pounds of trash per day. That’s about half of a compact car each year! The good news is that it’s pretty simple to drastically cut back on our trash. Compost all of your food scraps and yard waste, say no to any single-use items, buy unpackaged food, and ditch the bottled water and soda!
2.) Take a trip in nature.
In 2017, resolve to visit a National Park and do it often. Federal park lands are under threat from Trump’s promises to “unleash” coal, oil, and gas production, so it’s important to demonstrate how much you treasure and benefit from wild lands. And benefit you do—walking in nature has been shown to lower stress and improve your mood….
3.) Cut out fast fashion.
In 2017, consider cutting out fast fashion—a highly unethical business. It’s the second most polluting industry in the world and a perpetual violator of the health and safety of its workers. Shop local, look for eco-friendly fabrics, thrift, or find a go-to second-hand clothing site.
4.) Swap meat out with plant-based alternatives.
This new year, consider becoming a “reducetarian,” i.e., a person who eats less meat. No matter your motivation or the degree to which you cut back on meat, the planet, your body, and farm animals will thank you…
5.) Consume consciously.
…There are so many amazing ethical brands out there that are producing thoughtful goods, we really no longer need to settle for anything less. Make it a point to only make a purchase if it fits at least one of the following categories:
- Organic/sustainable materials
- Fair trade/ethical production
- Recycled or repurposed
- Gives back to a beneficial charity
- Biodegradable or easily recyclable
6.) Go organic.
…For 2017, do yourself (and the planet) a favor by buying—whenever possible—food that is grown locally and organically… Buying food from local farmers virtually guarantees the food will be fresher and more nutritious than buying processed meals.
7.) Work toward a zero-waste home.
In 2017, don’t be afraid to aim for a zero-waste home—one that doesn’t produce any trash. Instead of turning to recycling as a way to reduce your garbage (my TEDx talk tells you why recycling is not the answer to our society’s waste problem), prevent it from coming into your home in the first place. Simply learn to say no! Think before accepting something that is handed out to you. Turn down flyers, freebies, party favors, business cards, single-use plastics (such as plastic bags), and junk mail. Accepting these things creates a demand to make more and is a waste of resources…
8.) Eat more plants!
Reducing your consumption of animal products is among the single largest ways that an individual can reduce your environmental footprint…
9.) Revamp your closet.
…Here’s your how-to: For one month, don’t buy any new clothes. See how it feels, experiment with new looks, and notice what is really missing. Then consciously add to your wardrobe step-by-step by shopping from a secondhand or vintage shop. If you can’t find anything there, research sustainable brands that share your eco-values…
10.) Come together.
For 2017, what I hope for us is that we wake up to what is important and what truly brings us joy and that we cut through our distractions and work to bring safety and happiness to all…