5 Sustainable Lifestyle Resolutions for 2020
Each of us is the sum of the habits which we practice over and over. Becoming aware of our thoughts, beliefs, and actions is the first step to changing behaviour.
It doesn't have to be hard or complicated. Small but meaningful change is much more lasting and impactful then empty, grandiose actions.
There are 5 areas of our lives in which it is possible to make simple adjustments to live in a more eco-friendly and sustainable way. I have put together some simple suggestions to help you do so:
- Declutter your wardrobe. Don't throw your old clothes away - op shops, refugee charities and organisations like Dress for Success are always very grateful for clothes in good condition. You could also sell them online or organise a clothes swap with friends and family.
- Consider creating a basic capsule wardrobe. There are heaps of tips online on how to do this.
- If you do need to add items to your wardrobe, go to good quality op-shops, or check out the buy and sell pages on Facebook first to look for what you need. If you have to buy new, try to support conscious fashion brands. You can find a comprehensive list here: www.tearfund.org.nz/ethicalfashionguide
- Wash your clothes in cold water and only use the tumble drier when absolutely necessary. This saves electricity and prolongs the life of your clothes.
- Plan your meals and shopping to minimise waste.
- Grow your own vegetables or herbs, even if it’s just a few in pots.
- Buy local and seasonal produce - it’s usually fresher and cheaper when it is in peak supply. Doing so also supports our own economy and reduces transport impact.
- When possible, buy organic and free-range produce.
- Eat less meat and animal products. This is not always easy, but try for at least one meatless meal a week and become more educated about where your meat comes from.
Reduce plastics and chemicals in your home
- Begin the year with a clean out of your cupboards to replace chemical cleaners with eco friendly, non toxic alternatives. If you feel super motivated, there are many simple, cost effective recipes online to make your own - or check out your local library for a book with recipes.
- Support local businesses rather than buying online. This reduces the impact of unnecessary packaging and transport on the environment.
- Ditch the plastic packaging and clingfilm! Bee Green Food Wraps are a beautiful and eco-friendly alternative to keeping your food fresh.
- Buy from your local bulk and wholefood stores such as Bin-Inn using your refillable glass containers, Tupperware or cloth bags from home,
- Use a reusable coffee mug and water bottle.
- Say no thanks to plastic straws!
- Make the change to natural personal care products like soaps, personal hygiene and make up. Not only are they better for you, but they are also better for the planet!
- Get involved in local community environmental projects, like community gardens, produce swaps or tree planting events.
- Share your sustainable living tips and eco-friendly finds online with family and friends.
- Give a monthly donation to your favourite organization that promotes eco-friendly and sustainable living.
- Develop a relationship with your local council representatives and be the voice for the environmental issues and causes that are important to you in your community.
Less is more
- Walk through your home and garage and become aware of how much stuff you actually have. Do you need it all? Do you regularly use it? Perhaps you need to declutter or downsize.
- Become aware of your shopping habits - do you buy more than you really need? Do you buy things to fulfill an emotional rather than a physical need? Are there other ways you could meet your emotional needs more effectively?
- Try a shopping fast - join local or online swaps when you need something or see if you could actually go without!
- Challenge your family to cut down or eliminate your weekly waste to an agreed amount by recycling, reusing and being smarter consumers.
- Do your best to repair items before sending them to landfills.
What changes will you make this year?
Are you ready to make the changes necessary to live a more sustainable life and reduce your impact on the Earth? Remember, becoming more mindful and living intentionally is a journey taken one step at a time. Together we can make lasting and positive change.