Updated: Jul 25, 2020
Written By: Sara Miller - Zero Waste Coach
Are you looking for simple resolutions to live more sustainably in the new year? These Top 10 resolutions will help you to incorporate simple and easy sustainable practices. Choose 1 sustainable practice to try out or choose multiple!
1. Eat More Veggies
Yes, eat more veggies - especially when they are in season. If you aren’t sure what’s in season check out the seasonal food guide here.
Adding more veggies into your meals costs less, adds beneficial nutrients, and creates a balanced meal. If you’re making spaghetti and meatballs add some chopped spinach into the sauce (you won’t even know it’s there!).
2. Say “NO” to items I’ll buy and use once!
Have you ever needed a very specific item that you’ll only use once - a snow blower, a ball gown, a 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves? These are merely examples, but the point is…to be resourceful before splurging on an item. Instead of purchasing items as brand new, only using them once, then letting them collect dust in the corners of your home, ask your neighbor, ask a friend, or see if there’s a secondhand shop nearby or online
In the year of 2020, let’s say NO to “one and done” items.
3.Create my own “on-the-go” kit
Your “on-the-go” kit should include the items you use the most - the items that typically come in plastic or styrofoam. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to always have reusable items on hand. Example kit: 1 reusable mug, 1 stainless steel water bottle, 1 stainless steel straw, 1 fork, 1 butter knife, 1 spoon, 1 cloth napkin, 1 “to go” container, all combined into 1 reusable grocery bag!
Creating the Kit is Simple-- But if you want to splurge and buy one already made: Try this Zero Waste Kit.
4. Use cloth towels instead of paper towels
I made the switch to cloth towels about 6 months ago and I don’t regret it one bit. You save money because you don’t have to buy paper towels ever again AND you save paper towels from ending up in the landfill because they are not recycle-able. Cloth towels, handkerchiefs, and napkins can be washed and reused multiple times before they begin to show wear and tear.
5.Make ONE meal from scratch
Meal prepping for every single meal isn’t the answer - especially if you’re pressed for time. It helps, yes, but life happens. Making one, large, batch meal that can carry over into leftovers for the next day or multiple days is key. If you focus on making that ONE meal from scratch, it’s less daunting and stress inducing. The extra bonuses of making a meal or multiple meals from scratch is that you control what goes into it and you save your future self some time.
6. Shorten my shower time!
It’s easier said than done! According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), the average shower time is 8 min. Standard shower heads expel 2.5 gallons of water per minute, which equals 20 gallons of water per shower! Set a timer on your phone for 5 minutes. A shorter shower decreases the amount of energy/gas used to heat the water and, reduces the amount of water used, and saves you money on your electric/gas/water bill, so why not?
7. Create my own cleaning supplies
Store bought cleaning products are great and they are also very toxic. Creating your own cleaning products are safer, easy to make, saves you money, and reduces the clutter in your cleaning closet!
My favorite all purpose-cleaner recipe that works wonders and smells amazing is below:
1 1/2 cups, distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup water
Lemon peels from 2 lemons
*Let mixture sit for up to 1 week and it’s good to go!
8. Choose glass and aluminum over plastic when it’s possible
Plastic is everywhere and it does have it’s benefits. The downside of plastic is that it can’t be recycled. Glass and aluminum can be recycled over and over and over again without losing their quality. So if you’re trying to decide between a jar of peanut butter in plastic or glass - go for the glass!
9. Take responsibility for my food waste!
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NDRC) up to 40% of the food in the U.S. is never eaten. Our money also goes down the drain when we buy something and don’t eat it before it goes bad. My best tip for reducing food waste, especially with greens or veggies is to place them in the freezer right when they start to wilt. You can save greens for smoothies and save veggies for soups/stews/stocks. Food waste typically gets thrown into the garbage and sent to the landfill where it can’t breakdown. Instead of throwing food scraps into the garbage, create a compost, add to your garden, bring to a composting facility!
10. Get creative!
Get creative with your sustainable goals for 2020! Challenge yourself…how many meals can you make without any plastic wrap or packaging? What can you create with your leftover glass jars - gifts, smoothie jars, pen cups, etc.? What gems can you find at the secondhand store? One of the best Parts about being sustainable is getting creative- Shanti Creations got Creative with their candles- check out this Zero Waste Candle Kit Here.
Living sustainably and eco-conscious doesn’t have to be overwhelming and expensive.
It can be easy and simple.
Which sustainable practice are you most excited to try out?
About the Author: Sara Miller
Sara is the founder of Sarabelle Coaching and is based in Ventura, CA.
She is a Zero-Waste Health Coach helping entrepreneurial and busy women up level their health without sacrificing their time and without killing the planet! Through her signature online program, Claim Your Consciousness, her clients learn how to increase their energy naturally with whole foods, build healthy habits to align with their unique lifestyle, develop confidence to prioritize their health and well-being, reduce their garbage/waste and increase their sustainability by 50%, and create space in their busy schedules to include self-care.