January is a time for reflection and intention, and as I sit down to figure out my New Year’s resolutions, I can’t help thinking about my carbon footprint. So, I’m dubbing these 10 resolutions my #ecoresolutions to make 2019 my most sustainable year yet.
1. Ditch the dryer
2. Drive less and walk or bike more
This one is pretty obvious. There are so many benefits that come with getting outside and enjoying the fresh air. Not only will it make you happier, it helps digestion, boosts immune systems, and even improves heart health! Communities today are designed to be walkable, promoting the reduction of air pollution and greenhouse gases because people will choose to walk or bike rather than drive. I’m making it my mission to get outside more this year and take the opportunity to walk to the corner store or my local coffee shop instead of jumping in my car.
3. Reduce meat and animal products from my diet
You don’t have to go full vegan to reduce CO2. This year, I’m going to pay more attention to what I’m eating and its carbon intensity. Most people don’t realize that cutting back on meat isn’t just for the animal, it’s also for the environment. Think about it: livestock needs to be fed, their food needs to grown using water and fertilizers, the machinery around meat production, and the list goes on… resulting in huge environmental impacts.
This video is a great at explaining what our food choices are doing to the environment and how even eliminating one meatless meal a week can make a huge difference.
4. Host a clothing swap
Now this is a great excuse to refresh my wardrobe AND get together with friends. I’m making it a goal to host a clothing swap at least twice this year. A clothing swap is a great way to recycle and reuse, rather than buying new clothes. Think about it, the more we reuse, the less demands for water, energy and raw materials. We get to have a great night while reducing cost and helping the environment!
Fun fact: Bring a suitcase (20kg) full of clothes and you’ll save enough energy to run a TV non-stop for 1.7 years.
5. Always bring a reusable mug/bottle
Did you know that tap water is more heavily tested than bottled water? And, did you know that is takes 3 times the amount of water to make a water bottle as it does to fill it?
And Americans are still consuming over 3.8 billion gallons of bottled water a year! The effects of single use plastic water bottles on the environment are HUGE!
Bottled water releases 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually and takes 17 million barrels of oil to produce a year’s supply. That’s enough oil to fuel 1.3 million cars for the year or power 190,000 homes!
This is an easy resolution. In fact, I just found the perfect water bottle and will bring it with me everywhere!
6. Meal prep and reduce food waste
Planning meals ahead of time can help reduce the amount of food purchased by encouraging you to buy only the ingredients you need. Also, this will ultimately help eliminate food waste each week!
Start by organizing and figuring out what is already in the kitchen. Next, plan out meals for the week, and then make a shopping list.
My goal is to be more organized this year and shop first from my fridge and pantry before adding items to my shopping list. I’m hoping to stop wasting food and save a little money.
7. Bring reusable shopping bags
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American uses 150 plastic bags per year, which is probably a conservative estimate. And, only about 5% are recycled! I’m going to make every effort to remember my reusable bags before heading out to the shops. I’ve even strategically left them by my front door and in the trunk of my car so I have no excuse!
8. Watch out for chemicals
Did you know that the average woman applies 515 synthetic chemicals to her body every day? Products like shampoos, hairsprays, body lotions, deodorants, makeup, and even perfumes contain chemicals that do no good for our bodies or the environment. Start by looking at products, read the ingredients, and do some research to find products that are more natural.
Did you know that some of the best skincare options have only a few ingredients? This year, I’m going to take note of what I’m putting on my skin and try and find simpler products that are better for me and the environment.
9. Home Detox
What might shock you is that the average home contains 500-1,000 chemicals! Yes, that’s 1,000 chemicals in ONE house!
Chlorine, Ammonia, Triclosan are some of the worst chemicals lingering in household cleaners. They are commonly found in dishwasher detergents, hand soaps, glass cleaners, polishing agents and many other items that are regularly used.
I’m going to give my house the same amount of love that I’m giving my body and give my house a chemical detox!
Find some simple recipes for DIY cleaners online. Think about using natural ingredients like vinegar and lemon and be amazed at how well they work!
10. Get a bamboo toothbrush
Bamboo toothbrushes are everywhere, and for good reason! Not only do they help reduce waste and plastic, they are also biodegradable. They even have the added benefit of being germ-killing machines. Bamboo has natural properties that help eliminate bacteria, keeping it safe from household germs!
What are your #ecoresultions? Make sure to join the conversation at @gospacesmobile and let us know how you plan to make 2019 your most sustainable year yet!