As 2021 approaches, it is important to reflect on the past year, but also to look at what you can do to better yourself, and perhaps the planet. Below are some easy New Year’s resolutions that you can incorporate into your own routine.
Reusable Grocery Bags
This is perhaps the first swap that many people make, but the amount of people who do not actually make it a habit of bringing their reusable tote bags to the grocery store is alarming. Make it a habit to keeping your reusable bags in a place where they are hard to forget, whether that is in your purse or in the passenger seat of your car. It is also important that you put your bags back in whatever place you remember them after you use them and unload your groceries in your home.
Buying Groceries in Cardboard, Glass, and Aluminum
In the early days of this blog, I tried my best to zero waste grocery shop at Walmart, where I did my best to only buy products in cardboard, glass, or aluminum. To be honest, it wasn’t the easiest task to come out of Walmart without any plastic, which is why I challenge you to try your best to buy products that come in cardboard, glass, or aluminum instead of plastic.
Say you need to buy pasta sauce, go for a brand that packages their sauce in a glass jar instead of a plastic one. Or buy your fruit salad in those single serve plastic cups, try instead to buy the canned fruit salad. Simple switches can make it easier to lessen your plastic waste.
Repurposing Your Glass
If you are buying things in glass jars or bottles, then it is very important to repurpose your glass for other uses in your home, whether that be storage, drinking glasses, as a plant pot, a flower vase, etc. Glass can be reused over and over and over again, so keep it on hand with any lids that it comes with.
Shorten Your Showers
The average use of water in showers is around 2.1 gallons for every minute. Shortening your shower even by a few minutes can save a bunch of water.
Shop Secondhand Before Buying New
There are so many things that you can find in a secondhand shop that are in amazing condition. This past year, I tried to only buy secondhand clothing instead of buying new. But now, I’m going to try my best to always go to the thrift store for things before going out and buying things brand new. As an eco-minimalist, I’ve found that I really don’t need a ton of things to be happy, and giving an object a second life is very satisfying for me. I also just enjoy the idea that I have found something that no one else could really go out and buy anymore from the department store.
Bring Your Own Bottle/Cup
Plastic bottles and plastic cups are such demons of the modern day. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t have their own reusable water bottle or coffee cups, but yet still go out and buy plastic water bottles and cups of coffee. This is a simple habit change of keeping your water bottle or travel mug on you or in your car, and if you don’t have your cup, you just don’t get coffee that day. Punish yourself for not remembering your sustainable swap, and get yourself in the mindset where if you don’t bring your reusable, then you don’t get the thing you want.
Wash in Cold & Hang Dry Your Clothes
The majority of the energy used to wash your clothes is spent heating up your water. Cold water is fine for most clothes and other items that you can safely put in the washing machine. Cold-water washing means clothing is less likely to shrink or fade and ruin clothes. Cold water can also reduce wrinkles.
Not only will you save energy by hang drying your clothes, you will also save money from not running your dryer. You can also save your clothes from shrinking in the dryer.