Why You Should Make Sustainable Resolutions
At the start of the new year, we all start to think about ways we can improve over the following 365 days. Usually, our New Year’s resolutions involve goals like, “Start going to the gym” or “Drink more water.” We often choose to focus on resolutions that better ourselves—but what if we chose resolutions that helped better our planet?
It’s more important now than ever before to start evaluating how our lifestyle impacts the environment. Everything from the food we eat to the clothes we buy has long-term effects on the world around us. Our actions can have irreversible consequences to our planet if we are not intentional about living sustainably.
As we prepare for the year ahead, make a commitment to implement sustainable habits into your lifestyle. Not only will you be improving your life, you’ll be improving the wellbeing of the planet and those around you.
Here are 10 eco-friendly New Year’s resolutions you can make in 2022!
10 Sustainable Resolutions for 2022
The amazing thing about making a difference is that you don’t have to make dramatic changes to have a long-lasting impact. Just like how small everyday actions can cause major negative effects on our environment, small positive changes can have a big impact as well!
The important thing is choosing attainable resolutions that you can maintain over time. Eventually, these small changes will simply become part of your everyday lifestyle! Here are some sustainable New Year’s resolutions that are easy to make.
Ditch Single-Use Plastic
Plastic pollution is one of the largest threats to both humans and animals. Incorporating more reusable products in your daily routine is an easy New Year’s resolution that helps eliminate plastic waste. In addition to protecting the environment, this will also save you money!
Start by keeping inventory of every plastic product you use throughout the week. Gradually replace the products on your list with products made from reusable and biodegradable materials like glass, cotton, and bamboo.
Each month, commit to replacing at least one item on your list. For example, in January you can switch from plastic water bottles to a reusable bottle. Just from making this one small change, you’re already preventing more than 100 plastic bottles from entering our landfills and oceans.
Reduce Food Waste
Did you know an estimated one-third of all food produced in the world goes to waste? Not only is it a major humanitarian concern, it has a negative impact on our environment.
There are a number of resources that go into the production, packaging, and distribution of our food. For every food item that goes to waste, these resources are wasted as well. Unfortunately, the negative impact of food waste continues long after the food is thrown away. As food waste rots in landfills, it produces dangerous greenhouse gasses that damage our atmosphere and accelerate climate change. In fact, food waste is the world’s third largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions!
In 2022, make it your goal to reduce food waste by implementing some of these habits:
- Make a grocery list and stick to it.
- Freeze produce to prevent it from going bad.
- Cook recipes using ingredients you already have.
By taking steps to reduce food waste, you can help create a green new year for our planet.
Eat Less Meat
Swapping animal-based proteins for plant-based proteins is an easy New Year’s resolution that’s good for your health and for our planet!
Each year, the meat industry emits thousands of tons of methane gas. In fact, the meat industry alone produces more greenhouse gasses than transportation!
Moreover, raising livestock has an environmental impact far beyond carbon emissions. It also plays a major role in water consumption, deforestation, waste production, and water pollution.
In 2022, eat less meat and offset carbon emissions by opting for plant-based alternatives. One easy way to implement this New Year’s resolution is to include Meatless Mondays in your weekly meal schedule!
Plant a Garden
One way to incorporate more plants into your diet is by growing your own produce! Planting a garden at home is an eco-friendly hobby that can make your lifestyle more sustainable in 2022.
Growing produce at home makes you less dependent on commercially grown food. As we discussed, the industrial food industry consumes a large number of natural resources. When you grow food at home, you’re eliminating the transportation and packaging process, reducing your overall carbon footprint.
Don’t have space in your backyard? Get creative and research ways to grow produce indoors. Start small and grow herbs on your windowsill. Find a form of gardening that works for your lifestyle and help keep our planet green!
Try Composting at Home
Composting at home is another eco-friendly New Year’s resolution that can help reduce your carbon footprint! Not only does composting reduce greenhouse gasses, it can also be used to enrich soil, conserve water, and reduce the need for chemical fertilizers.
Without composting, food scraps are sent to landfills in plastic trash bags where they lack the required nutrients to properly decompose. This results in the production of additional greenhouse gasses. Instead of throwing away your scraps, you can compost them in a bin in your backyard or your kitchen!
You can start small by simply mixing certain food scraps, like coffee grounds or egg shells, in the soil for your houseplants or garden. If you live in an urban area, you may be able to find local composting services where you can simply drop off your food scraps!
The convenience of online shopping comes with a steep, often overlooked price: a large carbon footprint. With the added conveniences of two-day shipping, Amazon alone contributed over 60 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2020. Online marketplaces often require products to be shipped internationally, resulting in a devastating amount of carbon emissions.
Online shopping also requires additional packaging materials to ensure the secure delivery of products. Most of this packaging ends up in landfills where it will remain for hundreds of years.
By shopping locally this year, you can help decrease carbon emissions and reduce packaging waste, all while supporting local business owners. Check out your local farmer’s market, trade shows, and boutiques to shop small in 2022!
Upgrade to Rechargeable Power
Our daily use of batteries is something that we often don’t think twice about. However, a small AA battery can have quite the impact on our planet. The mining for raw materials required to make batteries creates both ethical and environmental conflicts. Once these batteries run out of energy, they are then disposed of into a landfill, where they decay and release harmful metals, like mercury and lead, into the earth.
Swapping out disposable batteries for rechargeable batteries is an easy New Year’s environmental resolution that can also help you save money. Rechargeable batteries can last up to 1,000 charges, eliminating the need to buy new batteries for your remote every year.
Adjust the Temperature
A large portion of our carbon footprint is a result of our energy consumption. Many places still rely on fossil fuels for energy, especially in the United States. One easy way to reduce your energy consumption is by adjusting your thermostat!
During the summer months, try adjusting your thermostat to be two degrees warmer than usual. In the winter months, keep your thermostat two degrees lower than usual. Not only will you decrease your carbon footprint, you’ll also save money on your electricity bill. For every degree you adjust your thermostat, you save about 1% on your energy bill. Go the extra mile by adjusting the temperature on your water heater, too!
Update Your Laundry Habits
Laundry is an essential part of our routine that has a huge environmental impact. While we might not stop to think about the impact of our laundry, our washers and dryers account for a large portion of our electricity and water consumption. In addition to natural resource consumption, our laundry habits often result in water pollution through harmful detergent chemicals and microplastics. Upgrading your laundry habits is one sustainable resolution that can help decrease your ecological footprint and save you money!
Start skipping the dryer and air-dry your clothes instead, using a clothesline or drying rack. This change alone will drastically reduce your energy consumption and can lessen your climate impact by 67%. If air-drying isn’t suitable for your lifestyle, try investing in energy-efficient machines to help cut back your electricity consumption.
Switch to Sustainable Clothing
With over 85% of clothing products made each year ending up in landfills, the fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to landfill waste. In addition to landfill waste, the fashion industry also plays a major role in water pollution, plastic pollution, and water overconsumption.
Help reduce the environmental impact of the fashion industry by purchasing from sustainable clothing brands in 2022. Sustainable fashion brands are dedicated to reducing or even reversing the impact of the fashion industry through eco-friendly practices like using consciously sourced and repurposed materials.
In 2022, commit to shopping for eco-friendly clothes, like our sustainable socks made from recycled plastics!
How to Make Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions Stick
Just like all other New Year’s resolutions, the hardest part is actually following through with your goal. When making big lifestyle changes, it can be difficult to stay on track. The key to making any New Year’s resolution stick is to tailor it according to you — your preferences, your habits, your lifestyle.
Sustainability doesn’t look the same for everyone. There are several different types of sustainability but overall, sustainability refers to meeting present needs without risking loss, injury, or harm for others in the future.
In order to make your eco-friendly New Year’s resolutions stick, you need to choose habits or goals that are sustainable for you. Here are a few key attributes that make successful sustainable New Year’s resolutions.
Set realistic goals.
With the excitement and motivation of the New Year, it can be easy to set high expectations for yourself. However, it’s important to recognize that lifestyle changes don’t happen overnight.
Rather than making one big New Year’s resolution, break them down into more attainable goals. For example, don’t make your New Year’s resolution to start living a zero-waste lifestyle. While that’s a great goal for both you and the environment, it’s a commitment that will leave you feeling overwhelmed once the excitement of the new year has passed.
Instead, make several smaller goals that work toward your overall New Year’s resolution. For example, make attainable resolutions like:
- Switch to reusable bags for grocery shopping.
- Purchase local produce without packaging.
- Donate clothes and other belongings.
Accomplishing these smaller goals will help keep you motivated all year long in your efforts to reach your big New Year’s resolution.
Set meaningful goals.
It’s much easier to remain committed to a cause that’s important to you. Ask yourself why you want to start living sustainably. Perhaps you’re passionate about animals and you want to help protect their habitat. Maybe you have children who you want to help protect the planet for.
Determine why sustainability is important to you and then choose sustainable resolutions that contribute to your passion. For example, Socktopus Ink is passionate about keeping our oceans clean for future generations. In order to help work toward this passion, one of our New Year’s resolutions could be starting a local beach clean-up crew.
Once you’ve made a resolution that’s personal to you and your values, you’ll have more motivation to stick with your goals.
Set maintainable goals.
When creating new habits, it’s important to take the path of least resistance. If it’s inconvenient for you to take actions towards your goal, the less likely you are to actually achieve it.
For example, let’s say your New Year’s resolution is to reduce your carbon footprint by decreasing your daily commute. In order to do so, your plan is to take public transportation each day. However, the bus route takes an extra thirty minutes, requiring you to wake up earlier. Now instead of changing only one aspect of your daily routine, you have to make two changes. In order to make this goal more maintainable, you might consider carpooling with a coworker instead!
Be sure to set goals that are possible for you to maintain with your current lifestyle, schedule, and budget.
Make 2022 More Sustainable with Easy Eco-Friendly Resolutions
As you make your New Year’s resolutions, remember it’s about more than just considering your own self-improvement. It’s also about making this world a better place and protecting our planet for future generations.
There are a variety of ways you can commit to being more sustainable in 2022. By incorporating some of these eco-friendly New Year’s resolutions, you can help make our planet a better place!
- Ditch single-use plastic products.
- Eat less meat.
- Reduce food waste.
- Try composting.
- Shop ethical clothing brands.
Remember when making your sustainable New Year’s resolutions, there are a few key points to making them stick! Choose resolutions that are realistic, meaningful, and sustainable. Becoming more eco-friendly is a marathon, not a sprint, so stay motivated and don’t let small slip-ups derail your resolutions entirely.
Get started on your eco-friendly New Year’s resolutions today with a pair of our sustainable socks!