We are now almost a week into 2022. Some of us have a list of new year resolutions to follow while some may not. Regardless, it is never too late to create resolutions to start living a more sustainable lifestyle and with the start of the new year, it’s actually a great time to reevaluate our daily practices and reset. Here are 12 ideas for some sustainable resolutions for 2022; an idea for each month so that by the end of the year, you are living a much more sustainable lifestyle than what you started off with.
1. Educate yourself
The first step to prepare for any big resolutions and lifestyle changes is to educate yourself about it. Learning is a constant process and you’ll always be discovering new things everyday. Nowadays with the internet and social media, it is very easy to self learn. Here’s a list of resources to get you started on your journey.
2. Adopt responsible purchasing habits
Buy only what you need and make sure the products are sustainable and ethically sourced. Try to shop locally such as your farmer’s market. This not only saves you money but also decreases your consumption of resources and wastage.
3. Buy second hand
“Thrifting” is very popular these days and allows you to update your wardrobe with trendy and vintage outfits in a sustainable manner. Not only does it cost you less than new clothes, it also reduces wastage and gives clothes a second life.
4. Go paperless
If you are a student, consider making a one time investment towards a tablet or iPad. With virtual school becoming more common due to the pandemic, paperless note-taking is a game changer. It reduces the weight in your backpack too because instead of carrying a notebook for every class, you’ll have just one device to carry it all.
5. Clean energy
If you’re a homeowner, look into renewable energy power options for your home. You can either take on this project by yourself or research energy companies that have partnerships with clean energy producers and switch to those.
The carbon footprint of one laundry cycle is quite high. Try to limit the amount of cycles you do and use a high efficiency washer. Look for alternatives to tumble drying such as using a clothesline; this is a good option especially for summers when the temperature and sun outdoors will naturally dry the clothes quicker.
7. Sustainable investments
Your finances can often have a positive or negative impact on the environment depending on your banking and investments. First look into your bank to make sure it doesn’t invest in companies that might harm the environment such as fossil fuel companies. If you want to make sustainable investments, consider ESG funds.
If you own a car or are planning to buy one, getting an electric vehicle might be a good way to reduce your carbon emissions. You can also incorporate more walking, biking and using public transport into your lifestyle.
Instead of throwing away food scraps and organic matter in the trash, look into composting. If you have a garden, it can be good nutrients for the soil. You can also look for local composting programs such as the one in Rochester.
10. Join an activist group
Join a local environmental campaign group and use your voice to bring sustainable change. Write to your local politicians and vote for political candidates who commit to green policies. Donate to environmental organizations. Educate the people around you.
11. Avoid single use plastics
Having recently gone through a lot of holiday dinners, you might have noticed the huge amounts of single use plastics being used. This year, pledge to use reusable cutlery and utensils. Carry a reusable water bottle and coffee mug around while you’re out to avoid using single use plastic containers for beverages.
12. Sustainable gift giving
With the current holiday season, a lot of us exchanged gifts. Oftentimes gift giving can be wasteful because of the huge amounts of wrapping paper that are thrown away. Try looking into eco-friendly gift wrappers. Creating homemade, personalized gifts and cards can also be more sustainable and often meaningful than purchasing items from a store.
Written By Hanyia Ahmed, Class of 2022
Source of Photograph: Unsplash