It's the beginning of a new year, and it's likely you know what that means — new resolutions. If you haven't come up with a New Year resolution yet, you might want to make a few small changes that can have a positive effect on the planet. It's important you do whatever you can to help decrease waste, and it's not as hard as you might think.
Below are 10 eco-friendly New Year resolutions you can make to make a difference for our planet.
If you took a minute to look at the food you just had delivered to your home, you'd likely notice it came wrapped up in plastic packaging. When ordering out, ask the restaurant to wrap your food cartons up with biodegradable food packaging, rather than plastic. By doing this, you're taking a step in reducing plastic pollution.
Great food and beverages can keep any party alive. And, chances are you're not looking forward to washing all the dishes once the party is over. And, you still don't have to. You can save yourself the hassle of washing dishes, and take another step towards helping the environment by ditching single-use plastic cutlery, and using biodegradable disposable tableware to serve your guests food instead. Some examples are:
Biodegradable disposable tableware is made from natural resources and are chemical-free and compostable.
Every minute worldwide, a million plastic bottles are bought, and only 9% of plastic gets recycled. The plastic bottles land in oceans and landfills, polluting the planet, and harming wildlife. Instead of using plastic, try using a reusable glass or stainless steel bottle instead. When visiting a cafe or carrying coffee around, try using an insulated travel cup or thermos instead.
A couple ways to do this are:
Sleeping on a natural latex mattress not only provides comfortable, quality sleep, but it's also better for your health than standard mattresses. For instance, a natural latex mattress contains no PBDEs.
A lot of fire retardants contain a harsh chemical known as polybrominated diphenyl ether. One scary thing about PBDEs is they don't break down over time, but rather stay active, constantly contaminating your home's air and risking your family's health. They've been linked with a large range of health issues too, including:
There's also no off-gassing with natural latex mattresses. Off-gassing occurs when specific petrochemicals come into contact with your home's air and release unpleasant, harmful odors because of it. They're common in things that use specific volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like:
Plus natural latex mattresses are sustainable and 100% recyclable.
If you live in a location where plastic bags are taxed or banned, it's likely you've seen reusable grocery bags. Grab some of these reusable and durable bags when you go grocery shopping. Not only can you use them to carry your groceries home instead of plastic bags, but you can also use them for things like holding dirty laundry when you're traveling or bring home your items from the farmer's market.
Plastic utensils aren't just bad for the environment, but they're bad for you, too. Not to mention, many plastic utensils are made with a chemical called BPA that's really bad for your health, and is even linked with cancer. Another step towards living a more sustainable lifestyle is by using reusable utensils like bamboo. Reusable bamboo utensils are:
And, they make a great environmentally-friendly travel accessory.
To "go green" also means conserving natural resources. Start by planting trees. Involve your whole family so you instill these values in your children. Use solar energy for your home's energy, and water from streams for irrigating your garden. Gardening is actually a great thing to embrace. It's a great way of ensuring your household is eating clean food. It can be tricky business buying food in the market, since many use chemicals for speeding up the growth of vegetables and fruits.
Use an indoor bamboo compost bin to start your composting journey. Scoop your leftover dinner food scraps into a dishwasher-safe compost bin instead of in the trash. Even if you can't compost in your backyard, this bin is the perfect way of collecting your scraps so you can then drop them off at your local compost collection center.
Involve your kids in your daily tasks of going green. Teach them how important it is to embrace a green lifestyle. Teach them about environmental conservation from an early age to positively impact the next generation.
Many people from this generation aren't paying attention to environmental conservation, since they likely believe they won't be around when things start going south. However, they don't consider their children and their children's children, who will be around and end up suffering the consequences of their actions.
Living an eco-friendly lifestyle is a great way to contribute to environmental conservation. By teaching your children about living green, you ensure you're raising environmentally-conscious children who will also pass on this valuable education to their kids. Living a green lifestyle also helps you live a healthier life.