Good for the Planet New Year’s Resolutions
Maybe you can tell by the fact that I have two New Year’s Resolutions posts in one month that I really love New Year’s! I think it’s such a cool time to put all your dreams into action. For this edition, I wanted to offer four simple suggestions for resolutions that might help out the planet.
We are all pretty aware of the impact each person has on the world around us: trash, car emissions, the foods we consume, pollution we individually contribute to the atmosphere. It seems like such a big task to fix some of the human impact on our environment, and sometimes it seems like one person doing little things doesn’t add up to much.
Of course there are things we can be doing on a macro level to encourage more drastic change, but there are so many simple things each person can do to contribute to cleaner air, less junk, and a healthier environment.
Here are just some ideas I had to encourage that kind of change in your own home:
+ Donate & Buy Secondhand
My husband just went to pick up two car seats we found secondhand on Facebook marketplace yesterday. I looked at all of our baby gear, and I would say that about 80% of it is secondhand. That’s a big impact! Buying secondhand helps keep things out of landfills and lessens the environmental impact of creating new consumer goods over and over. We’re also regular contributors to our neighborhood Goodwill. When we were first married, we didn’t have a lot of money. I was SO grateful for every deal and find at my local store. I could have cute, name brand items for our home and my closet for like a tenth of the price. Win win for me!
+ Meat Free Mondays and More
The environmental impact of meat consumption is really massive – crops to feed livestock, water use, methane output. For a lot of people, going vegetarian or vegan is really a radical departure from their idea of a normal diet. That’s ok! You don’t have to go all in! Just making a few meat-free recipes a week adds up to a lot. And these recipes are naturally very healthy too. So many health organizations encourage plant-based diets. You get to eat better, try new foods, and have a sizable impact on the planet by just replacing a few meals with meat-free options.
+ Stop the Paper Product Madness
I posted before about cloth diapers but we’ve reached an impasse on that one… That doesn’t mean that any little tweak away from paper products is taxing or difficult. I started replacing most of my paper towels for cleaning with microfiber cloths. They are washable, reusable, and are actually way better for cleaning than paper towels. For really terrible messes, sometimes I use paper towels, but for the most part all I use these days are microfiber cloths. Look around your house at some of the places where you use a lot of paper and see what you can replace. Online banking to handle receipts? Cloth napkins instead of paper? Any little bit helps.
+ Clean Resonsibly
Now that cleaning green is “a thing” there are so many amazing smelling and effective natural cleaning products at Target, Walmart, and the grocery store. I especially like Mrs. Meyers, Method, and a few Honest Company products. I also make my own Febreeze, carpet cleaning powder, and air fresheners. Look online for some easy and inexpensive natural cleaning product recipes and give them a shot. They are cheaper and far gentler on the planet.
Those are just four very simple ideas to get you started! I’m currently working on bringing reusable bags to the store more often. Like anything, it’s a work in progress! If you have other ideas, let me know in the comments below!