A new year is always a good time to start thinking about how you can make yourself healthier, but it can also be a great time to find ways to help keep the planet healthy, too. Here are some easy New Year's resolution ideas to help you go green in the new year.
Expand Your Menu
Did you know you could help the environment with your dietary choices? Choosing a vegetarian or vegan diet works to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, reports TIME. Plus, a study in Environmental Research Letters found that a plant-based diet saves water resources and decreases the demand for farmland expansion.
Last year, I wrote about my journey to becoming a vegetarian. One of the biggest obstacles to overcome was finding new recipes to keep my meals fun and interesting. Expanding my repertoire in the kitchen made it easier to stick to my new commitment. Try making it your New Year's resolution to cook with one new ingredient or recipe a week. For example, one of the new ingredients I tried this past year was chard.
Green Your Commute
Choosing sustainable methods of transportation can significantly lower your carbon footprint. Give your bike a tune-up and resolve to pedal your way to work instead. There are plenty of other ways you can green your commute, as well, from taking public transportation to carpooling.
Reduce Household Waste
Resolve to minimize your household waste by eliminating some of the disposable, single-use items from your shopping list. It doesn't take a massive change in your routine to reduce excess waste. Simply swapping your paper towels for cloth towels in your kitchen, for example, can make a tremendous impact. Here are five easy swaps for a greener kitchen to help you get started.
You could take this resolution one step further and make it a family resolution to eliminate all waste with a New Year's zero-waste challenge. Even if the challenge only lasts a day or a week, the experience will be eye-opening for your whole family and help you minimize waste all year long.
Hitting a hiking trail is not only a great way to fulfill your fitness goals for the year, but it also helps you raise eco-conscious kids. Teaching your kids big concepts, like why living an eco-friendly life is important, can be challenging. Young kids often learn better through hands-on experiences, which is why hiking is a great way to teach them about protecting the environment. Make it a New Year's resolution to take more family hikes. The kids will have fun exploring in nature while learning the value of protecting it.
Grow a Greener Garden
Living green applies to the outside of your home as much as the inside. The whole family can get involved in adopting sustainable practices in your backyard. When you prepare your garden for spring in the new year, resolve to use sustainable landscaping. Start an edible garden, plant flowers that are native to your local environment, or add plants that attract pollinators. Keep your garden and your resolutions growing all year by using natural fertilizers and pest deterrents.
It doesn't take a lot of effort to make eco-friendly New Year's resolutions that are easy to stick to all year long. Just a few simple changes can go a long way.
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Why It's Good
With these attainable, eco-friendly New Year's resolutions, a few small changes can go a very long way to keeping the planet healthy. Going green is easy when you make some simple swaps in your routine!