Embracing Sustainability in the New Year with The Cleaner Dozen

Embracing Sustainability in the New Year with The Cleaner Dozen

As the calendar turns the page to a new year, it's that time again – the season of resolutions and fresh starts… that we may seem to make and break most every year. Why? Because, like many, we set our goals too high, resolving to do things we either can't or really don't want to do. We simply set the bar too high. This year, let's take a different approach to our sustainability goals - moving forward with goals that give us joy! The planet needs our care, and what better time to make a positive impact than the beginning of a brand-new year? So, here are a few resolutions you can make to lead a more sustainable life in 2024.

new year resolution

  1. Reduce single-use plastics: Always number one on the list, one of the most tangible ways to cut down on our environmental footprint is by minimizing the use of single-use plastics. You can start simple- by pledging to carry a reusable water bottle (this time for sure!), remembering to bring your own organic cotton bags to the store (save a dime + the planet!), and opting for products with minimal or eco-friendly packaging, really paying attention to what the packaging is made of. You can also start asking questions about products you bring into your home - is the product made from plastic? Is it recyclable? Is there a plastic-free option? Small changes can make a big difference. All it takes is a little time reading and doing some research. 
  2. Embrace a more plant-based lifestyle: Explore the world of plant-based eating, and we don't mean going full-on vegetarian or vegan. Reduce meat and increase fruits and vegetables in your diet. Incorporating more fruits, vegetables, and plant-based proteins into your diet benefits your health and reduces the environmental impact associated with animal agriculture. You'll be excited to discover new foodie recipes and flavors along the way. 
  3. Conserve energy at home: Cutting back on energy consumption is a resolution that aligns with both sustainability and cost savings. Be mindful of energy use around the house- turning off lights, unplugging devices when not in use, and investing in energy-efficient appliances. Give turning down the thermostat a try, and layer yourself with an organic cotton hoodie and a beanie to keep yourself warm. turn off the lights  It's a small adjustment that can contribute to a greener future.
  4. Using more sustainable transportation: This year might be the one to explore the greener transportation options. Whether it's walking, cycling, carpooling, or using public transportation, choose eco-friendly alternatives whenever possible. Every step – or pedal – counts.
  5. Support local and sustainable brands: Take a stronger look at supporting local and sustainable brands and choosing products from brands that are truly committed to sustainable practices. From organic clothing to food to household items you purchase, you can reflect your values and contribute to a more sustainable economy. Take more trips to the farmers' markets while cutting out the popular online-delivered purchases.
  6. Cultivate a green thumb: Turn your living space (even small) into a green haven. Start with a few easy-to-grow (hard-to-kill) indoor plants to improve air quality, and gradually venture into growing your own herbs and veggies to help with your new plant-based lifestyle. It's a small step towards sustainable living and a really feel-good way to connect with nature.  
  7. Educate and advocate: Knowledge is power, so continue to educate yourself and others about sustainability. Whether it's through sharing information on social media, participating in local environmental initiatives, or having conversations with friends and family, whoever will listen- be an advocate for positive change. Education is key to a personal sustainable journey, and all it takes is a little time. 
  8. Minimize food waste: Going hand-in-hand with more plant-based eating, take a closer look at your food habits to reduce waste. Add meal planning, proper storage, and creative ways to use leftovers to your agenda. By appreciating the value of food, you can contribute to a more sustainable and mindful approach to consumption. And what you cannot consume or turn into a leftover masterpiece can go to your compost garden.
  9. Connect with nature: This year, it's time to stop and smell the roses, literally. Reconnecting with nature is an essential part of leading a sustainable lifestyle, and this year, set aside time to spend outdoors, whether it's walking the coastal trails, or simply enjoying a quiet moment in the park with your furry (or not-so-furry) friends, it's a reminder of why our planet is worth protecting.
  10. Be a better pet parent: As you head into your sustainable lifestyle for the year, your furry friend will be with you along the way, so why not include them in the resolution, too? If you can, change to more sustainable pet food and products, sourcing pet food made of organic ingredients that are free from artificial additives, preservatives, and fillers, and that also support sustainable farming methods, and that use eco-friendly packaging. Buying the largest size that will remain good before you use it also helps cut down on packaging waste. To keep furry friends looking and smelling fresh, look for shampoos, conditioners, and wipes that are free from synthetic fragrances and dyes.
  11. Using less water: You might already be taking short showers and turning off the water while brushing your teeth, so it's time to look closer at your water conversation methods. Give your yard a transformation with plants that need less water… turning those sprinkler timer settings down makes a huge difference. When it comes to washing clothes, using small load settings and opting for cold water washing saves not only water usage but also the energy it takes to heat water. Go the traditional route of line drying to dry your clothes.
  12. Foster a sense of community: Last but certainly not least, recognize the power of collective action. You can seek out local sustainability groups, join community eco-friendly initiatives, and work with like-minded others to increase your impact. Together, we can make a difference that extends far beyond individual efforts.

community engagement

Your sustainable journey can feel overwhelming, but each resolution is a step towards a healthier planet and a brighter future, so recognize your efforts. Here's to a year of positive change, personal growth, and a deepened commitment to sustainability. 

Happy New Year! Make your New Year resolutions sustainable ones that you can keep!

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