This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn money or products from the links in this post at no additional cost to you. Please check out my full disclosure policy
What does it mean to be sustainable? According to Investopedia, “sustainability refers to the ability to maintain or support a process continuously over time. In business and policy contexts, sustainability seeks to prevent the depletion of natural or physical resources, so that they will remain available for the long term”.
To me, sustainability means being conservative with the natural resources around me and meeting my own needs so that future generations can thrive and meet their needs as well. Being sustainable is about being conscious about the resources you’re using.
8 New year’s resolutions for a more sustainable lifestyle
1. use less plastic straws
Plastic straws are not biodegradable. Plastic straws are hard to recycle because they are so small. Plastic straws also pollute our oceans and waterways.
This is something that I have been working on for the last few months. I would love to make it a habit in the new year. It can be a challenge not to use plastic straws if it’s something you’ve always done without thinking twice.
You have to be patient with yourself! Every small step is one step towards the goal.
There are even on-the-go-style reusable straws to use at restaurants or other people’s houses.
If I forget to bring my reusable straw to a restaurant, I will drink straight from the glass.
2. Be more conscious of food waste
Food waste is something that my husband and I have struggled with in the past. It can be hard to cook for just two people and eating out every day is not an option for us.
Being more conscious of food waste is one of my new year’s resolutions because I want to focus on not creating as much food waste. One of my favorite purchases of 2022 was a composting bin. I love it! It makes me feel like I am being less wasteful with the food I do throw out.
I want to try and make smaller meals that are better for two people. When we do have leftovers, I want to plan to take them for lunch at work or eat them at home. Lastly, if I still have to throw out food, or other items, I plan to always compost them (as long as it’s compostable).
Some of my favorite simple meals are:
3. Create less waste
Creating less waste is a very broad resolution because waste comes from all different parts of our life. In 2023, I am striving create less waste all around. I am striving to create less food waste, less packaging waste, plastic waste, and to create less non-recyclable waste.
What type of waste would you like to focus on, or would you like to focus on creating less waste as a whole?
4. shop sustainable fashion
Shopping sustainable fashion is one of my favorite things to do!
What does it mean to shop sustainable fashion? Shopping sustainable fashion means shopping for clothing items that are manufactured and constructed in an eco-friendly manner. It also means you consider the full life span of the clothing items.
Shopping sustainable fashion can mean several different things. It can mean you pay attention to the materials clothing items are made out of that you buy. It can also mean buying used clothing instead of new because used clothing still has a long life ahead of it, and there’s no need to buy new and create more waste.
Shopping at places like consignment stores, Poshmark, and even from people on Facebook or other selling platforms is one of my favorite ways to buy clothing. You can find the cutest clothes at affordable prices that are barely worn. Shopping sustainable fashion beats buying new at a retail store any day for me.
5. Learn to grow your own food
Learning to grow your own food will help you in so many ways.
It’s the perfect resolution for a more sustainable lifestyle. By growing your own food, you know where the food comes from, and you can keep from using harmful pesticides and fertilizers. By doing this, you can keep harmful chemicals out of your food, out of the air, and out of the soil!
Also, by growing your food, you do not have to rely on those around you for produce, and it may even save you some money!
I am excited to use our compost this year for our garden.
You can also learn a lot from growing your own food. I have learned how to can pickles, tomatoes, salsa, and more! My husband and I love to dry out herbs and peppers to use in various recipes and to make our own spices. We have so much fun trying new things with the food we grow.
6. Practice Upcycling
Creating waste is something we cannot avoid. One way of helping with the waste we do create is to think of ways to upcycle it.
One thing I love to do is upcycle glass bottles. I will use old bottles for decoration, plants, or even for homemade vinegar, cleaning recipes, and more!
I want to go into the new year with the mindset of upcycling things instead of throwing them away.
Some ideas for upcycling are using old cups or bowls to plant flowers in, reusing plastic bags instead of throwing them away, or using old clothes or towels for cleaning rags.
What are some things you could upcycle in the new year?
7. Create less paper waste
How much paper do you think you actually throw away? I know that I throw a lot of paper away. Bills, things I print offline, and random things that get sent home with me make up the majority of my paper waste.
Recently, I have been signing up for paperless options for bills and other things (like insurance paperwork).
Signing up for paperless options for your bills is amazing! It’s a great first step towards creating less paper waste. It will save tons of paper waste for you and the environment.
Some other ideas for creating less paper waste include using your phone planner, calendar, and notepad instead of paper ones. Filing paperwork and other things on your computer instead of printing them off and filing them “old school” in a filing cabinet will also help to cut down on paper waste.
8. Use less plastic bags
Plastic bags are not biodegradable. Plastic bags are horrible for the environment. They pollute our oceans and waterways, and plastic bags harm our wildlife and sea life.
Completely cutting out plastic bags can be a difficult thing to do. One of my resolutions for the new year is to simply cut down on using plastic bags.
I want to be more conscious of taking reusable bags with me when I go to the store and taking my own bag when I go to the farmer’s market or festivals.
Reusable bags, canvas totes, or mesh shopping bags are all wonderful options for replacing plastic bags! You can keep some at home and in your car so that you always have one when you need it.
What are your favorite bags for replacing plastic ones?
Do you have other ideas for new year’s resolutions for a more sustainable lifestyle? I would love to hear about them!
I hope the new year treats you well. Sending warm wishes, happiness, and great vibes your way.
Until next time,