With a fresh new year upon us, it's time to set new goals and dream up big plans for the year ahead. It's also the perfect time to reflect on what brings you joy in life and what kind of impact you want to have! While getting fit, saving money, and eating clean are all amazing resolutions, it's also important to think even bigger than your personal life goals and look at the future of our planet. What do you want to see happen for future generations? What will our legacy be? What can you do to have an impact?
As a brand that prioritizes making earth-friendly choices, we believe in the power of going green. Whether it's a multimillion dollar business resolving to incorporate sustainable practices as a brand strategy, or an individual making it their personal mission to reduce their carbon footprint, it's the changes that matter.
As Lauren Conrad mentioned in her New Year's Resolution to Go Green last year:
"When it comes to going green, small changes make a big difference".
Here are some ways to live greener in 2019!
Reduce Your Meat Consumption
Perhaps one of the biggest ways to make the world a greener place, reducing your meat consumption can cut your carbon footprint in half! According to The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), livestock production accounts for 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and the Worldwatch Institute says it could even be as much as 51 percent. Not only is a vegetarian lifestyle a healthier and more compassionate choice, but by cutting out beef, pork and poultry from your diet, you could make a huge difference to the planet. Even if you cut back a little bit by participating in meatless Mondays, you can still make a big impact in the health of the Earth.
Be Water Wise
Water is the Earth's most precious resource, so one of the most important vows in your journey to being eco-friendly in 2017 is to become more responsible with the way we use it. According to unwater.com, there are 783 million people who don't have access to clean water, so if we each do our part in conserving what we do have, the world will be a greener place. Looking for some tips? Take a look at these:
- Turn off the water while brushing your teeth. You can also multitask and brush them while you're in the shower!
- Create a shower time limit of 2-5 minutes.
- Don't use your dishwasher or washing machine until they're completely full.
- Use a water-less car wash instead of a traditional one, which uses anywhere between 80-140 gallons of water.
- Avoid rinsing your dishes before adding them to your dishwasher (this saves up to 20 gallons each load!)
Commit To Recycling
Did you know that a recycled glass container can go from a bin and back to a store shelf in as little as 30 days? Recycling is a powerful way to make the world a greener place but it's something we all need to work on. According to all-recyling-facts.com, recycling glass, tin and plastic containers or bottles can conserve enough energy to power light bulbs for 3-4 hours! If you're looking for a way to make your paper usage more eco-friendly, try using seed paper. Created with recycled post-consumer materials, this special paper can be used for a variety of things and can be planted to grow REAL wildflowers, herbs or veggies instead of being tossed in the garbage.
Learn more about seed paper here!
Make Your Special Occasions Eco-friendly
From Christmas to weddings and everything in between, life is filled with reasons to celebrate, but that doesn't mean we should stop being eco-friendly during them! In fact, these are great opportunities to have fun and be unique with your green lifestyle. From upcycle crafts to plantable stationery for weddings, moving announcements, memorials and more, there are so many creative ways to enjoy your occasions without adding waste into the environment.
From groceries to gifts, buying local products from shops and farmers' markets in your community can make a big difference in the environment. By supporting local, you can help cut down on the pollution and greenhouse gasses created when products are flown or trucked in from various export destinations.
Clean Green & Use Natural Pesticides When Gardening
Choose DIY green solutions or look for eco-friendly store-bought brands when doing your shopping for the home and garden. Luckily we live in a time when non-toxic products that are safe and as effective as chemical-based solutions are widely available. You can even choose to make your own so you know exactly what is going in them! Pinterest is a great place to get started with making your own eco-friendly home and body products and here are 5 eco-friendly pesticide recipes to keep your gardens thriving.
Ditch The Plastic Bags
The next time you slip out to do a bit of shopping, keep a strong, reusable bag with you in your purse or car. Not only is this an inexpensive and more stylish way to haul your purchases around, but it's a fantastic way to be more eco-friendly. According to 50waystohelp.com, we use 500 billion plastic bags worldwide which aren't biodegradable and end up in our oceans and therefore our food-chain.
Stop The Paper Trail
There are so many ways that we can stop using paper unnecessarily! For example, if all households in the U.S. paid their bills online instead of using mail, we'd save 18.5 million trees a year. Take a look at these ideas:
- Opt for e-statements for banking
- Pay bills online
- Download an E-Ticket on your smartphone in lieu of a printed boarding pass
- Cancel your phone book delivery and recycle your old ones
- Find a service that helps reduce the amount of junk like flyers, coupons and newsletters that you receive in the mail
If your living arrangements will allow it, we encourage you to start composting in your garden. A great way to add nutrition to your soil for vegetable gardens and flower beds, composting is an eco-friendly solution to use grass, leaves, plants and other organic food waste that doesn't involve throwing them in the trash. By placing these items into your compost pile instead of the garbage bin, you can avoid adding more waste into the landfills! Looking for more gardening ideas? Take a look here!
Whether you choose to carpool, walk, ride a bike or take public transportation to-and-from work each day, traveling smarter by avoiding solitary driving is a great way to reduce pollution. Not only will this help save you money on gas and parking, you'll also help de-congest the roads and if you carpool, you can create some new friendships, too!
Remind Yourself Daily
We've heard it all before and yet so many of us still have trouble making green choices throughout our lives. Sometimes we just need an extra push or a daily reminder to keep us on the right track. That's why in addition to this list of tips, we also designed a 2019 Free Printable Eco Calendar that features all kinds of interesting facts and tips to keep you motivated all year long.