Eco-Friendly New Year's Resolutions For 2022, Sustainable New Year's Resolution, Zero Waste Habits for 2022
Written by: Micaela Sauve
It’s that time of year, “New Year, New Me!” Health and wellness are always top of mind in January, with New Year's resolutions focused on eating better, exercising more, waking up earlier and stressing less. Often these changes are so drastic that only few people actually stick with them.
Many people overlook other aspects of their life that can have a large impact on quality of life and our planet without having to drastically change routine. These are impactful habits that can not only be useful for you but our planet too.
Cut back on toxic chemicals in your home
Harsh chemicals and hard-to-pronounce ingredients can be found throughout the home. In the kitchen, the bathroom and especially in the laundry room. Even though your clothes may smell fresh, many leading brands of laundry detergents and dryer sheets contain harmful chemicals which lead to negative health effects, ranging from irritating skin and eyes to shock, convulsions, asthma and coma .
Additionally, it also has negative effects on the environment from those chemicals being washed into our waterways and the plastic packaging they come in.
A great way to clean up your laundry routine is to switch to natural laundry strips which are gentler on you and the planet (see ingredients here) and reusable dryer-balls (preferably wool as it decomposes at the product's end of life). Our sustainable laundry products are proudly free from phosphates, dyes, and formaldehyde!
Start bringing a homemade lunch
Bringing your own lunch can save you money, cultivate healthy eating habits and cut back on single-use plastic take-out containers. Ensure you're getting your nutrients in by packing your lunch before work to save on time wasted to grab take-out. Your picture-perfect meal deserves an equally cute bento box and cutlery set!
If you work from home, meal-prepping before work or before the week starts makes it easier to not miss lunch! You can store them in plastic-free food containers like these Munchie Bento Boxes, which let you add your main dish and a few sides. Lunch-from-home doesn’t have to be boring, you know!
Buy local produce & support farmers
The fresh local produce at a farmers market is as good for your mental health as it is for the rest of your body! Besides the nutritional benefits, there can be social and psychological ones as well.
A local farmers market is a great place to rub shoulders with your neighbors and to make new connections. Connecting with your community can promote a sense of belonging, a feeling that you matter, and a healthy trust in your neighbors.
Supporting your local farmers market is beneficial for the environment as well. Locally and regionally produced food saves 5 to 17 times the CO2 that conventional food distribution companies produce .
Learn to compost at home
Organic waste in landfills generates methane, a potent greenhouse gas (more than 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere). By composting wasted food and other organics, methane emissions are significantly reduced.
One way to ease into this transition is to find a compost bin that fits nicely wherever you need it, whether that's in your kitchen for organic scraps, your office for biodegradable bits, or your bathroom for any compostable trash!
While this doesn’t have the same physical or psychological benefits like some of the other habits, it does have a massive positive impact on the environment.
Buy in bulk & reduce single-use plastic
Packaging waste takes up a huge amount of space in our kitchen bins and ultimately in landfills. Buying in bulk is an amazing way to use less plastic and reduce packaging. Additionally, buying in bulk typically saves money as the cost for each unit is reduced, meaning you are getting more for every dollar.
You also aren't paying for the excess packaging. Without the fancy branding that companies charge for, buying in bulk means you are getting nothing but the product – pure and simple!
An even better option is to shop at a bulk store where you can bring your own reusable packaging like a Zero Waste grocery store.
Practice plastic-free self-care
Scientists have found microplastics everywhere they have looked: in deep oceans, Arctic snow, Antarctic ice, shellfish, table salt, drinking water, drifting in the air and falling in the rain.
Reducing our single use plastics in all aspects of our lives is extremely important. One of the easiest places to make that switch is in your bathroom routine.
Going green doesn’t mean you need to compromise on your bathroom routine. Nowadays, there are all kinds of products like reusable cotton rounds, plastic free razors and bamboo toothbrushes to ensure your routine barely needs to change.
It takes an average of 66 days for a new behavior to become a habit and consistency is key if you want to make a habit stick. It is easy to get over-motivated so don’t take on too much. Set up your environment for success so there is as little friction as possible between you and your new goal.
We wish you luck with your resolutions Net Zero Fam!
“Household Chemical Products & Health Risks,” Cleveland Clinic, 24-May-2018. [Online]. Available: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/11397-household-chemical-products-and-their-health-risk.
- R. C. |S. 4, R. Cho, Keondra., Sakshi, E. K. Perrow, J. M. Betz, AmyInNH, D. Howard, and Jess, “How green is local food?,” State of the Planet, 25-Apr-2019. [Online]. Available: https://news.climate.columbia.edu/2012/09/04/how-green-is-local-food/.