If you’re ready to help the planet while also improving yourself, then you’re going to love our earth-friendly New Year’s resolutions.
Eating healthier, exercising more, and cutting out the procrastination may be at the top of your New Year’s resolutions list; and while we applaud your desire to be a better person (from the inside-out), we implore you to take things one step further by incorporating Mother Nature, too. Not only will our suggestions benefit you, but they’ll also help green your planet in small ways, bringing a greater sense of holistic living to your life.
1. Eat Less Meat
Current figures say that global animal farming is responsible for nearly a third (or almost 30 percent) of all emissions worldwide. Furthermore, in addition to making you healthier, an Oxford Martin School research study finds that a widespread switch to vegetarianism would reduce food-related emissions by 63 percent. Start by participating in Meatless Mondays, and ask yourself if you really need a meat or dairy product present at every meal of the day — three meals a day multiplied by seven days means consuming meat 21 times a week. Not only does this slow digestion, but it also raises cholesterol and causes premature aging.
2. Ditch Plastic Bags
It’s time to ditch the plastic bags in favor of reusable totes – but, like, for real this time. Only around two percent of plastic bags get recycled annually, while the rest just sit, and sit, and sit some more in our landfills and oceans. Throw those cloth bags in the car and keep them there, so you don’t forget them at home, or try something even more practical, like a roomy (and stylish) backpack for carrying on small trips that you can then fill with your merchandise after paying at the register.
3. Upcycle Your Textiles
With the rise of fast fashion (and fast lifestyles), the average citizen now throws away 70 pounds of clothing and textiles each year, which means this waste also accounts for five percent of all landfill space. With numbers like that, it’s important to come up with solutions. Clothing swaps are great (and fun, and free) ways to do away with gently used stuff in your closet, all while having an excuse to get together and drink wine with your girlfriends. And don’t forget about all of the amazing upcycling potential your clothes have.
4. Pledge To Recycle
All it takes is a small step, a little action, to really get things moving in the residential recycling department. For curbside pickup, check with your local ordinance and get the bins you need. Next, head to the store and pick up one extra garbage can to start with, and begin with a product like plastics, or aluminum, or paper, or glass. Just focus on recycling one category to begin with, and watch your passion grow. Apparently, recycling 100 cans could light your bedroom for two weeks. Imaging the difference you could make!
5. Compost Your Scraps
If you make a conscious decision to compost at home, you could break down the egg shells, banana peels, and other organic waste that would otherwise sit contained in a plastic garbage bag sealed off from the earth and soil it could otherwise nourish. This process is as simple as setting up an outside receptacle that fits your needs (the setup is usually the most intensive, if you can call it that), collecting your scraps after cooking (and some other activities), and placing them in the outside bin where they will decompose, rendering you a rich, fertile compound that can be added to your garden.
6. Grow Something Edible
Even if it’s as small as an indoor herb garden, there is real power behind growing your own food. Edible plants and gardens will not only save you money and potentially improve your health, but they offer a sense of accomplishment for your efforts, and help reduce widespread farming issues. Build (or buy) a small raised garden bed outdoors and get to planting, or research all of the delicious herbs and fruits and veggies you can grow indoors — you may be surprised at the (yard-less) possibilities!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our suggestions for a cleaner planet and body. As always, we want to know what you think, so be sure to let us know your New Year’s resolutions on the EcoSalon Facebook page! Here’s to a safe, healthy, happy, and greener start to 2017!
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