January 1 marks the start of a New Year and for many, the start of New Years Resolutions. Whether you believe in them or not, a new year feels like a clean slate to set intentions. Perhaps gentle reminders rather than lofty goals. Like “move more” instead of “run a marathon” when you don’t even like to look at the treadmill.

If you’ve been spending some time reflecting this month on what you might like to change or add in your life this year, we would like to challenge you! Our resolution: Be more sustainable.

Sustainability looks different for everyone, but we’ve compiled a list of some ways you can be more sustainable this year. Imagine the impact we’d have if we all committed to this..

Avoid single-use plastics

The tip you’ve probably heard the most, especially amidst a pandemic where lots of reusables were swapped for single-use. Try creating a zero-waste kit that you can easily throw into your tote bag on the go. Make sure to include a set of cutlery – you can find bamboo cutlery or just use silverware from home, a reusable straw, a cloth napkin (this can also double as the zero-waste kit packaging), and a jar with a lid to replace all of those plastic coffee cups.

Make sustainable swaps

Make it your goal to swap out one disposable thing for a reusable alternative. Here are some ideas:

  • Cotton rounds – swap out huge bags of disposable cotton pads for washable facial rounds that can be reused again and again.
  • Paper towels – when you’re home, use cloth napkins or rags. Outside of your home, opt to use the air dryer to dry your hands instead of paper towels.
  • Soap - Reduce plastic by using bar soap instead of liquid soap.
  • Water bottle – Switch to a reusable water bottle and take it with you on the go.
  • Bags – Say no to paper or plastic when you’re grocery shopping. Instead, keep a tote bag with you at all times – in your car, in your purse, tucked away.

Try renting clothes

Instead of buying trendy clothes or trying to not buy at all, try renting with services like Rent the Runway and Nuuly so you can get your use out of clothes you may not keep forever. When you’re done, they’ll be on to the next.

Take action

Find community in sustainability. Look to local organizations for beach cleanups, volunteering or activism opportunities near you. If there aren’t any, host your own cleanup by gathering a few likeminded friends and heading to the beach or nearby nature preserve.  

Remember to be gentle with yourself. Sustainable lifestyle changes don’t happen overnight. If you forget your resolution and buy a plastic water bottle one day, reuse it as much as you can so it gets more than one life – then recycle it appropriately.