It is officially 2021... can I get it Hallelujah! I certainly won't bore you with how I'm reflecting on 2020, however I will share with you the some new and unique Sustainable New Year's Resolutions that I believe each of us could take on for the year. No matter if you are just starting your sustainable journey, or you are a true organic-homemade-granola-kind-of-person, I have created a list of 5 easy and practical Sustainable New Year's Resolutions that I think anyone can take on. There is no time like the present... so let's jump right on in! 1) Whatever your meat consumption is, cut it in half. This small change in your diet will have the biggest impact on reducing your personal carbon footprint. (If this already sounds too challenging, maybe cut your meat consumption by 1/4 at first, or simply start by reducing your red meat consumption, as we all know red meat has more than double the carbon footprint than any other animal based protein.
To learn more about the carbon footprint of our food, check out the helpful graphic from Our World in Data. 2) Shop locally! Birthdays, celebrations, and holidays come up almost monthly, so I created a note on my phone that lists out my 5 favorite local stores that sell unique gifts for anyone I could be shopping for. By keeping this list on my phone, as I explore these stores first before jumping straight on Amazon/Target/Etc. Shopping locally allows the community to have a stronger circular economy, plus, the items are so more special than anything found on Amazon!
(My top 5 local shops are: ‘ME Mother Earth’ for fun and affordable eco-friendly swaps. For thecandle lover in your life: ‘Homemade by Aja’. For the jewelry lover in your life: ‘TuesdaysBestCo’. Anyone who loves cooking with unique spices: Soul D’licious (I buy these at the Farmers Market on Wednesday nights). And for those hard-to-shop-for folks, the Market In the Alley has everything!
3) Keep those reusable grocery bags and reusable produce bags in your car! This habit just makes everything easier... from last minute grocery shopping to picking up to-go food, keeping reusable bags in your car just makes sense.
4) Explore your local Recycling Center’s Website. Every state, and every county in the state has different rules on what can and cannot be recycled. Spending just 15 minutes on the website could make you a better and more efficient recycler!
I have found some great resources for those that live in Las Vegas NV, Reno NV, and Novi MI:
Novi, MI Website (Shout out to my Uncle Christ from Novi, MI who asked how to recycle broken holiday lights. The recycling website for Novi, MI, has the best recycling directory that I’ve ever seen!) 5) Buy naked produce! Yes, you heard me right, NAKED PRODUCE! Naked produce refers to any fruit and vegetable that does not come in a plastic bag, wrapping, mesh netting, brown paper bag, it is simply sold NAKED! You’ll more than likely have less food waste if you’re only buying what you actually need, and you’ll come across new fruits or vegetables that you’ve never tried before. If your local grocery store does not sell your favorite produce without unnecessary wrapping why not check out the local farmers markets where they sell all of their produce NAKED!
And there you have it my friends, my top 5 easy and practical Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions for 2021! I will be personally taking on these as my personal lifestyle goals, and would love to hear if you are taking on any other sustainable goals for 2021?
From my naked produce to yours, Happy 2021!
***This picture was taken back in 2017 when my husband and I celebrated New Years Eve wearing onesies with friends. And yes, I still wear that onesie every year for New Years!