Photo: Molly Beauchemin

10 New Year’s Resolutions That Help The Environment

Struggling to think of a good 2018 NYE resolution? Consider doing something to support the environment.

1. Avoid Single-Use Plastic as Much as Possible. Takeout containers, reusable bags, and bottled water are all ruining the oceans and piling up in over-stuffed landfills worldwide. According to Plastic Oceans, 8 million tons of plastic end up in our seas each year, which has negative consequences not only for marine life, but the human food chain.

2. Cut Down on Shower Time. It uses less water and it’s better for your skin and hair, too!

Photo: Andreana Bitsis

3. Join a CSA. Community Supported Agriculture (purchasable through farm shares known as CSA shares) are the best way to shop in 2018. Local food is shown to have more nutrients than irradiated food that is shipped long distances, and it also cuts down on food miles (e.g. the carbon footprint of your food) and supports local farms.

4. Workout More…Outside. People seem to forget that treadmills run on electricity, and being outside is good for the soul and the neurons in our brains. If you can bear the cold, consider bundling up and taking your next run outdoors– at least the park will be less crowded, and you actually burn more calories when your body is working to warm you up at the same time as you work out. Biking to work, for example, is also a great way to start your day without contributing fossil fuel emissions– but then again you already know that.

5. Don’t Print The Receipts. Not only are thermal receipts laced with Bisphenol-A (BPA), a known endocrine disruptor that can cause thyroid and other developmental problems, but this is a waste of paper that can often just as easily be emailed.

6. Start Composting. Recycling alone is not enough. Even megacities like NYC are instituting plans for city-wide composting. And if you can’t compost, be sure to use as much of the vegetable or animal product as possible. Make applesauce out of bruised apples, or make bone broth from a leftover roast chicken carcass.

7. Take the #VintagePledge. Recycled or vintage clothing uses less water and chemicals than virgin fabric by a landslide. This year, take the vintage pledge and aim to buy the majority of your clothing vintage or second hand (it’s also better for your wallet!) or aim to purchase clothing made in the USA or with recycled materials, like this recycled wool outerwear from Patagonia.

8. Stop Using Straws. There’s no way to recycle straws, so they just end up the ocean or a landfill. This is also true for those tiny plastic disposable flossers which aren’t even that effective at cleaning your teeth. Instead, use reusable metal straws and opt for normal string floss, as those little pieces of plastic will just end up in a landfill.

Photo: Andreana Bitsis

9. Wherever Possible, Buy Products Made in the USA. This will keep the number of miles a product has to travel to you at a minimum. Most consumer goods these days are made in China, plus, you will be supporting small businesses and the U.S. economy!

10. Turn Off The Water When You Brush Your Teeth. You’ve heard it said before and we’ll say it again: leaving the tap on when you brush your teeth is a huge waste of water. Turn. Off. The Tap.

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