Yet again, the New Year snuck up on you before you made any resolutions. But, that’s okay—it’s never too late to start working on a new goal to better yourself. We’ve come up with a few that are not only better for you, but for the planet as well.
Visit a Second-Hand Clothing Store
It’s no secret that vintage and thrift shopping is on-trend right now, and for a good reason. In 2016, HuffPost released a study stating that the average American would likely throw away 81 pounds of clothing that year. In the years following the release of that statement, we, as a country, have become more conscious of “Fast Fashion” and our methods of disposal.
A few ways you can help to limit the amount of clothing thrown away are to:
- Shopping at and donating to a second-hand store.
- Plan a clothing swap between your friends, family, or community.
- If the clothes are no longer wearable, see if they can be composted, turn them into reusable rags, or locate a recycling center near you that will accept them.
Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
This one is a bit pricier, but it will save you thousands of dollars in the long run. For some residents, solar panels in arizona will save roughly $9,000 over the next 20 years following their purchase—which, admittedly, doesn’t seem like a lot, but over time that money will surely add up.
On the inside of your home, you can ditch your old incandescent light bulbs and invest in a few more energy-efficient CFL bulbs.
Turn Your Kitchen into a Green Space
Having a solid plan as to what you are going to prepare throughout the week will significantly cut down on your time and money spent at the grocery store. While doing your weekly meal planning, consider including at least one entirely meat-free day. If you’re not open to a completely meat-free day, at least cut down on your red meat consumption.
When the time comes to prepare your meals, try to keep the clean up as easy as possible, using fewer dishes ultimately means using less water. Store your delicious food in reusable, microwave-safe containers, freeze your leftovers, and compost what you cannot save.
One of the most frustrating things about cooking is what to do with that used cooking oil collection you’ve gathered in a variety of soup cans and spaghetti sauce jars. Believe it or not, there are recycling facilities that will drop off a bin to keep outside of your restaurant or residence, where you can dispose of your used cooking oil. From there, it will be picked up and repurposed.
Cut Down on Your Use of Single-Use Plastics
Single-use plastics are so commonplace in our daily lives that we almost don’t take notice anymore. One of the simplest things you can do is to create your own Zero Waste Kit. Sure, you can buy a premade kit, but why not take advantage of all that mismatched silverware you already have? By bringing your own reusable straw and water bottle, cutlery, and bags, you’ll be amazed at the amount of plastic you’ve avoided to use.
Many of the plastics you encounter are recyclable, so if you run into a situation where the use of a plastic product is unavoidable—and there is no recycle bin in sight, pop it into your reusable bag and bring it home to recycle.
Regularly following these simple tricks may seem daunting at first, but it will quickly become second nature. You may even raise awareness to those around you, inspiring them to cut down their use as well.