The Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions We Should All Be Making
It might not come as a surprise that recycling is one of our top 10 tips for an eco-friendly lifestyle. And as wholehearted believers in the concept, we couldn't resist recycling (and improving) one of our favorite articles from the past year. So, please enjoy our best hacks for a more sustainable 2020.
First tip: Save water. Don’t leave taps running – whether it’s in the kitchen or bathroom – and close them properly to avoid dripping. Always turn off the shower while lathering up, scrubbing, or whatever you do and, naturally: stay clear of the bottled water.
Walk, cycle or travel collectively to work or school (those rentable electric kick-bikes are not great alternatives, given that their lifespan is about 1-3 months…). Skip the car as often as you can and go by bus or train instead of flying. This will reduce the harmful carbon dioxide emissions and other global-warming gasses generated by traffic.
Go chemical-free. We know that toxic chems are a constant factor in our everyday lives and ever-present in the products we consume on a daily basis. Explore the many healthy and eco-friendly (organic, natural, plant-based) alternatives to the beauty and cleaning products, laundry detergents, and hygiene essentials you use today.
Join the plastic detox, and above all: Say no to single-use plastic. Skip the plastic straw at the café, fill your own bottle with tap water, get your to-go coffee in a reusable mug, boycott plastic cutlery, invest in a glass or steel lunch box, and bring a reusable shopping bag to the store. It’s completely game-changing.
Extend meat-free Monday to an entire week, month or year. A plant-based diet with lots of yummy greens is better for the body, the animals, and the planet. Did you know that about 23% of the greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, livestock, and the land and forests needed to raise them?
Buy in bulk and packing-free whenever you can (for food, a good pantry set and reusable produce bags are essential here). This way, you’ll save plenty resources and don’t end up with more than you actually need, which also reduces the risk of you having to throw things away (an alarming 25-30% of our food is lost or wasted globally today).
Basic rule: Think twice before buying anything, whether it’s clothing, food, beauty, or any other stuff. Always ask yourself: “Do I really need this?” And instead of buying new, give pre-owned a go. By choosing second hand fashion, you’ll reduce a garment’s total environmental impact with about 70%.
Be a conscious consumer and let yourself be guided by known certifications (GOTS, KRAV, Nordic Swan, Fairtrade, FSC, EU Ecolabel etc.). Choose organic and locally produced whenever you can, and make sure to elongate the lifecycle of the things you buy. Sell on things you’ve tired of, give them to charity, or make sure they receive proper end-of-life handling. Remember: Reduce, reuse, recycle.
Care for your clothes, and wash with care. Steam or air them out as a first option, and do your laundry only when you can fill up the machine (without stuffing it). Wash on a lower temperature, reduce the detergents, skip the softener, and use a microfiber washing bag for your synthetics. Also, save energy by hanging your textiles to air dry instead of using the dryer.
Lastly, but maybe most importantly: Recycle. It’s ones personal responsibility to make sure that plastic, paper, glass, food, metal, textiles, cosmetics and all other consumer waste ends up where it belongs, so it can be properly recycled or discarded. Nothing beats that do-good feel.
Also on our list: Stress down, enjoy life, have fun and be kind. Happy 2020!
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