It’s a new year, and the writing is on the wall: This tumbling rock of a planet we call Home is not happy with us. Fires, floods, tornados, hurricanes, droughts, deep-freezes, heat bubble. Climate instability has gotten downright scary. The Earth is changing rapidly, and entire species of plants and animals are going extinct before we ever get a chance to understand them. Under our constant and growing demand, precious natural resources like fresh water, fertile soil, and forests are becoming depleted, destroyed or much harder to find. As everyone is setting their goals for 2022, here are a few sustainable New Year’s resolutions that can help you make an impact on the environment!
1. Spend more time with family and friends in nature
Time in nature can increase social unity. Throughout the pandemic, many people discovered the outdoors as a place to decompress and reduce stress. Spending more time outdoors can encourage social interactions that benefit health, buffer emotional distress and encourage use of these spaces, which can help protect them for the future.
2. Stop Buying Crap
Since we’re talking about saving more money, one of the best ways to do that is by simply buying less. What we really mean is buy less crap.
Take fast fashion, we buy far more clothing than we need (and wear), often tossing clothes in the trash: Research shows that a garbage truck’s worth of clothing and textiles is landfilled or incinerated every second.
3. Start carbon offsetting your travel.
About 5% of global carbon emissions result from travel and tourism. Consider swapping a vacation for a staycation — you’ll greatly reduce your carbon footprint, as well as saving massive amounts of money (another top New Year’s resolution).
4. Minimize waste in your kitchen OR bathroom.
Focusing on one area of your home is a great place to start. Work on minimizing plastic, DIYing some things, and reducing your use of unnecessary items.
5. Start a Garden
Speaking of gardens, consider starting one! Growing your own food has many benefits, such as saving money, having fresher fruits and vegetables and eliminating plastic packaging. A lot of grocery stores are still wrapping produce in single-use plastic, so building a garden in the New Year will help you have a less wasteful kitchen.
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