Five resolutions for more sustainable living

Click each drop-down below to learn more about ways to make 2019 your greenest year yet!

Every household has an individual carbon footprint. This term typically refers to the amount of greenhouse gases produced by members in the household, through a variety of activities. A carbon audit calculates the amount of resources used, specifically in the areas of home energy, transportation and waste. Conducting a carbon audit for your household helps you and your family stay in the know, and make smart cost-effective choices to lessen your impact. Use this as a starting point for 2019! 

Food waste is an enormous issue across the world. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, roughly 1/3 of the food produced in the world for human consumption gets lost or is wasted. That’s 1.3 billion tons!

How can you help combat that number? Prepare your grocery lists ahead of time. While it may be tempting to stop and shop on your way home, you’re more likely to pick up items you don’t need or won’t use on an impulse trip. Look at your week ahead, and plan your shopping list plan accordingly! This will not only help you cut down on unnecessary food waste, but will help you save money too!

While minimalism became trendy throughout much of 2018,  some found it difficult to embark on such a limited lifestyle. Similar to food waste, however, many people purchase on a regular basis that get little to no use, and are either thrown away, or stored for long periods of time. To avoid this practice, approach purchasing your goods in a similar way to purchasing your food: plan ahead of time. This simple step helps cut down on impulse buys that will save you money and space, and won’t end up in a landfill. 

When purchasing items like clothing, furniture, housewares, etc., consider purchasing secondhand from individual sellers, consignment shops, or donation stores. When purchasing secondhand, you’re giving new life to a previously used item, rather than using the resources it takes to create a new one. Again, this is typically easier on your wallet, and saves these gently used items from sitting in a landfill. 

Single-use items like plastic silverware, plastic bags, coffee cups, straws, paper napkins, and plastic water bottles can all be easily replaced by reusable substitutes. Though their cost may be higher upfront, using reusable items will actually save you money in the long run, and will make a huge difference in the amount of trash produced by your household each year.

In 2019, try plastic-free reusable alternatives like stainless steel, glass, bamboo, cloth, etc.! 

When it comes to the environment, ignorance is not bliss. It’s important to stay up on critical environmental issues, especially as that continues to be a “hot topic” in today’s society. You can make a positive difference in your community by staying informed, and being vocal with lawmakers about the issues that are important to you and the earth! 

Written by Ali Chiavetta