With the new year comes a new opportunity to start fresh and instill new habits. It became apparent in 2021 that the world is rapidly changing and it is up to us, as humans, to change our lifestyles and protect the environment and its creatures. See below for 7 EASY sustainable habits to practice in 2022 to start the change for a bright future. The little things make the biggest impact, so please join me in following these habits into the new year and beyond.
ONLY USE A REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE |
This habit I believe is the easiest to follow. I carry my “emotional support” water bottle everywhere so there is absolutely no need for me to use a single-use water bottle. Invest in a large water bottle and water filter for the new year to lower the plastic use problem. Find some cute ones here.
BRING YOUR OWN REUSABLE BAGS TO THE STORE | This is another very easy habit to follow. Keep some reusable bags and totes in the back of your car for when you’re out shopping and cut down on the unnecessary consumption of plastic grocery bags. Personally, this is something I struggle with when I’m out shopping but I will be working on it in the new year.
EAT MORE PLANTS | Eating more plants is the single most sustainable way to eat. Vegetarianism and veganism isn’t do-able for a lot of people, but try to consume more vegetables and fruits when possible. Enjoy a smoothie for breakfast two times a week instead of eggs and bacon and you will be on your way to making a huge difference.
AVOID SINGLE-USE PLASTIC WHEN POSSIBLE | Single-use plastic is one of the leading causes of micro-plastics in our oceans, lakes, rivers, and in turn, the food we consume. In 2022, pay attention to which foods come in plastic containers; for instance, berries, cucumbers, salad kits, etc. See if there are other options to purchase the foods you love. When you buy your favorite apples, bring a cloth, re-usable bag instead of the grocery bags found in the aisles for easy access.
BUY USED AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE |
When you buy used, whether that be clothes, books, or furniture, you are cutting down on CO2 used to produce something new. New is not always better. Buying used comes at a cheaper price (and more yearly savings) and saves an item that was otherwise bound to wind up at a landfill and not decompose for hundreds of years. Visit your local thrift store or used book store more often that you would visit a mall or a Barnes & Noble this year.
If you’re weary of thrift shopping, check out my blog post, here, on thrifting tips and best practices for making the most of your visit to Goodwill or Salvation Army.
EDUCATE YOURSELF | Perhaps one of the biggest drives of change is education. In 2022, watch a documentary on the harmful effects of plastic (there are plenty on Amazon Prime), read my blog, follow an Instagram page (one of my favorites is Impact), and most importantly, have conversations with those around you and spread your knowledge. I have made changes in my parent’s home because of conversations I have had with them. The smallest things, again, make the biggest difference.
PRACTICE MINIMALISM | I love shopping and getting new things just as much as the next person, however over the course of 2021 through my education on sustainability, I have significantly cut down on my shopping habits. I have SO many clothes and have realized that I don’t need to buy a whole new outfit for one special event. Finding new ways to style the same piece has saved my shopping habits. I advise you, in 2022, to practice minimalism. Cut down on unnecessary shopping for clothes, makeup, skincare, etc. I guarantee you will be in a much clearer headspace because of it.