Throughout the month of January I have been sharing ideas for habits we can all shift to be more environmentally minded on Instagram.
Here's a roundup of our Top 10 Eco-Friendly Resolutions
1) Start with the basics
I figured I would group the more common practices into one resolution. If you're new to zero waste living this may be the one and only habit you implement as it covers a lot of ground - and that's ok!
If you're already doing a lot of the basics, keep on reading and be inspired to try out some of my other ideas.
- reusable bag⠀
- reusable water bottle⠀
- reusable straw (or just go without one)⠀
- bamboo or stainless cutlery⠀
- reusable produce bag⠀
2) Don't be so hard on yourself & support others
Zero waste living can come with a lot of pressure - both perceived and real, internally and externally. When trying to be more eco-minded there is a tendency to be hard on ourselves. A desire to do everything perfectly.
But, committing to a zero waste life has its ebbs and flows, ups and downs, and at the end of the day we should all be here to support each other! (or at least that's what I want this community to be!)
No matter where you are in your zero waste journey, I'm here to remind you that you're doing amazing! Remember to tell your friends this as well.
3) Invest in quality
One concern I hear from people going zero waste is the cost. They worry that it's going to be expensive.
This is likely a result of many zero waste swaps seeming more pricey than their counterparts. BUT we need to look at the whole picture here. These items might have a higher price tag because they are designed to LAST. So while you may be making an investment up front, it will average out over time.
Investing in these items will often save you money in the long run. A safety razor pays for itself in the first few months since replacement blades are so cheap, and the amount of food you will save from the bin with our wraps will cover their cost in the first three months.
Commit to shifting your mindset to purchase fewer items overall, but focusing on ones that are high quality and designed to last.
4) Cook at home more
This is one of my own personal goals for the new year. When cooking at home not only can you control the amount of waste involved, it also helps to save you money and eat healthier (especially since going zero waste means spending more time in the produce section and less time in the processed foods area of the grocery store).
5) Buy Vintage
Not only is buying vintage super trendy, it's also good for the planet! Some people love thrifting, but I'll admit sometimes I find it overwhelming. If you're like me, find a local boutique or online shop that's done the work for you by pulling all the good stuff. @luna_collective is my all time fav here in Victoria for this exact reason.
You can also break this resolution down into smaller, bite size pieces. For example, rather than setting out to buy noting new for the whole year (props to you want to start there!) try by setting a goal like not purchasing any new clothing for a month or two. Break it out into timelines and categories to find it less daunting.
If you want some insight into the crazy world of the clothing industry and the harm it does to our planet, check out our friends over at @llsupply They may not be vintage but they're changing the industry and you can learn a ton from them!
6) Use your kitchen scraps
Even if you have a compost system (home or municipal) a great thing to do is to re-purpose your kitchen scraps before they get composted.
How you ask? Vegetable stock! This is THE cheapest and easiest way to make your own veggie stock. Simply collect your scraps (ends of onions, kale stems, carrot skins or tops, etc.) in your freezer. If you have a large family, you may have enough to fill a pot right away and can skip the freezer!
Put your scraps into an appropriate sized pot and cover with water. Boil and then simmer with lid on for about 40 minutes then strain. Voila! You now have a beautiful base for soups and added flavour for dishes.
If you're not going to use right away, freeze in mason jars or other containers. If using glass, be sure to leave a few inches at the top to allow for expansion.
Let's talk periods. Whether you celebrate or dread your monthly cycle, it's a fact of life that we need to deal with.
One of the many things I love about the zero waste movement is that I've seen much more open discussions surrounding periods - from products alternatives to dealing with messes and clean up - helping to normalize an entirely natural function.
Here are a couple of eco-friendly period products:
- reusable silicone cups
- reusable fabric pads
- hormone birth control that ceases your period altogether
8) Pack your lunch
This goes hand in hand with resolution #4- cooking at home more. If you're cooking at home more, you might as well cook some extra and pack your own lunch.⠀
Our wraps are one the the most perfect zero waste lunch products. They keep your food fresh and also don't add any weight to a potentially already heavy bag.⠀
Plus, you'll be the talk of the office or school with such a cool looking lunch.
9) Go paperless
It may be difficult to go entirely paperless for particular things. I’m the first to admit I love brainstorming in a notebook and journaling with pen and paper. ⠀
But when it comes to bills, statements and other things that come in the mail, it’s so easy to opt for digital versions!
10) Just say no
The simplest and yet sometimes most difficult action you can take towards being more eco-friendly is to REFUSE.
Forego the plastic straw in your drink. Decline the plastic bag. Don't purchase items if they are, or come in, plastic.
This last one seems straightforward, but SO much of our convenience focused world seems wrapped in plastic.
But being conscious is not the same as being convenient. In fact, sometimes it the opposite. It's willing to be uncomfortable and go out of your way to uphold your values.
Our previous 9 Resolutions will help you to cut plastic out of your life and make refusing much easier.