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2020 is just a few hours away. Have you thought of your New Year’s resolutions yet? Given that 2019 is a year full of climate disasters and climate activism, it is imperative for everyone to go beyond savings or fitness goals in thinking of a New Year’s resolution. We also need to think of how we can live more sustainably amid our changing world.
Choose a sustainable New Year’s resolution
With the help of fellow bloggers, I collated suggested lifestyle changes that anyone can start in January. Get inspired and find your New Year’s resolution for a sustainable 2020.
1. Focus on a more minimalist approach at home. – Holly Connors
Clutter is one of those things that can impact so many areas of life so one of my biggest resolutions is to work hard on decluttering my home in the new year. This will mean less time needed to clean, put things away and keep tidy, but also make for a clearer mind and less spending. We are also working towards a minimalist approach with our kids, reducing the number of toys just to the ones they really enjoy.
2. Practice Veganuary. – Yum Vegan Lunch Ideas
Veganuary is the perfect New Year’s resolution if you are trying to minimize your environmental impact in 2020. On average, becoming vegan minimizes your impact by 75%! It can be an intimidating change so the best way to dip your toes in is to sign up for veganuary, a commitment to be vegan for the month of January. By the end of the month, if you aren’t ready to jump on board full time, you will certainly be equipped to incorporate a lot more plant based meals into your diet throughout the year, making sure your lifestyle creates a smaller footprint on the planet. Check out our free four week veganuary meal plan here!
3. Opt out of junk mail. – Jennifer Zollo
Most of us are constantly looking for ways to decrease our carbon footprint, from only using reusable shopping bags to taking public transportation, but every week the average person is receiving and throwing away dozens of pieces of junk mail! To stop receiving those annoying “You’ve been pre-approved!” envelopes, you can opt out by going to OptOutPrescreen.com. It may seem small, but considering that the average American kills 1-2 trees per year because of all the junk mail every little bit counts!
4. Practice eco-friendly birthday gifting. – Sally Flint
A great way to encourage family and friends to consider the benefits of participating in a sustainable future in 2020 is through sharing sustainable gifts and focusing on experiences. Focus on giving presents that are either edible (always a good call), or ensure that the gifts you share are made from recyclable and eco-friendly materials such as bamboo straws and drinking cups.
5. Live more mindfully. – Olivia from Happy in the Hollow
My main goal for 2020 is to apply more mindfulness and intention to all areas of my life. No matter what I do, I want to experience life with presence, as it is happening. And I believe that will also help me to sort out over time what I really want to give my (limited) attention to and what I no longer need in my life.
6. Go paperless in billing. – Diane Alkier
Request electronic bills instead of paper bills that get mailed to you. Some stores in Canada you can even request to get your purchase receipts emailed to you instead of printed. Or you can simply ask for no purchase receipt for items you know you’re not going to return.
7. Bring reusable cutlery. – Nina from Lemons and Luggage
Did you know that humans discard billions of plastic utensils every year? You can make a significant impact by bringing reusable cutlery to picnics, on day trips, or to the beach. Most bamboo sets come with a pouch and a piece of cutlery for every meal so you’ll always have what you need.
8. Go beyond the beaten path – Worldly Adventurer
Being sustainable isn’t just about your time at home: no, there are ways to travel better, too. The past few years have seen places such as Venice, Barcelona and Machu Picchu buckling under the impact of too many tourists – and, if you’re not careful, you’ll be guilty of piling on this pressure as well. Instead, take the active choice to research alternatives to those destinations that are struggling: think Treviso instead of Venice, Cádiz rather than Barcelona and Kuélap near Chachapoyas instead of Machu Picchu.
9. Go plastic-free. – Izzy and Phil
We travel full-time in a motorhome in Europe. We are keen on being sustainable travellers although that may seem an oxymoron as we are travelling in a gas guzzling bus, although we do take it slow! For our 2020 New Year’s resolution we have decided to stop all use of single-use plastics in our life in the hopes that this little bit will help to make a difference to wildlife and our environment.
Izzy & Phil travel and adventure full-time in their motorhome in Europe. Read more at The Gap Decaders.
10. Create Amazing Content – Chris Backe
My focus on Worthy Go will be to create amazing content. I’m sort of hitting a reset button after writing since 2008(!), and plan to focus on fewer, authoritative, and fact-filled pieces. My old stuff will still be online, of course, but my focus is on writing the sorts of posts I most enjoy reading.
As we welcome 2020, it is crucial to remember that every little bit counts. Live with love for yourself and for Mother Earth. Learn about the changes you can do to live a sustainable 2020.
What about you? What will be your 2020 New Year’s resolution? Share it in the comments below.