20 Smart & Practical Eco-Friendly New Year's Resolutions (that you can keep!)

I’ve never really been a fan of New Year’s Resolutions, most likely because I always fail. I set myself up with these lofty goals that are usually so unattainable. So this year I decided instead of focusing on myself, I’d like to turn the focus to our planet and give you simple, practical things you can do at home that will save the planet.

Here are 20 Smart & Practical Eco-Friendly New Year’s Resolutions (that you can keep!)

There are the obvious ones, eat less meat, reduce plastic use, carry a reusable cup etc. No-brainers right? Well, there is so much more you can do, small things with BIG impact.

Do a waste audit to see what you are throwing away each week. It’s easy, over the next week instead of taking out the trash daily and throwing it in the garbage, collect it in one place, the garage is perfect. Are there any plastic disposables in there? If so, consider replacing it with a reusable alternative. Some examples: razors, produce bags, straws, plastic sandwich bags etc. Our Amazon Shop has so many great alternatives for you to choose from.

Reduce shower time. Freshwater is going to be topic we hear a lot of in the New year. We’ve already seen cities like Cape Town run out of water. This will become more commonplace. Conserving water is crucial, we cannot continue to mindlessly waste it. The simple act of reducing shower time by only 2 minutes will save big time. The average showers use about 8 liters of water per minute. It adds up quickly.

Reduce vampire power. This is such a no-brainer when you are not using your computer turn it off. Even in sleep modes, it’s still drawing electricity from the grid. By turning it off at night you are saving 40 watts every day and reducing your electric bill by about 10%. If you take it one step further and invest in a smart power strip you will save even more.

And if you put all your devices cell chargers, Ipads, laptops, small kitchen appliances etc. on the power strip, your savings will be huge.

Related Post: 8 Eco-Friendly Renovation Tips For A Greener Home

Use reusable batteries. They are a great alternative to traditional batteries. According to a study done by the University of Illinois, roughly 3 billion batteries are thrown away every year compared to the 350 million rechargeable batteries that are sold. Investing in rechargeable batteries may have a higher upfront cost, but the investment is more sustainable. Rechargeable batteries can save you money and reduce pollution in the environment!

Donate. Anything you don’t want or need anymore. Spend an hour on the weekend going through kitchen cabinets, furnace rooms, your wardrobe and look for items you can donate. You’d be surprised how much stuff you have to give.

Related post: How To Curate A Second-Hand Capsule Wardrobe

Volunteer. Giving is something we can all do more of and I don’t stuff, I mean time. We tend to think about this more around the holidays but why not do it all year round?

Stop using paper towel. 13 billion pounds of paper towels used each year or 45 pounds per person. If we cut out just one roll of paper towel each a day we would save 570 million pounds of paper a year. Use dishcloths, old t-shirts or cloth napkins instead. Try Unpaper Towel, it’s honestly the best!

20 Smart & Practical Eco-Friendly New Year's Resolutions (that you can keep!)

Wash your clothes less. This article from Fashion Revolution takes an in-depth look at how we need to change the way we care for our clothes.  Noting that:

25% of the carbon footprint of a garment comes from the way we care for it. On top of that, 90% of our clothing is thrown away long before it needs to be, due to our culture of ‘fast fashion’ and outdated laundry habits. It’s time for a change.

Your jeans can be worn ten times before needing to be washed.

Related Post: 5 Clothing Recycling Mistakes You May Be Making

Start a new tradition.  Cook and share a homemade meal together with others. We all have hectic schedules, so it’s important to set aside some time to prepare our meals and spend time with loved ones! Invite friends and family to get involved and cook a healthful meal from scratch every week. Get adventurous: try out new recipes, learn new food skills, and build a community this year.

Green Your Eggs. This Egg Buying Guide we published last year will help.

Sustainable egg buying guide

Ask. Your favorite grocer or local market if you can bring your own containers? I’ve got lots of tips on how to live a more zero waste life here. And have you checked out our provincial zero waste guides?

Put social media to good use. I have a love-hate relationship with social media. It’s great for seeking out like-minded people and companies but it also plays on our insecurities and makes many of us feel inadequate as we try to keep up with the Joneses.  Everyone is on the prowl for inspiration and guidance, so show them that you care about nature and share messages on how people can help! Do you go birdwatching? Do you embark on wild adventures? Upload your photos to Instagram and show the world how nature matters to you!

Cut down on your vehicle’s emissions. Keep the car in good working order. Do regular maintenance, keep tire pressure at proper levels. Don’t let your car idle more than a few minutes.  This contributes to emissions and gives you zero miles per gallon fuel efficiency.

Be Informed. Revolutions in renewable energy, important decisions in environmental policy, climate change research illustrate there is a lot going on in the environment sector, and it is important to stay informed. Sign up to newsletters that will help you. Some of my fav’s: Green Matters, Alternatives Journal, Eco Watch, David Suzuki Foundation, and Environmental Defense.

20 Smart & Practical Eco-Friendly New Year's Resolutions (that you can keep!)

Donate. To groups and organizations that are on the front line of the climate change fight! My good friend Alden Wicker from EcoCult has a great post on this.

Get outside more. Spending 30 minutes a day in nature can reduce stress monumentally. Commit to it. It will give you such an appreciation of nature. David Suzuki’s One Nature Challenge is a great place to start.

Learn to sew a button. I got this idea after reading a post from EcoCult. I have so many buttons for things I don’t even own yet and have been guilty of tossing a shirt thanks to a missing button. I resolve to change this on in19.

Green your period. Ditch disposable sanitary towels and tampons, and instead reach for a menstrual cup or cloth pads which can be washed and reused time and time again.

Buy nothing. Try it for as long as you can. A week, a month, a year. Except for food obviously.

VOTE! For the future you want.


20 Smart & Practical Eco-Friendly New Year's Resolutions (that you can keep!)


Candice Batista

Candice Batista is an award winning Environmental Journalist and one of Canada’s leading eco advocates. Her career spans national and international media outlets, where she has used her background in environmental studies and media & communications to produce and report on various environmental and climate issues for primarily television and digital audiences including Huffington Post, The Globe & Mail, The Weather Network, CityTV, Rogers Television, The Pet Network, iChannel, and CTV, where she is currently the National Eco Expert for the stations number 1 daytime talk show, The Marilyn Denis Show.
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