Sorry for the lack of blog posts this month! Between Finals and Christmas, I was away from the computer a lot!
Anyways… New Years has appeared out of nowhere! As always I had a flash of genius while in the shower this morning (why is it always the shower??) I want to give you guys 17 EASY resolution ideas to make for 2017! Now I know 2016 was a bit of a bust for some of us (Trump, David Bowie etc etc.) but on the flip side both the Canadian and American governments have put in legislation which prevents oil exploration in the North, the Northern Gateway pipeline in BC was cancelled and beyond all odds, Keith Richards is still with us! So, let’s say goodbye to 2016 and welcome 2017 with some sustainability resolutions to make the up coming year even better! Let’s get the countdown started!
1.) BYOM – Bring Your Own Mug! It seems simple enough, but even I forget to grab (or wash out) my travel mug. So this year, make a resolution to pack your mug around with you! If you need something to make you more excited about it, buy yourself a new fancy mug or like my Momma did, get your favorite coffee mug personalized! How awesome is that?!
￼-Adorable Personalized Mugs-
2.) Swap it- Swap out one household product that you currently use for an environmentally friendly version. It could be dish washing liquid, laundry soap, kitty litter or doggie doo baggies for biodegradable baggies, toilet paper, or toilet bowl cleaner! Anything. Just one item OR even better, swap one out every time something runs out, replace it with something greener.
3.) Take Public Transit- You don’t need to start taking transit everyday for work or to the grocery store. Making a couple trips to downtown to a concert or football game using the subway, bus, or skytrain instead of driving not only saves you money on parking, it helps reduce your carbon footprint. Plus, I find easing yourself into using transit is the best way to make a more permanent shift.
4.) Go Paperless- You’ve seen the ads on TV and your banks website for paperless statements, but your always too busy to sign up. Well this New Year, take 20 minutes out of your day and make all your statements paperless. Not only does it mean less trees are being wasted for something that gets recycled anyway, it means you don’t have to waste time shredding!
5.) Go Electronic- Do you have a magazine subscription? I don’t but I LOVE magazines… they are so nice to have around… But they are a total waste of resources! So look up your favorite mags and subscribe to them online. There are also tons of apps which provide multiple magazine subscriptions which means you only need your tablet or phone. It lessens the clutter in your home and again there isn’t any needless waste.
-Paperless studying. Check out the Logitech wireless keyboard I use-
6.) Buy Organic- This is kind of like #2, swap out one favorite food product for an organic alternative. Organic produce is not processed with the same pesticides and herbicides like conventional produce, which means there is less soil and water degradation which protects the environment. By switching one produce item at a time, it is less sticker shocking, and it allows your to taste the difference (trust me you will)
7.) Carpool- This one is fun and easy! Have a group of friends all headed to one place like a friends house or restaurant? Why not carpool if you all live in the same area? Make the round-robin picking up friends. Not only do you have a great time getting to where you are going, you can all share a taxi home AND you have a bunch of friends with cars to take you back to your car in the morning! Win! Less carbon, no DD needed, and a ton of fun!
8.) Try Organic Wine- This one is on my 2017 resolution list. Like #6, organic wines are not treated with the same harsh pesticides and herbicides while they are grown as conventional wines. Plus, I have heard that there are some amazing organic wines from California and the Okanagan, Who doesn’t want to do some wine tasting??
9.) Cut out Convenience- I know, we are all super busy, so buying those convenience products which are individually wrapped are soooo easy. But they create a lot of waste needlessly… Try cutting out one convenience product like Snack Packs or individual yogurts. Make a whole package of pudding once a week, or buy a large tub of yogurt and divide it up into reusable containers. Once you develop the new habit, you won’t even miss it I promise. Plus, you save SO MUCH MONEY! All that packaging and processing isn’t free, you pay a premium for it!
10.) Breakup with the Dollar-store- I know the allure of cheap and easy toys or things from the dollar-store is sometimes irresistible, but those cheaply made products come with a cost. Not only are they all produced overseas so they need to travel very far to get to the store, they are produced in areas with very lienient environmental manufacturing standards. Also, they are cheaply made products with little to no longevity! Save yourself the annoyance and invest once in a quality product not dollar-store stuff if at all possible.
11.) Staycation- My Geography of Tourism Prof is cringing at the term, but I like it! Staycations are vacations at home or within a short distance. Be a tourist in your own Province or State, not only will you discover some really neat things about your home, it’s cheaper (usually), and you don’t create nearly as much carbon from travel! You’re money stays within the community, and thus supports the people you live alongside! The money is them reinvested in the community. Win!
-Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada-
12.) Ditch the Plastic- Plastic containers are super popular, cheap and easy for almost all households. And while I appreciate their reusable nature, they still aren’t great for you or the environment. Depending on what studies you read, and the discovery of BPA and other plastic related toxins, these containers aren’t optimal for longterm use. Glass on the other hand is sturdy and stable for food storage, it’s 100% recyclable, meaning nothing is wasted, and it’s inexpensive. A 24 piece set of Anchor brand containers will set you back only $25.00- $30.00 CAN. Or you can switch to mason jars and use screw on lids (which are plastic but don’t come in contact with foods) for a really cheap alternative. I use both!
￼-Mason Jar for instant coffee mixes and hot chocolate mixes-
13.) Go Cloth- So this one comes from my Sister: switch to cloth diapers permanently for your little ones or in her case, switch to reusable swimming diapers. They are heading south soon for a family vacation and don’t want to pack whole suitcase of diapers so she has bought a few reusable ones! Smart Lady!
14.) Ditch the Disposables- Bring your own cutlery to work or school instead of using the plastic cutlery in the lunchroom. Yeah it can be recycled but that is also energy which could be conserved or used elsewhere! They make amazing travel cutlery sets from metal, bamboo and plastic so they are easy to pack around. Or bring some from home, or do what I did and buy some sets from the local secondhand store and leave them in the lunchroom for everyone to use.
-I love this adorable To-Go Wares bamboo travel cutlery set –
15.) Buy Local- I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again! Buy local! The next time a birthday, baby shower, anniversary or holiday comes around, look to buy one gift locally this year. Instead of heading to Walmart to buy a bunch of onsies for baby showers, I head to a local artist cooperative and buy one of a kind pieces there. Yeah they are a little more expensive, but it’s always worth it since the garments are quality and usually made from sustainable fabrics like organic cotton or bamboo. Good for baby, good for mommy and good for you (cause who really likes going to Walmart? Yuck)
– I love this one of a kind ring from Coastal Dreamer Designs, a Canadain designer-
16.) Give up plastic wrap- Plastic wrap is the bane of my existence. It gets stuck to itself, tears unevenly or falls out of the box… Instead, invest in a silicone microwave safe lid for heating foods, or ones for storing food in the fridge (they are dual use) They sell them at all home/kitchen stores like BBB and Hudsons Bay.
–Soledi Silicone Universal Lid Set in 5 Sizes-
17.) Recycle- Most of us are fairly good recyclers, however there are quite a few things that don’t go directly in the service pickup boxes. Pick something like plastic bags, Styrofoam, or tetra packs (or something your city doesnt accept) to collect at home and take to the recycling depot directly once or twice a season. It will save something that is fully recoverable from going into the landfill, and it’s a great habit to start. Forming new habits slowly like this eases people into a new routine, and makes it easier to take on new habits in the future!
-Look at this recycling beauty! Space for recycling, green/food waste and garbage (or if you were me, soft plastics)-