Sustainable Living in the New Year; 6 Easy Green Resolutions for 2024

” As with all resolutions and self-improvement, you don’t want to try and do it all at once, especially If you’re just getting started so we’re giving you a list of simple ideas to consider..”

 

As we warm up into the new year, many of us reflect on the changes we want to make in our lives. It’s a known secret that some resolutions are bound not to last. However, some are more important and immediate than others and on these, we should work harder. In addition to some targets you may have to improve yourself, we would like to suggest another one, one that maybe you have been thinking about for quite some time but never got yourself to try, why not make a resolution to live more sustainably this year?

Adopting eco-friendly habits not only benefits the environment but also contributes to a healthier, more mindful lifestyle. What you’d be doing for the planet and the environment reflects back on yourself, helping you find the balance you’ve been longing for. As with all resolutions and self-improvement, you don’t want to try and do it all at once, especially if you’re just getting started. So, we’re giving you a list of simple ideas to consider and hopefully pick on to make more sustainably and environmentally sound decisions. Feel free to try, explore, and change until you find what works for your lifestyle.

 

Here are five resolutions to help you kickstart a sustainable journey in this year.

  1. Reduce Single-Use Plastics
  2. Embrace a Plant-Based Lifestyle
  3. Conserve Energy at Home
  4. Cultivate a Zero-Waste Mindset
  5. Question your habits
  6. Support Sustainable Brands

 

  1. Reduce Single-Use Plastics

Reusabele bottle by rebels with a cause for zero waste livingLet’s start with the broadest and probably most obvious goal. Thankfully, education about single use plastic and its effect on us and the environment has increased over the last couple of years. So much so, that some countries have even introduced bans on some plastic items. Although this is a good start, this is a very urgent matter and there is so much more we have to do that we shouldn’t wait for further bans, but rather make the choice of limiting single use plastics ourselves.

Single-use plastics have become a major environmental issue, with microplastics at the forefront of the problem, it is being found in the deepest oceans, in the fish that live in them, and even in the water that we drink. Their effects and the extent of the damage they cause are being unveiled as we speak.

Commit to minimizing your plastic footprint one or two products at a time, an easy starting point would be that of avoiding single use plastics such as that found in product packaging. Make sure to leave shopping bags handy so that you don’t have to use new ones provided by shops. When thinking of hydration, use reusable bottles and carry your own reusable cutlery. Our personal favourite for a small change that makes a great impact is to make a swap in your oral care routine, specifically your toothbrush and toothpaste.

A toothbrush is used for a maximum of 3 months, about 180 times, and then it remains forever in a landfill (if we are lucky enough for it not to end up in the seas), In one year, worldwide, enough toothbrushes are thrown away to encircle the world 4 times! Switch to a bamboo toothbrush and try an alternative to traditional toothpaste in a plastic tube, such as our natural toothpowder.

 

  1. Embrace a Plant-Based Lifestyle

Plant based tasty dishesTransitioning to a plant-based diet is a powerful way to reduce your ecological impact. No need to do anything drastic, consider incorporating more fruits as snacks to keep your stomach full for longer during the day. Then, for lunch and dinner include more vegetables and plant-based proteins.

Besides the questionable/borderline cruel conditions in which some animals are raised for food, the industrial livestock industry is a prime contributor of greenhouse gases.  By reducing your consumption of animal products, you can decrease your carbon footprint whilst promoting animal welfare.

Moreover, this exercise will push you to explore new cuisines, ingredients, and flavours. To give an example, Indian food is predominantly vegetable based and is renowned for its bold flavors, aromatic spices, and vibrant culinary traditions. There are also plenty of mouthwatering Mediterranean dishes full of fresh vegetables, herbs, spices, and oils. A little imagination and some research will have you try plenty of goodness.

 

  1. Conserve Energy at Home

Transforming your living space into an energy-efficient haven involves cultivating a range of straightforward yet impactful habits that also result in cost savings. The easiest way to start is by turning off lights and appliances when they are not in use, as simple as it sounds, it significantly contributes to reducing unnecessary energy consumption.

Another step is saving water, there’s a lot that one can do but a good start would be the idea of installing low-flow shower heads that can result in a remarkable 40% reduction in water usage during showers. Furthermore, adopting the practice of collecting and reusing shower water for other household tasks amplifies your commitment to resource conservation. More in-depth insight on this topic will be given in a separate blog post soon!

Furthermore, the exploration of renewable energy sources presents an exciting avenue for creating a sustainable living space. Incorporating solar panels into your home’s energy infrastructure can harness the power of nature, reducing your dependence on traditional energy sources and minimizing your carbon footprint. When it comes to lighting, consider upgrading to LED bulbs, which not only last longer but also consume significantly less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. Opting for double glazing in windows enhances insulation, reducing heat loss during colder months and cool air during summer.

Room with pants, set up for sustainable living

 

  1. Cultivate a Zero-Waste Mindset

Aim to produce less waste by embracing a zero-waste lifestyle. As always, start with what you already have, make sure to recycle or compost your waste as suggested by the local authorities, and where possible fix faulty items and find other uses for those that have reached the end of their lifecycle. By recycling and composting you divert waste from landfills where most of the waste ends up forever. Even more than that, opt for products that are reusable and not disposable, a simple example is washable and reusable makeup pads that can be used hundreds of times in contrast to disposable ones which are used only once. Most consumer products use a lot of resources to make; land to grow the plant, water, energy etc and it’s extremely wasteful to use a product only once.

 

  1. Question your habits

Journal with pen and coffeeThis one should be the easiest from the list, but very often tends to be the hardest one yet. With the fast-paced life that most live, stopping, observing, and questioning our habits is an exercise that is rarely done. Yet, if we manage to do it, it’s extremely fruitful. Habits can be useful to help us live efficiently, but at the same time, we might miss the compounding effect that our habits have over long periods both on ourselves and on the environment around us. Simple changes such as those discussed above may arise from a small moment of reflection.

 

 

  1. Support Sustainable Brands

We just had to include this one, didn’t we? ..however, in addition to Rebels with a Cause, there are plenty of other interesting brands and companies out there that are doing amazing work by pushing for sustainable manufacturing practices and materials. Let’s also not forget those people who help us keep using the products we’ve already bought, those who fix things. Look out for these people who mend things, in addition to helping you extend the life cycle of your product, by supporting their work you’ll be making sure they can sustain their families whilst doing such a valuable job.

Most importantly, think of every purchase as a vote, a vote of confidence in the product and the company you are purchasing from. When you prioritize sustainability you are sending a message that you want more of what you have bought. Look for brands that use eco-friendly materials, and ethical manufacturing practices, and that are committed to reducing their environmental impact.

At the end of this, we hope that we have cleared up your mind on the topic and helped you set a clearer course for this journey which is sustainable living. Don’t be afraid of making changes as you go, adapt to your way of being and lifestyle, and the new things that you learn. Keep researching, asking, and learning, and most of all, don’t forget about the ripple effect your actions have on the environment. Seek also to inspire those around you to follow your example. Keep it simple, the first steps are the most important ones. 

 

If you have any personal favourite tips that you’d like to share with us or a question that’s been going around in your head about living sustainably, we’d love to hear from you, leave us a comment and share this with your friends!

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