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10 Eco-Friendly Resolutions to Make and Keep in 2022
Inspire Clean Energy
Jan 11, 2022
6 min read
category: Sustainable Living
Every new year brings a fresh start, and with the clean slate inevitably comes resolutions being made for the year ahead. Goals centered on improving fitness and health tend to be at the top of people's lists, but why not focus on improving the planet's overall health while we're at it? Eco-friendly resolutions create positive ripple effects, like saving you money!
The key to maintaining eco-friendly resolutions is to set simple goals that are sustainable for your lifestyle. They shouldn't require an entire upheaval of your day-to-day life to have a positive environmental impact. We've compiled a list of 10 totally doable, eco-friendly resolutions that you can make and keep in 2022.
1. Say goodbye to bottles
Saying goodbye to bottles for the new year is a simple way to lessen waste. An alternative to the "Dry January" pledge is consuming beverages from an aluminum can instead of a glass bottle. The EPA reports that only 26 percent of glass bottles are recycled, whereas nearly 55 percent of aluminum cans are.
2. No new clothes from fast fashion
In 2022, we urge you to consider the effects impulse clothing purchases, mindless overconsumption, and retail "therapy" have on the environment. When it comes to pollution, the fast fashion industry is one of the worst offenders. The harsh reality is that most people don't wear most of the clothes sitting in their closets. Three out of every five fast fashion items purchased end up in a landfill1. Instead of buying new, repair clothing you already own or try styling pieces in a new way. If you need to make a clothing purchase, shop secondhand on apps like Depop or Poshmark. This one change is an incredible way to reduce global pollution.
3. Never leave the house without a reusable mug or refillable water bottle
It's no surprise that throw-away coffee cups and plastic water bottles are a significant source of landfill waste. The equivalent of 5,000 single-use coffee cups is thrown away every minute2. To add insult to injury, paper takeaway cups are lined with waterproofing plastic, rendering them non-recyclable. Resolve never to leave the house without your reusable mug so that coffee dates don't have to be needlessly wasteful.
4. Bring an "adventure bag" on your outdoor adventures
The concept of an "adventure bag" is one that initially gained traction with travelers in 2019, but it's accessible and applicable to anyone who spends any amount of time outdoors3. Bring a bag with you on your next stroll around your neighborhood and fill it with litter. Going on a hike? Adventure bag. Taking your dog on a walk? Adventure bag.
5. Go vegetarian
Meat production is resource-intensive and is estimated to be responsible for up to 20 percent of the world's greenhouse gases. A single person going vegetarian for a year is equivalent to removing a car from the road for six months in terms of emissions4. If going vegetarian is too big a commitment, perhaps try going meatless one day each week.
6. Limit your food waste
Rather than setting a resolution around what you eat, set a resolution to eliminate unnecessary food waste. As it rots in landfills, food waste produces large amounts of methane gases that trap heat in the atmosphere and cause global temperatures to rise. By simply focusing on the amount of food we buy, cook, and consume, we can significantly reduce what's thrown away. Commit to eating leftovers before buying new food. Or you could create a meal prepping habit that ensures food doesn't go bad before you have a chance to cook it.
7. Drive and fly less
Every year, Americans drive trillions of miles, with cars accounting for nearly 29 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions5. The New York Times reports that using your car just 10 percent less (if we all did it) would significantly reduce emissions6. Resolve to drive your vehicle less, opting instead to walk, bike, or take public transportation whenever possible. This resolution is not only better for the environment at large, it's also better for your overall health.
8. Stop using plastic straws
12.7 million metric tons of plastic, like those seemingly innocent additions to cocktails and soft drinks, can make their way into our waterways. Straws may be small, but they are top offenders for ocean pollution. Swear off plastic straws in 2022 to protect aquatic life and reduce water pollution – it's as simple as letting wait staff know you don't want one in your drink or bringing a reusable metal or bamboo straw with you when you go out.
9. Never go to the grocery store without a reusable bag
In 2019, an estimated 130 million metric tons of single-use plastic ended up in landfills. Make it your mission in 2022 to bring your reusable shopping bag with you on every trip to the grocery store. Keep a stockpile of reusable bags in the trunk of your car, so you're never caught without one. Leave one by your apartment door so that when you head to the supermarket, a bag is right next to where you hang your house keys.
10. Conserve water
Water use and demand are at an all-time high, causing droughts and water shortages worldwide. Possibly the easiest resolution on this list: use less water. Do your part by shutting off the water while you brush your teeth, opting for showers over baths, and limiting your laundry.
Interested in learning more about ways to live sustainably? Check out our other blog posts about sustainable living, clean energy, and climate change. You can also take a step towards reducing carbon emissions by signing up for Inspire Clean Energy.
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