The start of a new year and a new decade is upon us, which means it’s time to make a few resolutions. Instead of making the same old resolutions, why not try making some sustainable ones this year? Here are five low-waste resolutions to help get you started.
1. Ditch Single-Use Plastic
Single-use plastic is everywhere. Avoiding it may seem daunting at first, but it’s important not to let perfection get in the way of progress. Start with the low hanging fruit like bags, bottles, cups, cutlery, and straws. Tackle these items one item at a time. Make a conscious effort to avoid that item at all costs by remembering to bring your own and speaking up if you don’t need it (e.g. No straw please; I don’t need a bag). Let people know why you’re choosing to live with less plastic. Focus on why it’s important to you and don’t inundate them with stats.
2. Eat In, Not Out
Food delivery services like DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, and Uber Eats make it easier than ever to get your favorite food delivered straight to your door. But that convenience comes at a price. Take out is typically packaged in single-use plastic, much of which is not recyclable. Most restaurants also include plastic cutlery that you probably don’t need if you’re eating at home. Uber Eats recently decided to provide cutlery only upon request, thanks to Habits of Waste. You can help encourage DoorDash, Grubhub, and Postmates to #CutOutCutlery too by sending an email. So, how can you enjoy food from your favorite restaurant? Go out to eat instead of getting carry-out! Or you can always cook for yourself—not only will it save you money, it’s better for the planet, and healthier for you.
3. Avoid Fast Fashion
Fast fashion might be cheap for you, but it’s costly for the planet. Many of the synthetic textiles—like nylon and polyester—that the fast fashion industry uses shed tiny particles of plastic known as microfibers. Washing a single load of laundry can release more than 700,000 plastic microfibers. When shopping for clothing, consider whether you really need each item and always choose quality over quantity. If you find a hole in your favorite shirt, try mending it instead of tossing it. If it’s beyond repair, consider upcycling it into something else or donate it and help someone in need.
4. Be Naturally Clean
Personal and household cleaning products often contain harsh chemicals and are packaged in plastic. Choose natural products that are better for you and the planet. You can also make many items yourself! Check out these DIY beauty, makeup and skincare recipes, and these homemade household cleaning products.
5. Take the Scenic Route
Instead of driving to your destination, try walking, riding a bike, taking public transit, or carpooling instead. It may take a bit longer, but planet Earth will thank you for cutting down on your carbon emissions and you might even see some new sights along the way.
From all of us at FinalStraw, have a safe, happy, and sustainable New Year! Let’s make 2020 the year we choose to live lighter and kick our single-use plastic habits for good.