10 Zero-Waste Resolutions You Can Make In 2019
The new year is here and with that comes the age old practice of new years resolutions and whilst many start with good intentions as soon as February rolls round that gym membership becomes unloved and those healthy smoothies become fewer and farther between.
Why not switch things up this year and take some zero-waste resolutions that will not only really make a difference to the world around you but are so easy and fulfilling you won’t want to give them up!
That’s why we’ve taken our top 10 sustainability tips (with a few bonuses thrown in) and put them into this handy guide so you can go forth into 2019 greater and greener than before.
Tip #1 Switch up your surfing
Did you know that every time you stick something into google you’re using up energy? 1KJ to be exact, this might not sound like much (and it isn’t) but there is a greener way to surf.
Ecosia, is the search-engine that puts it’s profits into sustainability, planting trees (some 44,000,000) where they’re most needed and running better than carbon neutral.
One simple switch of changing your preferred search-engine could have a huge positive impact.
Tip #2 A bright idea
Lighting accounts for a substantial portion of your energy bill as well as a significant amount of energy wastage.
Most bulbs are standard or halogen type bulbs which can require up to 5x the amount of energy to run compared to energy efficient bulbs.
Energy efficient bulbs come in two forms, compact fluorescent and LED and whilst they are more expensive initially it doesn't take long at all before they pay themselves off and start saving you money and energy by running more efficiently.
Tip #3 Eat more plants
We understand this can be quite a divisive subject and think everyone should reach their own conclusions about what they want to eat in their own time.
However, swapping even a few meals a week for meat-free options can make a huge impact on not only your health but your wallet and the environment to boot!
Many scientists now agree eating more plants and less meat is the single biggest thing you can do to have a positive environmental impact, and whilst it is a complicated and passionate subject for both sides of the argument it’s difficult to refute the facts.
Tip #4 Buy less!
We’ve mentioned this before in previous blogposts, and it might seem weird coming from a business that sells stuff such as ours but we advise to rethink your consumer habits.
Over consumption and our throwaway culture has a massive environmental impact, make it a goal of yours this year to be a more conscious consumer.
For everyday items you just can’t do without we’ve got you covered, there's always a more sustainable and ethical choice available. For those impulse purchases, ask yourself do you really need it? Do you even really want it?
Set yourself the goal of buying less, you’d be surprised just how rewarding of an endeavour it really is.
Tip #5 Make more
The other half of tip #4 is the DIY approach.
Many everyday items, for example toiletries can be made from a few simple, natural ingredients (we even have a recipe for home-made toothpaste on our blog).
Getting down and dirty and making stuff yourself has a few key benefits - its lower waste, less expensive, you know exactly what is going into the stuff you use and its fun!
Tip #6 chuck less stuff away.
It’s crazy in 2018 just how much stuff can be resold, repurposed or recycled.
From your consumer electronics, to clothes even food scraps - don’t let your waste be waste, put it to work.
Use your food scraps to make high quality fertilisers, put clothes you no longer wear on eBay or donate to charity and recycle those old electronics up in the loft.
These simple practices can make you money, reduce wastage and repurpose rubbish.
Tip #7 Grow your own
Part two to eating more veg is to have a go at growing your own!
Even if you don’t have much space (talking to you city slickers), there’s workarounds to suit all.
But what's the eco-advantage of growing your own than heading down to the supermarket, lets break it down:
- There’s no surprises in learning that shipping carrots halfway across the planet isn’t all that economical, growing your own means the veg only has to make the short trip from your garden/allotment/windowsill straight onto your plate.
- No weird/toxic fertilisers and pesticides, many of which are carcinogenic, you can control exactly what goes into growing your veg and hence exactly what goes into you.
- It’s fun too!
Tip #8 Get thrifty with your clothing
Fast fashion is a social and environmental disaster, and no i’m not over exaggerating. Child and slave labour practices during the manufacture with dangerous and toxic working conditions, a result of over consumption and un-ecological shopping habits.
There are of course now some fantastic ethical and sustainable brands out there which are more than deserving of your hard earned pennies.
But there’s also a veritable goldmine of amazing fashion finds on places like eBay and Depop, it’s not all used clothes on there either. Unloved and unwanted gifts are a plenty, meaning there are lots of bargains to be had.
Definitely check these sites before pulling your card out to buy something new.
Tip #9 Be an energy-saver
Talk about value for money for tip #9, we have a quick fire round of our favourite ways you can save energy and some money to boot, money you can treat yourself to some new products from your favourite sustainable brand for a job well done.
Here we go:
- Conserve water by using an aerator (you could save up to 98%!)
- Turn off electronics at the socket, many appliances will still use electricity even if they’re switched off.
- Wash clothes at a lower temperature.
- Turn down your thermostat, turning your heating down by just one degree could save up to £75 a year.
Tip #10 Make sustainable swaps
Some consumer goods have no real place being made from plastic. Every day items that are made and thrown away at scale are hugely detrimental to the environment.
Swapping out your plastic toothbrush for the bamboo option, or plastic straws for reusable steel may not seem like much but 500 million plastic straws are thrown daily in the US alone. If we were all to make the switch imagine the positive impact we could have on the world!
You can check out our earth-kind products here, or by clicking shop at the top of the site
Picture courtesy of @olya__karpova
Well there we have it, 10 (and a bit) actionable tips you can use to reduce waste and be more sustainable in 2019.
We hope you enjoy them and put them to good use this year, let us know which tip was your favourite in the comments and make sure you share this post with people who may need an nudge in a greener direction this year.
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It’s no secret that you can expect to pay a premium for items with more eco-friendly credentials, sometimes the markup can even be prohibitively expensive.
These additional expenses can be off putting for budding zero-wasters and can often turn people off becoming more eco-friendly, but it doesn’t have to be this way.