7 Green New Year Resolutions 2017
by Sheree-Ann Jooste
The New Year is upon us, which means it’s time to set goals to become the best you that you can be. If you’re dedicated to improving yourself, why not help the environment while you’re at it?
Here are some easy, eco-friendly New Year resolutions that will help you do good and feel good.
- Always carry a Reusable Shopping Bag
Shopping with reusable bags everywhere you shop is a simple way to reduce ocean pollution and prevent unnecessary sea mammal deaths. It also helps you reduce consumption, prevent deforestation, and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
Plastic bags are also known to kill over a million birds and hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales, seals, and other marine mammals every year. There is an easy way to always remember your reusable bags. Let’s make the plastic bag industry extinct this year, not sea turtles!
- Cook your own Food from scratch
This is a harder resolution to stick to, but your health, your wallet, and the environment will thank you for it. From farm to factory to store to table, processed, packaged convenience foods are dripping in wasted energy, oil, water and trees. This is especially tragic, since processed foods contain little to no nutrition, and usually have to be sweetened, fortified, preserved and “flavour enhanced” to be edible.
- Eat Organic as Much as Possible.
Organic costs a bit more up front, but this is money well spent because your food will be more nutritious and you won’t have to worry about the health effects of eating GMOs, toxic pesticides, or sewage sludge.
Plus you can be sure that your food was grown in a way that helped protect and enhance the ecosystem it was grown in. And if your food is also locally grown, then you can be sure that it is also supporting the economy, too.
- Get the Chemicals out of your Cosmetics.
Did you know that everything you put on your skin gets absorbed into your bloodstream? It’s true, which is why your personal care products should be so pure, you could eat them!
Just as you would read the labels on your food to make sure you aren’t eating any questionable or toxic ingredients, you should read the labels on your cosmetics and personal care products to make sure you’re not consuming toxins through your skin, too. Toothpaste, deodorant, lotion and even liquid soap are pretty easy to make at home, and there are tons of recipes on the internet for everything from DIY mascara to homemade bath salts.
Anything we can do to quickly and permanently phase out disposable plastic bottles would help improve our relationship with the people living in oil and gas-rich nations, protect ecosystems, save resources, reduce waste and deadly pollution, and save money. If you’re still buying bottled water, take a trip to the store and check out the many great reusable water bottles on the market.
Anything you can do to reduce your transportation footprint this year by walking, biking, taking public transportation or telecommuting will be a boon to both the environment and your wallet.
Nothing would protect the environment and decrease our dependence on oil more than taking steps to reduce your transportation footprint.
Some especially toxic household cleaners include ammonia, chlorine bleach, aerosol propellants, detergents, petroleum distillates, drain cleaners, and toluene. Many of these substances are not only absorbed into the skin, but they also give off toxic fumes that affect the person using the product and everyone else in the area.
In contrast, green cleaning products are typically made with common kitchen ingredients like water, white vinegar, baking soda, and castile soap. Some also include coconut or orange oils, and other powerful plant-derived ingredients. Plus, making your own green cleaners, disinfectant, and laundry detergent is easy, and significantly cheaper than buying them at the store.
I hope this inspired you to become “greener” this year
Happy New Year!!