5 Totally Do-Able New Year’s Resolutions That Will Make You a Green Hero
By Julia Michelle
Happy New Year!
Can you believe it’s almost time for New Year’s Resolutions? I mean…what a year. I’ve done a lot of thinking about what my priorities are this year. When it comes down to it, protecting the environment and having good health are definitely in the top five.
Sometimes it feels overwhelming. Like the small choices I make in my life don’t make a difference. I’ve recently learned, though, that it’s the small, everyday choices that make all the difference in the end. Consistently making small choices that are good for your health and good for the environment. That’s what adds up to make a difference.
Here are five simple resolutions you can make right now to get a headstart on making 2021 a year to make a difference!
1. Choose Organic Food to Have a Smaller Footprint
Choosing to eat organic food is a major win for both your health and the environment. Yes, it’s often more expensive. But if there’s anything 2020 has taught us, it’s that good health is priceless!
Eating organic food is a great way to help our planet and get better health. Plus, if you’re looking for a meaningful hobby that you can do at home, organic micro-gardening is a trend that’s taken off.
You can choose your favorite foods to grow. Create your own little oasis. Get the satisfaction of picking fruits, vegetables, and herbs that you’ve grown yourself. Check out this page for some simple ideas of how to get started with your own organic micro-garden.
I always thought that choosing organic just meant I wasn’t eating pesticides. As it turns out, there are waaaayyy more benefits than that! Besides not eating chemicals (yay!), you’re also getting more good stuff than you would from non-organic food. Things like Vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and Omega 3s. These all help boost your immune system and keep you healthy.
● Protecting farmers from working with bad chemicals
● Helping to cut down on soil erosion
● Lowering the level of poisonous chemicals that get into streams, rivers, and the ocean
Did you know that by choosing to eat organic food you’re also helping fight climate change?
More carbon gets returned to and stored in the soil with organic growing, which means less damage to the ozone layer. All that for just one new year’s resolution – cool, right?!
2. Pick an Organization to Donate to Each Month
Every year when tax season rolls around, I’m a little disappointed in myself when I see how little I’ve donated to charity. Not only because it means I can’t claim the tax deduction, but because I like to think of myself as generous and kind.
That’s why this year I picked a non-profit organization and set up a monthly donation to them. Monthly donations are better than one-time donations for a few reasons.
1. You get to make a tangible difference to a cause you’re passionate about without a lump-sum, wallet-shocking donation.
2. The organization you donate to gets to use that money more effectively because they can plan ahead.
3. This is a set-it-and-forget-it kind of resolution. You only need to fill out the donation form once, and then you can feel good about yourself all year! Definitely a win-win ─ Win! as Micheal Scott would say.
And don’t fall into the trap of thinking your donation is too small to make a difference ─ it’s not. Think about it; even $5/month is better than $0/month, right?
3. Wear Reusable Masks to Protect the Environment
Ok, so this one starts as a bit of a downer, but I promise it gets better. Thankfully, a vaccine is now available for frontline workers. For the rest of us, though, I doubt we’ll be saying goodbye to our trusty friend the mask anytime soon. So you might as well find some reusable ones you like!
COVID-19 is full of catch-22s. One of them is that with people wearing masks to stay safe (yay!), there are a lot of disposable masks that end up in the ocean (and parks, beaches, etc). There these masks are wreaking havoc on wildlife and the environment (boo!). Sure, you could make your own reusable ones but let’s be honest. If you haven’t done it by now, you probably won’t.
This is another super easy resolution to knock off your list. There are tons of awesome companies making functional and fashionable masks. With a lot of them, the money you spend goes towards a worthy cause, so it’s really like two resolutions in one.
Check out these comfortable two-tie masks made by an ethical, zero-waste company. Or, if the elastic ear loops are more your style, take a look at these masks made with organic cotton.
Buying a reusable mask means you’ll stay safe, protect the environment, and look dang good doing it. Could there be a better New Year’s resolution?
4. Go Green and Drink Tap Water – Not Bottled
I’m gonna cut to the chase on this one: bottled water is a raw deal. It’s not any safer than tap water. In fact, over half of all bottled water in the US is tap water, and tap water is safety-tested more often than bottled water.
If you’re still buying bottled water, you’re being swindled, my friend.
Forget the environment for a minute. Think about the fact that bottled water is almost 2000 times more expensive than tap water without being any better!
If it’s the taste of tap water that’s got you buying bottled, there are lots of eco-friendly filters you can put right on your tap to get rid of the taste. Just like with reusable masks, you can have this resolution do double duty.
Over 8 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean every year, with plastic bottles from water and other beverages making up a large chunk of that amount. By choosing a reusable water bottle you’ll help reduce the number of plastic bottles that end up in the ocean. Plus, you can help the environment even more when you buy a reusable water bottle from a conservation-based company. Like getting one from OBP’s gift shop *wink wink*.
5. Use Safe, Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
Remember when I mentioned the catch-22s with COVID-19? Here’s another one. We’re all trying to keep our houses and workspaces as clean and safe as possible, but most household cleaners are terrible for your health!
Regular cleaners can irritate your throat and give you headaches. They are also linked to asthma and other respiratory illnesses. For 2021, make it a resolution to use safe cleaning products that are better for you and for the environment.
The American Lung Association (ALA) has a warning for us. It says that some companies labeled as ‘natural’ or ‘green’ can still have harmful ingredients. What a real bummer!
To make your choice easier and see which products meet the Safer-Choice standard, check out this helpful list put together by the ALA.
If you’re not sure where to start, here are three simple, safe, and reliable cleaning solutions to try:
1. Soap and water – good for most things
2. Baking soda – great for scrubbing
3. A 1:1 ratio of vinegar and water – perfect for cleaning glass
But It’s only December!
So, here’s a secret. You don’t need to wait until January 1st to start your New Year’s Resolutions! This year has been rough. Why not get a jump start with making next year better for you and the environment?
From now until January 1st, OBP will give you one of their eco-friendly reusable water bottles (for free!) when you sign up for a monthly donation of $15 or more. These water bottles sell for $30 each, so you’re essentially getting two months of free donations. Plus you get to complete two resolutions right off the bat!
Tap the link below to sign up for monthly donations and receive your free sustainable water bottle.
Author Bio: Julia is the owner of Julia Michelle Agency. She works as an expert copywriter for counselors, therapists, and other mental health professionals. She lives in Florida with her husband and two dogs, and enjoys paddle boarding in her free time.