It’s New Years so that means resolutions!
I know that New Year’s resolutions get a bad rep, but I really love that we have a time of year that people are culturally encouraged to self develop. Sure, a lot of people won’t actually accomplish their resolutions but that isn’t the holidays fault.
For those of you looking to make some sustainable or minimalist changes in your life I wanted to provide some inspiration and ideas. Many of these resolutions are small goals because I wanted to highlight how little actions and changes can add up to big impacts.
Especially around New Years we’re usually feeling inspired and tend to set a lot of really lofty goals. However, thinking too big will lead to disappointment when we aren’t able to achieve what we hoped to and actually hamper our ability to make long term changes. Thus it’s better to make small changes over the course of time.
Therefore this list features primarily smaller goals with the intent that different “resolutions” from these lists can be built on top of one another over the course of time. So, without further ado here are my ideas for New Year’s resolutions to become more eco-minimal in 2020.
- Get rid of one item from your home each day in January.
- Declutter one new area of your home each week until you’ve decluttered the whole house.
- Unfollow/Unfriend social media accounts that don’t add value to your life.
- Start listening to minimalist podcasts and audio books.
- Learn to say no to things.
- Try a capsule wardrobe.
- Have a packing party.
- Don’t pick up or accept free swag or t-shirts from events and activities that you won’t use.
- Create a Level 10 Life journal spread to help evaluate your values and goals, use this spread to establish goals that are meaningful to you.
- Create a morning routine that will help to ground and center you.
- Tell your friends and family that you no longer want to receive physical gifts for special occasions.
- Live out of the dry goods in your pantry for as long as possible. You may be surprised how many unused and forgotten foods have accumulated.
- End a toxic relationship in your life.
- Start a daily journaling or mood tracking practice.
- Learn to meditate. (For skeptics just know that there are many forms of meditation! It doesn’t have to be just sitting criss-cross on the floor quietly.)
- Institute a “one out one in” policy for items in your home. Especially if there is a type of item you tend to accumulate like purses or shoes.
- Calculate your average spending for the previous year and try to reduce it by 10%.
- Start that passion project you’ve been longing to do. Whether it’s writing a novel or starting a business consider this your sign from the universe to go for it!
- Experiment with minimalist eating. It doesn’t mean cutting calories, but simplifying your eating habits as well as the foods themselves (i.e. less processing and more routines).
- Clear one wall in each room of your home of any and all decorations.
- Start carrying your own silverware to reduce single use plastics.
- Bring your own to-go beverage cup to coffee shops.
- Give up plastic bags and start carrying reusable produce and grocery bags for shopping.
- Try bulk shopping (even if your local shops don’t allow BYO containers you can always reuse the plastic bags they have available).
- Commit to always searching for an item second hand before you buy new.
- Create a “zero waste kit” for your bag that has reusable napkins, silverware, cups, and tupperware so that you’re never unprepared.
- Start shopping at the farmer’s market. (If your farmer’s market has limited selection or is too expensive try just buying one item a week there, anything helps!)
- When you need to replace your beauty and personal care products replace them only with natural/eco-friendly versions.
- Try doing a no-buy week or month.
- Participate in Veganuary.
- Cut animal products from your diet. It doesn’t have to be a lot! Try just doing Meatless Mondays and you can work your way up from there.
- Purchase carbon offsets to counterbalance your carbon footprint.
- Try to reduce driving miles. This can look a lot of ways like doing as many errands in one trip as possible, carpooling, or using alternative forms of transportation.
- Write and sign a “Sustainable Commitment” that shows all the sustainable changes you want to make this year. Hang it somewhere prominently in your home and check items off as you accomplish things.
- Participate in the Fridays for the Future Climate Strike movement.
- Organize Terracycle drives at your school or work.
- Start buying locally made foods and goods.
- Reduce packaging waste by preferencing goods with the most minimal packaging possible. For example, buying yogurt in large tubs rather than single serve containers.
- Call your senators! Write to your local representatives and let them know that you are concerned about climate change.
- Learn to sew so that your are able to mend your clothes and extend their life cycles.
Well there she is, 40 ideas both big and small to make your 2020 more eco-minimal. Now your friends can no longer say they have “no idea” what to do about global warming.
My personal resolutions are to grow this blog (announcements coming soon), institute a mindful morning routine, reduce my consumption of processed foods, and put a zero-waste kit in my bag.
I hope these ideas have inspired you and I’d love to hear what your New Year’s resolutions are in the comments below!