5 easy ways to kick-start your eco-resolutions
Author: Wendy Lee
If you’re anything like me, you’ve been putting off those New Year's Resolutions that you made at the end of 2018. Between paying off those holiday credit card bills, to escaping the cold for the tropics, there’s just been no time. But it’s not too late! Lucky for us eco-warriors the journey to a low-waste lifestyle is easy! Here are five simple ways to kick-start your eco-resolutions before they end up in the landfill.
Photo by Maddi Bazzocco
Reusable Coffee Cup
If you haven’t already picked up your reusable coffee cup then get to it! Did you know that according to GreenMatch.com, 16 billion coffee cups are used every year. To put that in perspective for you, that is 6.5 million trees, 4 billion gallons of water, and the equivalent amount of energy it takes to power 54,000 homes annually. If that isn’t enough to convince you, some cafes offer a discount on hot beverages if you bring a reusable cup. You can find reusable coffee cups for sale almost everywhere (including all thrift stores!) and at all different price points, so there’s really no excuse.
Whether it be a stainless steel, glass, or bamboo straw the impact that you can make by using one of these is incredible! Did you know that plastic straws are the 11th most found piece of ocean trash? Most forward-thinking business are joining such movements as #thelaststraw and getting rid of their plastic straw offerings but there are still a few that are lingering behind. Just remember to ask for “no straw please” whenever you head out for a beverage.
Repurpose Your Old Clothing
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve likely heard of Netflix’s Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. If not, then it’s a must-see! Not only does she have a wonderful outlook on the objects that we use, giving each item respect for serving us, but Kondo also has you organizing your closets in an effort to purge all that no longer serves you. This means lots of clothing going into the donation bin. However, before you take a trip to your local Value Village, go through the items that “no longer spark joy”, perhaps there is some fabric in there that would be useful for cleaning rags or eye makeup remover pads? Try to repurpose first!
Even your toothbrush is problematic for the environment. Comprised mostly of plastic, toothbrushes never decompose and their synthetic materials are detrimental to marine and animal wildlife. When these plastics break down, they become micro-plastics. Wildlife often mistake these micro-plastics for food, which causes major health issues. Biodegradable toothbrushes, like those made from bamboo, are a simple, eco-friendly switch you can make.
The reusable bag thing is super easy once you get the hang of it. The biggest hurdle is usually remembering to bring them to the store. I keep a small produce bag in my purse, just in case I am out and need to make a last minute purchase. At home, I keep them next to the door so they’re the last thing I see as I leave the apartment. Easy!
As soon as you begin to implement small changes you’ll notice a big difference. Plastic is everywhere, so look-up some zero-waste options in your neighbourhood, like bulk food stores or repair cafes. Once you familiarize yourself with the community around you, you will be well on your way to fulfilling your eco-resolutions for the coming year.