New Year’s resolutions are a noble effort. Generally intended to kickstart a self-improvement project, resolutions can help you lose weight, improve personal relationships and more.

What if this year, you resolved to help improve the environment? We don’t mean making political donations or single-handedly stopping greenhouse gas emissions. We’re thinking about small, meaningful, and impactful resolutions you can fit into your daily life.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Switch to solar

Solar power is the cleanest form of energy you can get. It reduces greenhouse gas emissions and reduces our overall reliance on fossil fuels. While not all of us can afford solar panels for our home, there are plenty of affordable, smaller solar panels on the market that can help reduce your carbon footprint. Find a rugged, portable option to help you charge everything from your phone to a power pack.

Reduce your plastic use

Chances are you’re using a lot of plastic. From water bottles to dishes, to utensils, coffee cups and more, there’s simply too much plastic being used. Resolve to reduce that plastic with your own recyclable products.

Switch to a reusable water bottle, bring your own Tupperware and don’t forget to bring your reusable shopping bag into the store with you. You’ll save money in the long run and you’ll help reduce harmful landfill waste.

Avoid “fast fashion”

Fast fashion, or inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends, has a negative effect on the planet in a lot of ways. Mass-producing trendy clothing requires a lot of energy — and most of the clothing ends up in a landfill, anyway. Furthermore, fast fashion often relies on overworked and underpaid workers.

Instead of buying into the fast fashion trend, try shopping at second-hand stores or buying from local designers. You can even host a clothing swap with your family and friends. Just be sure to do your research before you support a business.

Buy local and organic produce

If improving your overall health is one of your 2019 resolutions, here’s one that’s conducive to helping the planet, as well: Buy local and organic produce.

Not only does locally grown, seasonal produce taste better, it’s way better for the environment — and it’s not nearly as expensive as it used to be. Local products save on transportation emissions, and organic material requires less harmful chemicals.

Find a CSA, Farmer’s Market or Farm-to-Work Program near you to get started.

Get involved

It’s already clear: 2019 is going to be a year full of political activism. While it might be intimidating to some, it truly is an opportunity to make your voice heard.

If it seems intimidating, start simply by participating in local sustainability projects. Look for tree-planting parties, carpool groups or recycling drives. If those don’t work for you, try calling your local representative to ask what they’re doing to help make the earth a better place. Educate yourself on what bills could help sustainability efforts, and ask your representative to vote yes on them.

Categories: World

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