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Green New Year's Resolutions

Sydney Bell

 

With 2020 right around the corner, now is the time to plan out what you want to accomplish in the coming year! In addition to fitness, work, or relationship goals, take time this New Year to make some green goals. Sustainability is so important due to the many human activities that are wreaking havoc on the Earth such as plastic pollution and climate change. Even if you can only accomplish one of the goals mentioned below, you are still making a positive impact! 


“We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” -Anne Marie Bonneau



  • Reduce Single-Use Plastics: Over 50% of all plastics produced are single-use plastics, meaning they are used for a few minutes and thrown away where they last for several hundreds of years. Plastic will only start degrading after 700 years and will only fully degrade in 1000 years. This means that all the plastic that has ever been produced has not degraded yet. Break free from plastics this year by making these sustainable swaps. The more the better!
    • Plastic water bottle → Reusable water bottle
    • Plastic bags → Cloth grocery bag
    • Plastic straws → Reusable metal or bamboo straw
  • Eat Less Meat: One ¼ lb beef burger takes 425 gallons of water to produce- that’s equivalent to 6,800 glasses or 10 bathtubs full of water! Eating a veggie-based diet reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 96% [1]. You can start by going meatless one day a week and maybe you’ll eventually work up to being vegetarian or vegan!
  • Eat Less Seafood: If humans keep fishing at the current pace, there will be no more fish left in the oceans by 2048 [2]. More than 30 percent of the world’s fisheries have been pushed beyond their biological limits and require strict management plans to restore them. To help our oceans, start by buying seafood that is sourced sustainably. Resources and apps such as Seafood Watch show consumers what types of seafood and methods of capture are the most sustainable [3]
  • Be a Conscious Consumer: The fast fashion industry emits 1.2 billion tons of CO2 equivalent per year and is responsible for producing 20% of global wastewater [4]. 
    • Buy from companies committed to sustainability
    • Buy only necessary clothes
    • Buy from thrift shops
    • Donate used clothes
    • Host a clothes swap
    • Avoid clothes made with synthetic fibers (they release microplastics)

There are so many ways to make a positive change in 2020! Start small and work your way up...everything matters! Here are some more miscellaneous resolutions you can try this year:


  1. Air dry your clothes to save energy
  2. Unplug all cords when they're not being used
  3. Switch to a bamboo toothbrush [5]
  4. Use bar shampoos and conditioners [6]
  5. Take shorter showers to reduce water use
  6. Avoid food products made with palm oil (palm oil is the major cause of deforestation)
  7. Drive less - bike, walk or use public transportation
  8. Only buy cruelty-free beauty products
  9. Buy local
  10. Reduce food waste
  11. Volunteer or donate to an important cause
  12.  Contact your representatives about important environmental issues

 


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