If we start with simple, attainable tasks, we’ll be able to do more good for the planet this year
Setting goals for the new year is a timeless tradition, but those resolutions can often end up falling by the wayside by February. As much as we want to go big for 2022, in order to become more sustainable, we have to set small goals, ease into the new, and work our way up to the big stuff.
Here are some sustainable goals you can set this January to follow throughout the year...
Sustainable goals for 2022
- Detox your household products: Laundry strips, sponge cloths, non-toxic cleaners and DIY body products are all great ways to make your home more sustainable.
- Reduce your energy and water consumption: It starts by unplugging electronics and keeping track of water and power usage, and can later expand into more ways for you to reduce consumption at home.
- Find sustainable transportation: Carpooling with friends is a great way to reduce your emissions, or if you’re ready for the leap, you can opt for public transit, biking or walking to work once a month, then once a week, then multiple times a week.
- Donate to environmental organizations: Skip the drive-thru coffee and donate the extra dollars to an organization in need. A little goes a long way for organizations that are protecting biodiversity, soil health and the planet.
- Participate in Plastic Free July: Slowly cut down your single-use plastic consumption by replacing kitchen items and bathroom items with reusable options. If you’re feeling brave, you can later go full-out zero waste for an entire month.
- Purchase nothing new for an entire month: Help reduce emissions and waste while also saving money. Put aside the extra cash and set an intention for what you’d like your “sustainable money” to go towards at the end of the month.
- Attend or host a climate rally: Climate rallies are a great way to meet like-minded folks, introduce yourself if you’re new to the sustainability scene, and to learn more about how climate change is affecting your local community and its members.
- Read a book or watch a documentary about climate change and our planet: Becoming inspired starts by learning what we’re fighting for, and books and documentaries are a great place to start your eco-journey.
- Plant a tree: Get out there and get your hands dirty, both literally and metaphorically, through tree-planting initiatives in your community or online through search engines and companies.
- Thrift a piece of clothing or host a clothing swap: Not only will you find unique items, but you’ll also prevent new items from being manufactured, which takes a lot of resources to produce and to dispose of.
- Dispose of items properly: Learn which stores recycle old electronics and clothing, read up on your city’s recycling rules, and make an effort to know where your items go at the end of their life.
- Sign petitions and write to local representatives: Corporations and governments are able to make big changes quickly, and all it takes is a little nudge from the many to get things moving. Pick initiatives that are meaningful to you and share them with friends and loved ones.
- Switch your bank to a credit union: Banks are known to use our deposited money to finance fossil fuel industries and other polluting industries. You can find which banks and credit unions are the most ethical and sustainable here.
- Minimize food waste: Inventing fun recipes to use up what’s in your fridge, purchasing expiring produce and goods, and buying fewer grocery items help to reduce food waste, which eases the strain on landfills.
- Learn about intersectional environmentalism: Environmentalism needs to be inclusive, especially to those most affected by environmental racism. Read up on how to make your sustainable journey more intersectional and invite others to do the same.
- Support your local markets: Local, sustainable and organic farmers help to protect soil health, support our local pollinator species by increasing biodiversity, and provide us with pesticide-free (and low-emission) foods.
- Grow your own food: It can be a balcony tomato pot or a full-blown garden. Every little bit of food that’s grown at home doesn’t have to be transported from afar or grown with pesticides.
- Compost your food scraps: composting can be done in an apartment or backyard, reduces landfill waste, and brings nutrients back into our soil and food.
- Do your best and share your wisdom with others: Ask restaurants for compostable packaging, encourage your friends to go eco by gifting them swappable items, and invite family members to rallies and protests so they know how passionate you are. Remember you’re not alone. Share the weight with others and you’ll be able to achieve so much more in 2022.