Well well well! Have you begun your countdown to the New Year yet? As you step into the new year with optimism and that fierce spirit, you may also have your long list of resolutions, for the year. If becoming sustainable is one of the things on your list, then this one’s for you! If it wasn’t on your list until now, maybe this will help you take the plunge!
Here are 22 fun & super sustainable resolutions (that double up as great affirmations!) to help you ring in 2022 on a planet positive note! We assure you, these practical ones will be easy to keep and allow you to make that gradual shift to a more conscious lifestyle. You needn’t do them all, but you can surely pick a few to start, right?!
Ready? Let’s go!
1. “I will always carry my cloth tote for all shopping errands”
Both, new year resolutions and sustainability have one thing in common- You can start small & still make a big difference! While carrying your own cloth bags may sound like a mundane and obvious task, isn’t it true that we’ve forgotten to do so more than one time?
If you’ve found yourself stuck with an unwanted plastic shopper or paper bag on more than one occasion, this resolution will help you stay afloat! A great hack to always remember carrying that tote is to have one by your door (so you can pick it on your way out) as well as keep a spare in your car!
2. “I resolve to always carry my reusable water bottle & avoid buying packaged water as far as possible”
This is by far the easiest resolution to keep because it requires little to no effort. We all have reusable steel, glass or copper bottles at home, and usually in more than one size! All you need to do is to remember to carry it when you step out.
Not only will you stay hydrated through the day, but this helps prevent the need to buy packaged bottled water, which usually comes in plastic bottles. It’s well known to all, that these often get littered or dumped into our landfills, adding to the waste pile.
3. “I’ll reduce my plastic dependency in 2022”
Thankfully, this will be an easy resolution to keep, considering the much-awaited plastic ban announced by our government! While a majority of single-use plastics will be phased out by July 2022, you needn’t wait to reduce your plastic dependency!
Simple, mindful acts like refusing plastic cutlery at food stalls, carrying your own tiffins for leftovers or takeaways and making plastic-free swaps wherever possible can make a significant difference.
4. “I’ll try & carry my reusable cutlery when I travel”
Now, if you must avoid plastic waste at all times, it helps to stay equipped. As a practice, you can keep a set of reusable and foldable cutlery in your handbag or car at all times. If reusables aren’t always a practical choice for you, you can stock up on Earth-friendly, biodegradable disposables.
The same rule applies to other hygiene essentials, such as single-use pads & diapers, disposable makeup wipes, plastic earbuds and the like. With a little research and surfing, you can easily find access to reusable alternatives for all your daily must-haves!
5. “Gradually, I’ll convert my home into a waste-free zone”
Nope, you don’t need to immediately start eliminating all waste from the house! First, reuse what you can, then recycle the empty plastic containers and other such waste and finally when it’s time to replace, switch to a plastic-free alternative!
You can also make it a point to opt for refillable grocery services. This way, you can use your preowned containers to get your essentials and successfully reduce piling up on wasteful packaging.
6. “I’ll recycle regularly & consciously reuse what I own before I discard it”
Kind of self-explanatory right? So much of what we throw is perfectly reusable! Sometimes, it may require some creativity, but hey, that just makes it all the more fun right?
7. “This year, I’m going to give composting a try!”
If you already compost, three cheers to you! Maybe now, you can step it up and help your society folks do the same? If you haven’t given composting a try so far, now’s a good time to start! So much of our household and kitchen waste is compostable, and this is a great way of turning waste into nutrition for the soil!
8. “My next toothbrush will be a bamboo one!”
If you are new to the world of sustainability, this is #AGoodPlaceToStart! While your plastic toothbrushes will last a while, when you do discard them, they also end up as Earth harming plastic waste. Not to mention, synthetic bristles are also a cause for concern. Next time, switch to a bamboo toothbrush. At the end of its life, you can compost and recycle it!
9. “The next time I run out of cleaning supplies, I’ll opt for a natural one!”
Synthetic cleaning supplies are laden with toxic chemicals, that tend to pollute the waste-water stream as well as cause diseases with prolonged use. A great way to phase them out of your life is to replace your detergents, floor cleaners and other sanitisation products with naturally formulated ones.
Most of these are highly effective and yet so mild, the wastewater can even be reused to water your house plants! All you need to do is ensure that your cleaner is 100% organic!
10. “I’m going to start reading labels before I shop”
This is an important step and one which we often tend to forget, especially if we’re shopping in a hurry. The reason it’s important to learn about what goes into making the products you buy is that it prevents you from getting greenwashed by misleading covers. Additionally, if you prioritise certain ethics like cruelty-free ingredients and vegan formulations, it is especially necessary to know your labels!
11. “This year, I’ll give veganism a shot!”
If turning vegan has been on your bucket list for a while, why not give it a shot now? Beyond food, it’s quite easy to follow veganism through your choices. From plant-based skincare to vegan fabrics, you can give this resolution a holistic attempt!
12. “ I’ll gradually transition to ethical clothing brands and give thrifting a try.”
Shopping for new clothes can be fun! But, it can also be deceptive, leaving you with a pile of wasteful items in your closet. Besides, year-end sales and offers are designed to promote consumerism, which adds to eco-pressures.
This year, you can resolve to cut down your urge to splurge and make maximum use of the clothes and accessories you already own! If you must shop for a new piece of clothing, invest in sustainable clothing from local brands that promote slow fashion.
13. “I’ll make X number of sustainable swaps this year .”
Set a realistic goal for yourself, as it gives you room to gradually grow without feeling overwhelmed! Remember, you are allowed your own pace so resist the urge to compare your progress to others and just stay focused! Also, avoid the urge to compare your progress with that of your peers.
14. “I’ll aim to educate at least 5 peers about ethical living, without indulging in sustainability shaming”
The first step to spreading the word and helping others grow is to refrain from shaming the pace at which one progresses. Rather, use your expertise to guide them instead. If one person can make a significant difference with a little care, imagine what a group could achieve! To live more sustainably also means spreading the word to those who could do with a little lifestyle change.
So, this year you could resolve to try and educate those around you and motivate your loved ones to take positive action. After all, our planet could always benefit from collective responsibility!
15. “I’ll transition my workspace into a green zone”
A lot of us may plan to resume office in 2022. While you look forward to heading back to work, why not all use this fresh start to make your office more planet-friendly?
Encourage your co-workers to make swaps with you, employ light and energy-saving tactics at work and maybe even organise a workshop!
16. “I’ll mindfully segregate all my waste”
At home or work, this is useful everywhere! A lot of compostable, recyclable or treatable waste often gets wasted due to careless disposal. Having segregated bins and making conscious use of them can help reduce the impact of the waste you generate.
17. “ I’ll assess my waste output and aim to reduce”
If going zero-waste has been a personal goal, then begin by tracking and analysing how much waste you generate on average. Then, assess how much of that waste was avoidable had you been a tad more careful.
Over time, this will get you habituated to better waste management and help you achieve that zero-waste lifestyle! Take a cue from Sonika, who’s spent 2 successful years without using a dustbin in her home!
18. “I’ll cut back my energy consumption, track my carbon footprint and plant more trees!”
As India pledges to aim towards an emission-free future, you too can take ownership of your energy consumption. Start with the basics, like using A/Cs on power-saving mode, or turning off all extra lights at home. Gradually, incorporate bigger changes like investing in energy-saving tools and calculating your carbon footprint when you travel, etc.
At the same time, you can be mindfully offset your end of the damage via emissions. By simply pledging to plant more trees (a great way to also mark celebrations or key occasions), you can play a role in giving back to nature, the resources that you utilised.
19. “I’ll try and participate in at least one on-ground activity in my locality!”
From beach clean-ups to a society waste collective drive, such community activities increase citizen responsibility. Besides, they will help you mobilize and influence those in your peer groups to be more proactive in caring for the planet.
So this year, why not make it a goal to get down and get your hands dirty?! We vouch for it, there’s a lot of lovely treasures to be found even in the trash
Additionally, it’s always a good idea to stay alert and identify opportunities to reduce waste. Keep your travels clean, and adopt zero-waste policies on treks and nature trails.
20. “In 2022, I’ll make time to learn more about sustainability and update my knowledge”
When it comes to self-improvement, there’s always room to learn more. If you’re enthusiastic about your transition journey, then investing your time in knowledge building courses and books can help you learn more from others’ experiences!
21. “When I shop, I’ll shop only sustainable & local”
Unless you’re superhuman, it’s probably unrealistic to expect that you won’t shop at all. But, it hardly takes superpowers to be a conscious consumer right? As 2022 begins, take a pledge to shop for only what you need and choose sustainable alternatives when you do! This will also help support ethical local businesses that endorse green practices.
22. “For every slip-up, I won’t give up!”
Less of a resolution & more of an affirmation! Don’t make it your goal to be perfect at all that you do! Rather, just strive to go on & stay focused. Before you know it, you’ll be outdoing yourself!
While this list is a good starting point for you, there are quite a few more ways for you to stay sustainable in 2022. If you want to go beyond, you could explore investment options in ethical companies and give ESG funds a try.
So, take the plunge, make the swap….after all, we’re all in this together :)
We wish you all a very happy and sustainable New Year!