Start the New Year Right with 5 Eco-friendly Resolutions
Become a Zero-Waste Grocery Shopper
Zero-waste grocery shopping is no fading fad. It’s the future of shopping! And it’s catching on. It’s all about sustainability and reducing waste (especially plastic).
All you need to get started is:
- A few small, reusable mesh bags (for produce)
- A few small cloth bags (for bread or pastries)
- A couple of jars (for wet bulk goods, like olives, meat, or cheese). Make sure an employee records the weight of the jar before you fill it up!
- A large tote or a plastic bin with handles (for carrying your groceries)
- THAT’S IT! Amazing, right?
Eat Locally-Grown Produce
If your go-to for produce shopping is Walmart, consider changing that up as often as you can. Why, you ask?
Here are some of the benefits of locally grown produce:
- It’s fresher and more nutritious
- It requires a shorter distribution chain, which means less waste is produced
- You’re supporting a small business instead of a large corporation
- You show love to sustainable agricultural practices
- You’ll find a wide variety of fruits and veggies you may not have even known about
- You’ll end up buying produce that’s in season, which is healthier, tastier, and cheaper!
Talk about a great start to the new you. Local produce is where it’s at. Plus, there’s nothing more fun than a community market.
Keep going, you're on a roll!
Buy Fair Trade
Picture this: every time you buy an item, the proceeds go to someone in a developing country trying to live a better life. Do you feel all tingly and warm, or what? We at Simple Switch call that “positive impact purchasing”, and it’s what Fair Trade is all about.
Here are some reasons why Fair Trade is so incredible:
- proper compensation
- good working conditions
- respect for the environment
- providing opportunities for disadvantaged producers
- no child labor, forced labor, or discrimination of any kin
Buying Fair Trade doesn’t mean you miss out on awesome products. It means that instead of buying a CEO a second yacht, you ensure a hardworking family gets dinner every night. Check out Gobena’s Fair Trade and Certified Organic Coffee, a delicious Fair Trade coffee brand we lovingly support!
Ditch Fast Fashion
Image: A funky ethically-made shirt
Fast fashion refers to inexpensive clothing produced by mass-market retailers. It's designed to keep up with our constantly changing trends.
If you only read the words “inexpensive” and “trends”, you’re not alone. It can be hard to give up something so available that we’re so used to.
But, supporting fast fashion means supporting the second largest polluter in the world (behind oil). It also means supporting unsafe working conditions, unfair wages, offshoring, and mass amounts of textile, energy, and water waste.
By supporting sustainable clothing brands, you help reduce the global carbon footprint, encourage fair wages, and promote eco-friendly, environmentally sustainable business practices.
Here are some tips to help you transition:
- Avoid shopping at large retail outlets
- Visit thrift and second-hand stores (For a few more minutes of shopping, you can find beautiful clothing in great condition for a reasonable price.)
- Seek out ethical clothing brands in your area
- Live by the motto “Buy less, buy better”. How many clothes lay untouched in your closet?
- Participate in clothing swaps
Being a conscious shopper doesn’t mean giving up style. It just means being more selective about what you buy!
If you live somewhere without complementary composting services, it can seem like a major hassle to do your part. But composting is very important, and can even cut down on your landfill fees.
Composted soil is full of rich nutrients, helping to nourish the surrounding environment. Worldwide, about 1.3 billion tonnes of food is thrown away each year. With your help, we can keep compostables out of the landfill and ensure they return to the earth.
To start a compost bucket, all you need is:
- a discreet location outdoors with access to both sun and shade.
- a compost bin (there’s plenty to choose from, so do a little research to see which one is right for you!)
- THAT'S IT!
Here’s what can go in a compost bin:
- Vegetable scraps
- Yard waste (lawn clippings, leaves)
- Manure (from vegetarian animals)
- Coffee grounds and filters
Make sure there’s no animal products, pet droppings, seeds or weeds, or chemicals.
There you have it! Ensure you keep the bin moist, and turn it often. In no time, you’ll be ready to spread that rich, dense soil over an eager bed of greens. That’s not so bad, right?
Don't let New Year's Eve become saturated with pressure and unfair expectations. Instead, approach 2020 with a healthy, environmentally-conscious mind. Let this year be the one where you make a positive impact on your community and earth. Make this decade about sustainability, social responsibility, and environmentalism.
We're confident that if you do, 2020 will be your best year yet! Which resolutions are you working towards this year?