Sustainable Resolutions: 21 Green Ideas for the New Year

Posted by Razi

First up, what exactly are green and sustainable resolutions, anyhow? There are some actions that can be taken every day to reduce our ecological footprint on the natural environment and its resources. If you are looking for ways to minimize your environmental impact and aren’t sure where to start, Faircado is the place! Here are some practical ideas for sustainable New Year’s resolutions to get you going:

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

You can generalize this motto to every aspect of life (home, work, shopping…). Look for ways to use less; it could be something as simple as printing on both sides of the paper! Or, you can buy just the amount you need, thus reducing food waste. Developing a program to make your equipment work longer and maintain better is another point. And finally, follow a recycling program to make less waste to landfills. Paying attention just to this point will cause a sustainable resolution for your life and environment.

Buy food with less packaging

To do so, we suggest first buying in bulk; which results in less packaging. Second, buy a local farmers market or farm shop, where most things are without packaging, and you would only buy what you need. In this way, you will save money, eat fresher food and waste less as you didn’t buy too much.

 

brown and black bag
Image by Yue Iris

Take reusable bags shopping

By using reusable bags, you will conserve resources, decrease pollution, avoid recycling problems, protect wildlife and save money. To improve your environmental behavior, we suggest making a plan, how? Put your recyclable bags somewhere that will ensure you always remember to bring them with you for shopping.

Turn off lights in rooms that aren’t being used

Turning off the lights when you leave your room can help save energy and money. This easy action can also help reduce carbon emissions and other greenhouse gasses. Hence, it is a simple way to help protect the environment and save the planet.

Turn off electrical items when not in use, e.g., laptops, TV

By now, it seems that turning off 24/7 electronics when not in use, could save you up to $100 to $200 a year. Energy and money savings aside, there’s another upside to keeping appliances unplugged while not using them: it’s the safest way to protect against power surges; unless you have a whole-home surge protection system or individual surge protectors all over your house.

Turn the tap off

By turning the tap off while brushing your teeth, washing your hands/dishes and taking a shower, or other same daily routines; conserve a large amount of water every month.

person holding blue plastic cup
Image by Bluewater Sweden

Refill water bottles

From the production of single-use plastic bottles to where they inevitably end up, there’s not much going for them. Investing in a reusable water bottle surely helps the environment. By reducing plastic, saving money, and combating climate change.

Stop using single-use plastic straws

Plastic waste is one of the biggest environmental challenges in the world. Single-use straws are used for a few minutes then discarded, where they’ll remain in the environment indefinitely. Plastic straws are lightweight and easily blown down drains and into waterways, rivers, and oceans. They can become stuck in the airways of animals, or if mistaken for food and ingested can be fatal. You can use sustainable alternatives, like metal straws, paper straws, glass, or silicone straws.

Put on extra layers instead of turning on the heating

During the colder months of the year, it can be tricky to stay warm without cranking up the heat; dressing in layers is the key! Everyone knows you should add a sweater, jacket, and other layers when you go outside in cold weather. You can apply the same method inside, too. Layers will insulate your body and make it easier to regulate your body temperature. In this way, you can add or remove layers as needed to stay comfortable. Wearing thick socks or slippers keeps your feet warm, which will make your whole body feel warmer.

Eat less meat

Not necessarily becoming veggie, but consider curbing your meat consumption. Look for organic meat to help mitigate some of the planetary problems associated with meat. Also, plan for trying a vegetarian diet: you’ll have the satisfaction of healthier meals and lowering your personal global warming footprint. Eat more Falafel 😉

 

white and gray thermostat at 19 5
Image by Erik Mclean

Turn lower the heating when leaving the house

Turning your heat on and off is not cost-effective at all, since your system will have to work extra hard for an extra long to get the temperature back up. If you turn off the heating system, everything in the house cools off, including furniture, floors, and walls. Then after coming back home, it has to heat all that back up in order to maintain a comfortable temperature. So, turn down your heating system (no matter which kind they are) when leaving home to take advantage of both saving energies and having a pleasant temperature at home.

Reuse leftover foods, fruit, and vegetable

Leftover food is one of the biggest sources of waste for many of us. They get lost in a cluttered refrigerator, we don’t know how to use them, or we just aren’t in the mood for a mealtime rerun. Here at Faircado, we have amazing suggestions to reuse the leftovers:

  • Don’t throw them out; whether you’re eating at home or out at a restaurant, don’t let leftover edible food go to waste in the trash. At restaurants, get a to-go box, or better, bring your own container. After a home-cooked meal, pack up the leftovers and get them into the fridge after everyone has filled up. Label the leftovers and store them in a place in the fridge where you won’t forget about them.
  • Make them tomorrow’s lunch; saving leftovers is a quick way to pack a low-effort lunch. Just pop them into the container, and you’re ready to go! If there is not enough food for a full meal, pack an extra snack or aside.
  • Reinvent them; get creative in the kitchen! Leftover vegetables are easily combined or baked into new dishes. Reinvent grains and meats into fried rice, scrambles, and soups.
  • Freeze them; by freezing the leftovers, you’ll thank yourself when you have a busy schedule and no time to make a meal. Just be sure to label your container.
  • Prevent them; if you really hate leftovers, make an effort to avoid them in the first place by
    matching the amount of food you cook or buying the amount of food you eat.

 

Use lamps with low energy use

When switching to energy-efficient lighting, you can light your home using the same amount of light for less money. Lighting accounts for around 15% of an average home’s electricity use, and the average household saves about $225 in energy costs per year by using LED lighting. Energy-saving bulbs come in a range of shapes, sizes, and brightness. They are available for every type of fitting.

Use colder washing cycles

Generally speaking, cold wash cycles are best for delicate, colored, and normally soiled clothing; warm water is best for more soiled clothing and whites; and hot water is best for very soiled clothing or for loads, like underwear and towels, where you want to remove germs and allergens. By following this point, you will both save energy and get better results.

Take shorter showers

Knowing that conserving energy keeps utility bills down and limits our use of fossil fuels, how does water factor in? Remember that it takes energy to treat, transport, and heat water, so it’s a good idea to use as little as possible to limit the power you use to get it; here are our suggestions:

Time yourself;
 Time yourself to get a baseline, to see how long your normal showers are.
Set a goal; After you figure out your baseline, set a goal to reduce your shower time by several minutes.
Be prepared; Have everything you need ready and on hand, so you won’t spend time looking for something after the hot water is already flowing. Soap, shampoo, luffa, and towel.
Shave before you shower; You can save a lot of water by shaving before taking shower. A good way to shave while conserving water is to have a bowl of water set aside for rinsing the razor, instead of running it under the tap.

yellow and purple bicycle near white wall at daytime
Image by Tiffany Nutt

Drive less car

The first step to making any change in life is learning more about what you are currently doing. Think about your lifestyle and imagine your carbon footprint and pollution created by using a personal car. Employees who drive to and from work produce a substantial amount of air pollution. If you live in a large city with busy streets and sidewalks, and you do not feel comfortable riding a bike around town during rush hour, you may use public transportation for situations.

Shop second-hand e.g., clothes

There are plenty of reasons why you should buy second-hand clothing, many of which actually benefit you personally and also have great positive effects on the environment; making it a win-win game.

Faircado is one of the best platforms for shopping second-hand online with many available options where you can compare the prices. Faircado gives you all the information you need to make better, more sustainable purchase decisions every day. At Faircado, there is zero room for little tricks, arrangements, or conflicts of interest. It’s a great feeling shopping secondhand, knowing that you’re helping the environment, and practicing slow fashion while also simplifying your life.


Buying second-hand clothing saves money

You extend a garment’s life-cycle
Buying used promotes sustainable fashion
Buying used clothing saves resources
Reduces fast fashion demand

 

Grow your own vegetables

Much of the food we eat daily has traveled hundreds of kilometers to reach us. The carbon emissions from transport and refrigerated storage are a significant contributor to climate change. Creating a small garden at home is a simple and effective way to reduce your impact on the environment. There is a great pleasure in growing your own food; while picking your veggie for dinner. You’ll also enjoy the taste of pesticide-free and truly fresh food.

Never use takeaway coffee cups

Bringing your own reusable cup is clearly the best choice. They kill no trees; they generate no waste and they don’t leach any chemicals into the beverage. Most coffee shops even give you a discount if you bring your own cup. You can choose from ceramic, glass, or stainless steel, all of which look great on your way to work. You also make a statement that you care about the environment, inspiring others to follow.

 

Upcycle furniture

Upcycling means the act of taking something that is no longer in use; and giving it a second life and new function. The environmental benefits of upcycling furniture are huge, as it reduces the number of items that are discarded and taken to landfills every year. It also reduces the need to produce new materials and products. All these steps result in a reduction in air pollution, water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Fly less

Flying takes a lot of energy, which means releasing a lot of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Here are some suggestions if you have no other choice rather than flying:

Nonstop is best; flying nonstop is much more energy-efficient than flying multiple hops. That’s because takeoffs and ascents require significantly more energy than cruising at altitude.
Stay longer; one option is taking one long vacation rather than two short ones, or flying to one destination and staying put.
Carry less stuff; the more your baggage weighs, the more the plane has to carry and the less energy efficient it is. So, pack light.
Don’t fly business; the amount of energy required to fly a plane is divided among the people being flown. The more people, the more energy-efficient. Business-class and first-class seats have fewer people, so they’re less efficient.

Try to enjoy a train journey instead.

 

Fortunately, nowadays the number of people who like to try and care about second-hand & sustainable lifestyles is increasing. Old fashion is very popular among the younger generation. By supporting this point of view to life, we could move into a much more sustainable position and greener life.

Faircado is the sustainable shopping assistant that aggregates second-hand offers from the biggest marketplaces into one platform to make you save time, money, and the planet, for free. Here you can search for almost every second-hand and refurbished item you may need. From electronic devices like LaptopsTablets, and Mobile Phones; to books and home furniture, clothes, and accessories (soon!). Find all second-hand products in one place; where you can buy them confidently.

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