Happy new year everyone!
Yes, it’s that time of the year again. We have new goals we want to achieve, new things we’d like to do, and new habits we wish to adopt in the next few months.
Of course, we can make new resolutions at any time during the year.
But the start of a new year is the perfect moment to reflect on what we did the previous year and plan a few changes.
I wrote an entire blog post about how you can prepare and plan for the new year.
So if you need some inspiration on what you can do to reset your life and start 2024 right, check it out!
Even though it is hard to stick to them, setting new year’s resolutions is a great way to think about what we want our year to look like and what we can improve.
Whether you’re trying to transition to a more sustainable lifestyle or you’re more advanced on your journey, this article is for you!
I’ve compiled a list of 12 sustainable new year’s resolutions that are easy to stick to and that we can all implement this year for a more eco-friendly 2024.
I think it is easier not to try all of them at once, so I’ve organized them by month.
That way, you can start one resolution at the beginning of each month!
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12 sustainable new year’s resolutions for a more eco-friendly 2024
1 – January: Give unused items in your home a new life
At the beginning of every new year, I love going through my apartment and decluttering everything that no longer serves me.
It gives me a lovely refreshing feeling, and my home looks more spacious and calm.
If you too want to reset your home, go through your belongings and try to get rid of them responsibly.
I made this decluttering checklist to give you ideas of things you may want to part with, so take advantage of it!
Rehome unused items by either selling them, giving them to people who need them or recycling them.
Unused items are wasted resources that could be enjoyed by other people.
Plus, if you decide to sell them, you will make money! Win-win!
2 – February: Switch to LED lights
One of the best sustainable new year’s resolutions is to switch all the lightbulbs in your home to LED lights if you have not done so already.
Incredibly energy-efficient, LED lights can last up to 25 times longer than incandescent lights and use at least 75% less energy!
This means that they are a lot more sustainable than their incandescent and fluorescent counterparts.
They can also help you save hundreds of dollars on your energy bill each year, which is so welcome in those times of inflation.
3 – March: Cook your own meals
This one may not be for everyone because many of us are so busy with work and other commitments that we may not always have time to do it.
But this year, try to prepare as many of your meals at home as possible.
When you’re cooking at home as opposed to eating out or ordering take-outs, you decide what ingredients will be used to make your meals.
It means that you can choose more sustainable options and avoid excess packaging when buying your ingredients.
Plus, you avoid all the packaging waste that comes with take-outs!
You can also compost your food scraps if you have a composting bin and make sure to eat all your food before it gets bad.
This reduces food waste, which is a major contributor to climate change.
You will also usually cook healthier meals, and all the ingredients will be cheaper than eating at a restaurant.
It’s better for the environment, your health, and your wallet!
4 – April: Make your own cleaning products
This year, spring clean your home with eco-friendly, natural cleaning products.
Conventional cleaning products are extremely toxic and we shouldn’t be using them, especially when we have kids at home.
Most of them contain endocrine disruptors, carcinogens and toxic chemicals that can cause respiratory problems to name just a few.
All these chemicals also end up polluting waterways when we pour them down the drain and are a big source of air pollution.
Not to mention they almost always come in plastic packaging.
Thankfully, it doesn’t mean we have to stop cleaning our homes!
We can stay away from those toxins by switching to all-natural cleaning products and ingredients.
Both are incredibly versatile and cheap, and they work just as well as conventional products (if not better)!
Learn more about my sustainable cleaning routine. You’ll find several all-natural recipes you can make for cleaning different areas around your home.
I also have a very easy recipe if you want to make homemade laundry detergent, so feel free to check it out!
5 – May: Quit fast fashion
Fast fashion has disastrous impacts on our planet and on people working in the supply chain.
Most pieces are not made to last and are often made with unsustainable fabrics like polyester or conventional cotton.
But fortunately, there are many ways we can avoid supporting this industry!
Also, make sure the pieces are high-quality so that you can wear them for many years.
Don’t forget to take proper care of them, and repair them if you can.
6 – June: Only buy package-free or organic produce
To reduce your waste, commit to buying only package-free produce for a given period of time.
You can do this for a month or even the whole year if you can easily find loose fruits and veggies!
Being intentional with what you buy and avoiding packaging is a great challenge that will help curb your waste drastically.
If you do not have many package-free options, you could also do this challenge with organic produce.
7 – July: Swap your bathroom and kitchen products for sustainable alternatives
This sustainable new year’s resolution is ideal if you’d like to try the “plastic-free July” challenge this year.
See what products you use every day, and after you’ve used them up, make the switch to their plastic-free alternatives.
For instance, replace your shower gel bottle with a basic soap bar.
Get a stainless steel razor and stop buying disposable versions.
In the kitchen, ditch the plastic bottles and instead, get yourself a nice stainless steel water bottle.
Once you run out of cling film, buy some beeswax wraps instead.
The two following articles will help choose which swaps are best for you:
8 – August: Drive less
One of the best ways to reduce our carbon footprint as individuals is to drive less.
If you need to go somewhere that’s a mile away, consider walking or riding your bike there.
Not only is this more sustainable, but it is also a lot healthier and you’ll save money on gas!
Public transportation is also an amazing resource that we should take advantage of if it is great where we live.
Unfortunately, many people live in places where you cannot get anywhere without a car.
But if you live in the city center or in a place where public transportation is good, it is the perfect opportunity to leave your car in the garage a bit more often.
9 – September: Read books on sustainability
That way, you will be able to learn and be more aware of the environmental issues we are facing nowadays.
It’s also a great way to get inspired and motivated on your sustainable living journey!
Here are some books I highly recommend:
- Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson
- The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard
- No Impact Man by Colin Beavan
10 – October: Do a “no-buy month”
A “no-buy month” is a monthlong challenge during which you commit to only buying the basic necessities for you and your family.
For instance, you allow yourself to buy food, bathroom products or gas, but you refrain from purchasing anything that is not essential.
The great thing about doing a “no-buy month” is that it helps you get out of the habit of impulse buying.
You think through all your purchases and do not mindlessly buy things you don’t need.
Over-consumption has a massive impact on the planet!
So choosing to spend carefully and consume less overall makes a big difference!
Plus, you save tons of money, which is really nice especially if you do this “no-buy month” before the holiday season.
Read more: 24 questions to ask yourself before buying something
11 – November: Reduce your meat consumption
It is estimated that meat accounts for about 60% of all greenhouse gas emissions from food production.
So if you want your new year’s resolution to positively impact the planet, cut your meat consumption, even if it’s a little.
You don’t have to go completely vegan or vegetarian if you don’t want to.
For instance, you can go meat-free one day a week, or decide to have vegan weekends but still eat some meat during the week.
And a cool thing to keep in mind is that cutting back on meat also improves heart health and helps combat diabetes!
12 – December: Learn the recycling rules in your area
While our recycling system is far from flawless, it is still important to recycle.
But more importantly, we need to recycle properly.
This year, take the time to learn about what can be recycled (and what cannot) in your area.
Your city or town probably has a website listing all the things you can put in your curbside recycling bin.
These rules are very important because if we put things in the wrong bin, the whole bin risks being sent to a landfill.
Also, learn where you can recycle specific things like batteries or electronics where you live.
If you have a Best Buy or Home Depot nearby, you might be able to go there to recycle them.
You could also check if there are any textile recycling bins around for recycling your clothes and shoes.
Final thoughts on these 12 sustainable new year’s resolutions
There you go! These were 12 sustainable new year’s resolutions you can implement for a more eco-friendly 2024!
I hope you found some of them helpful!
I purposefully chose resolutions that can be implemented by the majority of people as well as ones that we can actually stick to in the long run.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t manage to stick to them entirely throughout the year.
The key is to make positive changes one day, one month, and one year at a time, and do what we can with the resources (time, energy, money…) we have.
There is no need to try and be perfect!
As Anne Marie Bonneau said, “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly”.
What sustainable new year’s resolutions have you decided to implement in 2024? Share them with us down below!