Tips for setting eco-friendly resolutions (that are lifestyle sustainable)
Happy New Year, refillers! It's that time again where we reflect on the previous 12 months, and set some goals for the next 12. We love a good eco-friendly resolution, and we're here to help you set some goals, which are sustainable for your lifestyle.
Studies have shown that it takes 30 days to build a habit, which can make an entire lifestyle change hard work. That's why we've broken it down to 12 steps toward sustainability, and recommend implementing one change per month of the year. That way, you're building up to a reduced waste lifestyle in a way that doesn't feel overwhelming.
You don't have to do them in this order, depending on what you already have built into your lifestyle, but we think this is a great place to start!
Reusable on the go! A great place to kick off is by eliminating single use plastic when you're out and about. A cotton or jute tote bag (or 2), a reusable coffee cup, and a water bottle is an excellent starting point. You might consider a reusable cutlery set, napkin, straw set or take away box too, depending on your lifestyle.
Shop naked. No, we don't mean in your birthday suit, we mean package-free food! Whether it's fruit & vege, grains and pastas, nuts, snacks or even at your local butchery. Find your local stores who allow you to bring your own containers or bags. If this is a new concept for you, choose a couple of packaged staples to replace every week.
Sustainable kitchen. If you run out of your trusty cling wrap, try using a plate to cover dishes, a lidded container, or a recyclable foil option. What other swaps can be made in the kitchen? You might like to try bamboo dish brushes, dish bars, refillable dish liquid/dishwasher powder or even dropping your kitchen bin liner.
Mend/Repair. Your fave pair of socks showing off your big toe? Your reusable shopping bag wearing thin? Lost a button on your shirt? Instead of replacing them with something new this month, try giving mending a go! There's lots of great tutorials online for mending, and fixing what you already own will save you money too!
Sustainable bathroom. You could try shampoo/conditioner bars, or refill your bottles. Give a safety razor a go, check out toothpaste tabs, or jars of toothpaste. There's so much opportunity in the bathroom to cut down on packaging and plastic that don't need to break the bank.
Wash your clothes less. In the winter months it can be a little easier to get away with this one. Reducing how often you wash your clothes extends their life, and can radically reduce your water usage. Consider drying your clothes on the line, or using eco-friendly laundry detergents. Ready to take it a step further? Stainless steel pegs, wool dryer balls and soap-bar stain removers are all great options too!
Eliminate single use cleaning cloths/paper towels. Cut up old rags from non-mendable clothing or old towels, if you have access to an overlocker machine this can be a great way to elongate the life of your rags. Replace paper towels and plastic kitchen cloths with reusable bamboo paper towels.
Compost!! It's one of the biggest impacts you can make on reducing your household waste. As an added bonus, you won't need to buy compost in plastic bags, and you'll reduce your household waste management costs!
Recycling research. This can be council specific, so we encourage you to look into your own councils recycling. Rinse out soft plastics and find your local drop off point. Do you have a local eco-hub who takes it a step further and accepts cleaned out tetra-paks, toothpaste tubes, or plastic bread tags? Knowing what you can recycle can be half the battle, but once you understand how to clean your used packaging and sort it for recycling, you're on your way to building fabulous recycling habits!
It's time to start thinking about a summer garden! Growing your own food is incredibly fulfilling as well as cutting out food packaging, food miles, and chemical sprays. Whether you have luscious acres of fruit trees, or a humble balcony herb garden, we know you'll love giving this one a go.
Walk, bike, or public transport. Like many monthly challenges, this one will not only be an eco-friendly option, it can also save you money! Studies also show this can be a great one for mental health, so get out there!
Holiday season! If you celebrate the holiday season with gift giving, consider homemade or eco friendly gifting options. Try paper bags or fabric wrappings. Don't forget to go easy on yourself when reflecting on the changes you've made over the year, you're doing amazingly!