11 Sustainable Resolutions for 2019
2019 is here and resolutions are in motion. Self-care! New job! Travel more! More time outside, less time online! (I’m definitely hopping on the self-care and spend more time outside train.) But, what about resolutions that are bigger than ourselves? There is no better time to declare a resolution that improves the condition of our environment and the lives of the people we share the earth with! I’m claiming it—2019 is the year of sustainability. And that goes for more than just sustainability in fashion! If you are hoping to upgrade your sustainable and ethical practices this year, here are 11 achievable ways to make that happen.
Ditch the one-time-use cups. It’s 2019, so you probably have a reusable water bottle or reusable coffee bottle, but if you don’t, now is definitely the time! Grab two of each so that you don’t get frustrated when you forget to do dishes. Extra sustainability points for glass instead of plastic!
Significantly reduce your use of plastic. We've been recycling for years, but that just doesn’t cut it anymore. There’s a million and one ways to cut down on plastic overall, but my current favorite way is by keeping a grocery tote with me everywhere I go, just in case I have to grab something from the market. You can also snag produce bags to cut down on those little bags they provide in the produce section. Another easy way is to keep a reusable straw in your bag for mid-day Starbucks runs.
Shop local. After grabbing your shopping bags, make it a habit to shop at your local market. And, no. I don’t mean The Fresh Market. Few items sold at farmer’s markets are packaged, which means you’ll be cutting down on plastic while supporting local farming commerce. Google “local farmers market” and schedule your weekly appearance. This will take some time and effort to become a consistent practice, but I can almost guarantee it will bring more fulfillment than racing through Whole Foods.
Go Vegan once a week. I only say once because I know even that sounds impossible for some. But, I promise! It isn’t as hard as it sounds. Every time you skip consuming any animal product of any kind, you’re helping keep our earth sustainable. Independent even goes so far to say that “eating a vegan diet could be the “single biggest way” to reduce your environmental impact on earth.”
Keep a purchase journal. This isn’t sustainable all on its own, but through practice, it can be! By writing down every purchase you make (aside from, you know, Chipotle) you can challenge yourself to minimize your purchases overall—which reduces waste. After only a couple weeks, you’ll be surprised at how much you buy that you don’t really need.
Try minimalism on for size. This means buying things only when you need them—and that goes for more than just clothing! If you can’t commit to keeping a purchase journal, commit to buying less. When you know what you need, you can easily cut down on the wants!
Limit your clothing purchases. (If you already do this and want to take it to the next level, then skip to #7!) How? The answer is always: a list. Map out a list of what you typically need each season, and list whether you can extend the life of a piece from last season or if it’s time to retire it and donate. Making a list now will help with anticipation and impulse buying, since you will have future purchases lined up to be excited about and save for.
No New Clothing. See how long you can go without buying anything new! (I suggest practicing #6 before hopping into this, because you can still overbuy even when making seemingly sustainable choices!) When making clothing purchases, shop recycled, second-hand, or purchase “New With Tags” items from online shops like Poshmark or Tradesy.
Donate your goods to shelters, not just thrift stores. (Goodwill has been reportedly “overrun” for years now.) Spill, rip, or ruin some of your favorite pieces? Bummer, I hate that. Mourn the beloved piece properly, then figure out where to send it—other than a landfill. Some colleges with fashion departments accept ripped/torn/stained clothing to repurpose in classes! Look into your local colleges to see if they offer this.
Do a 10x10 challenge! This not only stretches your ability to style with limited pieces, but you also can’t buy anything for it/during it! Do you think you can do it?
Checked everything off the list? Don’t worry, I’ll have more challenges for you this year! We can make 2019 better than ever, one sustainable choice at a time. What ways will you be impacting our world through sustainable practices this year?!