The Sustaining Life blog is all about living an actively sustainable lifestyle in terms of health, impact on the planet, and general mindset. While it may seem difficult to combat climate change on a personal scale, sustainable living has the potential for huge impact. If you are at all worried about the future of our planet, biodiversity, extreme weather systems, and subsequently the ability to live a happy and peaceful life for years to come, I urge you to take just one step this year to live a life that combats climate change. These five resolutions are each a distinct way to reduce your own impact on our planet and to demand that industry, politics and the status quo change to do the same. Just remember; nobody is perfect. If you slip up one week, don't let it derail your goal - get back on track the next opportunity you get. Because sticking with your goals while accepting mistakes is a very sustainable behavior.
1. Say NO to Plastic
Go and find yourself a reusable shopping bag, bottle and lunch container. These three essentials will reduce your waste drastically each day. Add a few produce bags (for bringing to the grocery store) and a handkerchief (for replacing napkins) and you've just gott. Say no to paper or plastic and feel awesome for reducing landfill and ocean waste. Oh, and resign yourself to looking cute, because with your jar and hanky, there's no way you won't!
2. Eat Less Meat
Yes, just less. I get it, going vegetarian (or vegan) is a major commitment, and you're probably not quite ready for it. It took me two full years of learning and indecision before I could successfully commit to going meatless. But guess what? You can greatly reduce your carbon footprint and your cholesterol by going meatless just Monday - Thursday or until 5pm every day. Trust me, you don't need to eat meat at every meal of every day, and not doing that will prove to be a lot easier than you think!
3. Go Slow Fashion
Resolve to give up fast fashion. You are an adult and you can afford to spend $15 or $20 on a sustainably produced, quality tee from Everlane or Be Good rather than going to H&M or Forever 21 for some ratty $5 thing that is only going to fall apart in three months anyway. Only purchase clothing that is high quality, responsibly sourced, ethically made and that you really need. If you need something cheap and exciting, try Ebay or a thrift store! Sending this message to the fashion industry will build on the demand for more transparent supply chains and responsible production practices, and that has the potential to improve lives around the world.
4. Start Freezer Composting
Composting doesn't have to be gross if you have a freezer. It is gross when organic matter sits in landfills, emitting methane into the atmosphere, when what it really wanted was to be turned into rich, nutritious soil. The stinky stuff sitting in your trashcan is prime material for healthy soil, and I bet your local farmers market or friendly community garden would be stoked to receive some. If you live in the right place, someone might even be willing to come and pick it up! Go Google "*my city* compost drop off," designate a corner of your freezer for a bag of scraps, and help your household food waste realize its dreams of becoming food for plants.
5. Eat Local Plants
Signing up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box or visiting your local farmers market every other week will forever change your life. Discovering and eating what is in season within 100 miles of your kitchen will reduce your carbon footprint, improve your health, and spark your creativity. Buying produce from local farmers rather than grabbing homogenous, year round vegetables at the grocery store ensures a wider array of vitamins and minerals are making their way into your diet. Getting connected with your community and the seasonal offerings of your locale are the wonderful side effects of eating local plants.