Low-Waste New Year's Resolutions
This is the season when many people are thinking about changes they would like to make in their lives. The new year provides us with a time to refresh and restart, so why not use it as an opportunity to evaluate our impact on the environment and make changes that Take Care of Texas?
It’s no secret that we humans produce a lot of waste in our daily lives. However, there are sustainable options and swaps for many of our wasteful activities. This year, try moving towards living low-waste. Living a low-waste lifestyle means that, through mindfulness and sustainable choices, you produce less waste than the average person. Here are some simple tips that will jump-start your year of living more sustainably.
1. Shop Local and in Bulk
Incorporate local farmers markets into your regular shopping schedules. Locally-grown produce travels a shorter distance from the farm to your plate, resulting in fewer “food miles.” This generates less emissions than the same item at a grocery store. You also get the chance to support small businesses and give back to your community!
Buying your staple groceries in bulk is a great way to reduce waste because less packaging is used for the amount you are getting. Some grocery stores will even let you bring in your own containers to fill in the bulk shopping area. And as always, never forget your reusable bags on your shopping trips.
2. Start Composting
An easy way to tackle food waste is by composting. You can start your own compost bin or participate in a curbside composting program, if there is one available in your area. Watch our video How to Compost in Your Backyard to learn more.
3. Become a Recycling Pro
Do you ever feel like you might be recycling incorrectly, or occasionally throwing out items that could be recycled? Avoid wishcycling and learn the items that can and cannot be recycled by checking out your local recycler's website. By educating your family and friends about what is and is not recyclable, you can reduce your waste and ensure all your recyclables are getting properly utilized!
4. Reduce your Plastic Usage
Think about the products you use every day. Do many contain plastic? Each stage of plastic's life cycle—from raw materials to manufacturing to disposal—requires resources like energy and water. By purchasing less plastic, you'll help save these precious materials. Plastic is challenging to recycle and much of it ends up in landfills. In fact, it was the largest component of municipal solid waste sent to landfills last year.
How to Make your Resolutions Stick
An easy way to make your resolutions stick is by bringing your family and friends into your resolutions with you. Meet up with friends at a farmers market or ask your kids to help you sort the recycling. Making changes is always easier when we have the help of others.
You can also follow zero-waste and low-waste bloggers and influencers for inspiration and eco-friendly ideas all year round!