Does anyone else feel like 2018 was a blur? I can hardly believe that in one year we finished our home renovation, moved in, HAD A BABY, and opened a pop-up retail store. No wonder we're tired! Yes, probably mostly to do with the baby...
As it is with most years, 2018 was full of its ups and downs, but I love the fresh start of a new year. I like to visualize the year ahead and come up with a few (usually three) attainable resolutions. Nothing too dramatic, just some small objectives that I can integrate into my everyday routine.
For many, 2019 could be the year you commit to going zero waste. What you may not realize, is that going zero waste can also help you spend less and be healthier. I don't know about you, but I love a resolution that's simple and can achieve multiple objectives.
So, on the eve of the new year, here are 9 zero waste new year’s resolutions for a happier, healthier 2019:
- Hydrate (Minus the Microplastic): We can all benefit from drinking more water. Make it easy, and zero waste, by bringing your own reusable bottle. Glass and stainless steel bottles are my favorite, and if you want to spend less, reuse a mason jar or glass kombucha bottle. Drinking tap water is also generally healthier than drinking bottled water which has been found to be full of microplastics and is not as strictly regulated as your city’s water quality.
- Caffeinate at Home: If you like to start the morning with a little caffeine (okay, maybe A LOT of caffeine), try making your own morning brew at home. To make it zero waste and healthy, buy organic beans or loose leaf tea in bulk. Skipping a daily purchase at your local cafe will save money and eliminate wasting the non-recyclable to-go cups which are most often lined with plastic. You could make it extra healthy by making your own nut milk creamer.
- Bring Your Own Lunch: It's no secret that paying attention to what you eat, and what ingredients go into your food, is key to eating healthier. Bringing your own lunch in a reusable container is a great way to eat healthy and reduce trash that often comes with food purchased on-the-go. Use the extra time you save from not buying lunch to relax outdoors and disconnect.
- Have a “No-Buy” Month: Have you ever challenged yourself to buy nothing new for a month? Taking a step back, and restricting yourself to only buying necessities (groceries and limited home supplies are still okay), can not only save money, but also help put in perspective how little we actually need to be happy. It can be a super healthy reset button if you have an itchy spending finger.
- Walk/Bike More: Save some gas money and reduce emissions by trying to bike or walk to local errands or work. Make it your time to recharge with a fun podcast, reconnect with some friends and family or just skip the electronics and stay present. Stop to smell the roses!
- Save Your Scraps: If you already compost your veggie scraps, good for you! Take it one step further by saving your scraps to make homemade vegetable stock. Things like garlic and onion scraps, carrot and potato peels, mushroom tops and leftover herbs can make a delicious homemade stock. Just place a jar or container in your freezer and add the scraps as you food prep throughout the week.
- Bulk Up: Bring your own reusable cloth bags to shop the bulk section of your grocery store. Buying foods in bulk is a good way to reduce packaged foods and skip the waste of the packaging itself. An added bonus is that bulk foods are often way less expensive than their packaged counterparts. Do a cost comparison on things like spices, grains, flour and nuts bought in bulk versus packaging.
- Clean Without Chemicals: One of my favorite, and easiest, ways to go zero waste is making my own all-purpose cleaning spray. Fill a glass bottle with 1 part white vinegar and 4 parts water (with a few drops of essential oil like lavender or frankicense if your feeling fancy) and replace chemical-filled cleaners used for windows, counters and other household messes.
- Embrace the Cup (Ladies): If you got ovaries, you've likely heard about a menstruation cup. Yes, it seems super weird, but its surprisingly easy and a healthier alternative to tampons and pads which often contain harmful additives. Not to mention you'll save a lot of money and become an environmental queen. Read our guest post here for a menstrual cup pros and cons list.
We hope these ideas for some low-waste new years resolutions have shown you that going zero waste can be easy, fun and healthy. We'd love to hear from you on any additional resolutions you have for 2019, and cheers to a healthy and happy 2019!