Now that Christmas is over, it’s time to think about 2024!
Dear EarthTalk*: What New Year Resolutions can I make to help the environment?
— M. Lind, Sturges, MI
Given our planet’s escalating environmental challenges, directing some of our New Year’s aspirations toward eco-conscious endeavors can make a tangible difference. Luckily, there are lots of ways to put your resolve to work for the planet…
A New Consumption Mindset
One of the most impactful resolutions is to adopt a more mindful approach to consumption.
- Commit to reducing waste by embracing reusing, repurposing, and recycling.
- Shift to buying reusable items and those with minimal packaging.
- Support brands committed to sustainable practices. Minimizing your use of single-use plastics is another way to make a significant impact without much effort.
- Choose stainless-steel water bottles, cloth shopping bags, and glass food containers.
- Say no to plastic straws, cutlery, and excessive packaging whenever possible.
- Follow best practices for disposing of household appliances.
Making more sustainable food choices is another way to make 2024 greener than 2023.
- Adopt a more plant-based diet or reduce meat consumption to reduce environmental impact.
- Pledge to support local, organic, and sustainably sourced foods.
- Strive to reduce food waste by planning meals, composting organic waste, and supporting initiatives that redistribute surplus food to those in need.
Among the New Year’s resolutions that we can make is to reduce personal carbon emissions. While they might not be top of mind, changing daily habits can reduce your carbon footprint and overall environmental impact.
- Embrace alternatives to fossil fuel-based transportation by walking, cycling, carpooling, or public transit.
- Consider investing in energy-efficient appliances, using renewable energy sources, and supporting initiatives that offset carbon emissions.
- Conserve water by fixing leaks, taking shorter showers, and using water-saving appliances.
- Grow your own food, support local biodiversity by planting native species, and prioritize eco-friendly practices in your daily routine.
Be a Voice for Change
Another way to create positive change is to speak out more about environmental policies and initiatives.
- Support community groups and environmental organizations and join local clean-up efforts or conservation projects.
- Engage in discussions, educate others, and advocate for sustainable practices in your workplace, schools, and social circles.
- Spread awareness about environmental issues and inspire others to take action. Share information on social media, organize educational events, or start a community garden or recycling program.
- Encourage friends, family, and colleagues to join in your eco-friendly endeavors, fostering a collective effort toward a greener future.
Resolve and Commit
Making a New Year’s resolution is the first step—commitment is critical to achieving lasting change. Progress may require adjustments and perseverance, but every step contributes to a healthier planet. By incorporating these resolutions into your New Year’s goals, you actively participate in the global movement toward environmental stewardship. Together, let us embark on this journey to protect and preserve the natural world we all call home.
Cheers to a more sustainable, eco-conscious year ahead!
*EarthTalk® is produced by Roddy Scheer & Doug Moss for the 501(c)3 nonprofit EarthTalk. See more at https://emagazine.com. To donate, visit https://earthtalk.org. Send questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.