Out of all the things you wish to achieve in the upcoming months, how many of them are profound and rewarding enough to make you a better human being by the end of 2018 and set the foundation for new improvements in the years to come?
It’s a noble desire, to move forward with our goals in order to transcend our flaws and make a difference, but if there is anything that will leave the world a better place after your choices, it’s changing your entire lifestyle to benefit the planet as much as yourself. And here’s how you can do that in 2018!
1. Embrace the digital
Make the most of the technological advancements that have taken over the world, from online banking, paperless office practices, e-vites instead of physical cards, you name it, apply it. Paper is a commodity the planet can no longer afford, and even the smallest steps in reducing our paper trail can make a difference for the Earth’s wellbeing.
2. Clean cleaning
Say no to toxins and chemicals that are typically found in most household cleaning supplies. With so many healthy and equally effective DIY options and even store-bought brands (Ecos, Method and Better Life are just some that come to mind), you can take your pick from a wide variety of cleaning products that are safe for you, your family and the environment. Apple cider vinegar, baking soda and tap water can do wonders for your floors, windows and toilets, just find the right recipe for your home.
3. Meatless Mondays
Every time you opt for a meatless meal, you save approximately 24 square feet from deforestation and pollution – so do the math. It doesn’t have to be a cold turkey decision to completely abandon your love for meat, but even a single day of vegetarian eating will significantly improve the world’s balance of land, cattle and pollution. Just imagine what we could all do if we could go meatless one or two days a week!
4. Let there be light
If at all possible, use daylight to brighten up your rooms as many hours a day as possible. It’s not just a decision that saves the planet, but a healthy option for your own health, since you’ll get more natural sunlight exposure, which in translation means regulated melatonin production and ample vitamin D.
As for your evening adventures, arm your home with eco-friendly lighting options such as durable LEDs, which last longer and use less electricity than the standard incandescent light-bulbs. Simply put, you’ll lead a more energy-efficient, healthier life that preserves your mental acuity and helps the planet.
5. Conscientiously beautiful
Skincare and other beauty products are so numerous that it’s practically impossible to list everything that can be wrong with them. From the usage of chemicals and harmful ingredients, animal cruelty caused by testing, to complete carelessness when it comes to recycling, you need to read the labels carefully before you purchase anything. Brands such as Axiology and Vapour Beauty have taken their efforts to a whole new level, setting new standards for the beauty community.
6. Reduce, recycle, reuse
From your plate content, water and energy usage, all the way to your shopping decisions, you can make a difference one smart choice at a time. Shutting off your water when brushing your teeth can lead to up to 200 gallons of water saved every month, another six per day when washing your hands, while showering instead of a bath and dishwashing can also cut your water usage significantly.
As for your style choices, why not shop second-hand from a sustainable clothes shop, repurpose your old clothes and inherit garments instead of changing your wardrobe every season? Let go of fast fashion, dress with a minimalist mindset, and you’ll do our planet an enormous favor.
7. Green up your commute
You’ll be happy to learn that there are time-efficient and convenient ways to introduce more physical activity into your lifestyle and help the environment at the same time. You can rent or buy a bicycle and cycle to work whenever the weather allows, while you’ll both reduce your carbon footprint, help traffic jams become a thing of the past and get healthy while pedaling your way around.
8. Decorate with care
With a new year comes the chance to renew your home décor, this time with a green mindset to make the right eco-friendly decisions! First of all, declutter from all the useless gadgets and knickknacks that just take up space, and then rethink your space from a more sustainable perspective: consider using materials such as organic cotton, reclaimed wood, durable bamboo, cork and felt.
You can further elevate the décor by adding water-efficient faucets, installing solar panels and introducing energy-efficient lighting to every room.
9. Mindful eating
It’s not just eating meat that poses an issue for our health and our planet. The fact that we choose convenient, but extremely polluted foods imported from abroad instead of local and seasonal produce also contributes to our planet’s steady decline. Go for organic, locally-grown groceries from your farmer’s market as opposed to those plastic-wrapped imported goods.
You’ll step away from soil, water, and food pollution, remove and reduce pesticides from your diet, and introduce much healthier meal options for your entire family!
10. Experiences with material items
The next time you have an opportunity to get a gift for your loved ones, whether it’s their birthday or holiday season, or you just want to treat yourself – think in terms of experiences instead of physical, material things. Perhaps your friends will appreciate concert or theatre tickets, a massage session, a month’s worth of aerobics classes or singing lessons.
However, if you do want to opt for something material, go for brands such as Tuli, Olivia & Diego, and Akola that are built on sustainable practices, recycled materials and fair-trade work conditions. Make your gift speak volumes for you!