This post was written by Emily Folk, the creator of Conservation Folks.
Happy New Year! Now’s the perfect time to take stock and assess your life, and perhaps reevaluate some of your habits, in order to make this coming year your best yet! Along with personal health and wealth goals, many people have goals for how to live more sustainably for the benefit of a larger community and the world.
But when it comes to living more eco-friendly lives, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with all the options and all there is to know and do. It’s easy to begin to get distracted and discouraged as life lurches forward. To make things a little easier, try out any one of these popular sustainability goals to jumpstart your new year on a sustainable track!
1. Pick One Place To Walk Or Bike To
Burning a single gallon of gas results in about 20 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. You can easily reduce your carbon footprint (and increase your health in the process!) by choosing one place near your home that you travel to often: The grocery store, the post office, a coffee shop, or a friend's house, and commit to walking or biking there instead of driving. The places we frequent the most have the most potential for making simple environmental gains if we change to human-powered transportation. Anywhere you go at least semi-regularly will work!
2. Start Composting
Did you know that around 40 percent of food produced in the US gets wasted? While reducing waste is the best option, composting your food scraps is the next most environmentally friendly thing you can do. The composting process breaks down organic matter and transforms it into excellent plant fertilizer. If you have a backyard, you can make your own compost pile. If not, you can save your food scraps, and drop them off at a compost-collection point near you.
3. Reduce Your Shower Time
Cutting just 2 minutes off your shower time can save 10 gallons of water! Try setting a timer or make a playlist of songs that's a specific length of time, so you know when it's time to finish up.
4. Unplug Electronics When Not In Use
Electronics still consume a small amount of power when they're plugged in even if they're turned off. Make it a goal to unplug your devices when you're done with them. Connecting multiple items to a power strip can make this easier because then you can simply unplug the power strip.
Good luck with your sustainability goals in 2019!