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4 Easy Lifestyle Changes To Begin 2019 With An Eco-Friendly Boost

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A new year means new goals. Here are four easy ways to jump-start a more sustainable lifestyle.

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.

Sticking to goals is a matter of starting small, being realistic, tracking your progress and celebrating the small victories. Remember that a little change can go a long way when small positive changes are added up over the course of a year! You can always do more once you have some momentum and build as you go.

Good luck with your sustainability goals in 2019!


What are your new year’s eco-living goals? Share and inspire others in the comments!

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About the Author
Emily Folk
Emily Folk

Emily Folk covers topics in zero-waste living, sustainability, and eco-friendly lifestyle. She is the creator of Conservation F... more

  • Martha G. 29 days ago
    We compost. We turn off shower water when lathering up. No sense it running down the drain. We drive to our rural recycles 10 miles away with cardboard boxes and glass, cans and #1 and 2 plastics. We figure if everyone will just do a little. . . .
    Oh, and we unplug the modem at night. It makes me feel too electirical.
  • Maria M. 1 month ago
    the link to find a 'compost-collection point near you.' doesn't send me to a page that would help me find a point near me. i would like to know where i might take my compost to.
  • Colleen G. 2 months ago
    I got hooked on Norwex products a year ago and love them. I use very little detergent as it calls for 1 tsp. per laundry load or less. and with my cleaning cloths I only clean with water.
  • Patricia G. 4 months ago
    Well since I got hit last year and my car got totaled we are down to one car so our bills got less along with our air pollution.
    • Heather H. 4 months ago
      I hope you’re okay. How is it living with one car? Growing up, my family had only one. But these days, I’d have to get used to it again. I do like the idea of less insurance to pay and less maintenance costs. I don’t live close to public transportation, so, like many, we rely on cars.
    • Patricia G. 4 months ago
      It is hard having only one car. My two brothers live with me which means they have to make sure one of them can come and get me after work or take me to work or doctor appts (i.e. PT). For a week none of us had a car cause the truck wasn't running. Luckily it was over thanksgiving so I didn't have to beg for rides to much. My brothers truck has 400,000 miles on it so we are scared it will break down again. LOL. I don't live by public transportation either as I live in the country. I still pay the gas since my brother is driving me so much. He used to borrow my car cause of the age of his truck. My other brother is trying to get one of his cars running and that might happen next month. Once I get paid I can have them look for a car for me. It is harder and harder to find standard transmission used cars for some reason.
  • JC G. 4 months ago
    Look at who you're giving your money to when you buy something.
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