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Recyclebank's Top 10

Recyclebank’s Top 10 Double-, Triple-, and Quadruple-Duty Resolutions For January

By Recyclebank |

These New Year’s resolutions focus on health, organization, and saving money, but just so happen to be great ways to reduce waste, too.

If your New Year’s resolutions are circling in on being healthier, getting more organized, and saving money, you’re not alone — they’re all very popular resolutions — but we’d like to suggest another resolution that will set you apart from the crowd. Reducing waste may not be as glamorous a resolution as the others, but it is another resolution that has the power to make life a little bit better. And in case you can’t bear to add another thing to your list of resolutions, consider this: There are a surprising number of ways that keeping health, organization, and budget in mind can also help you reduce waste — with barely any added effort.

Here are our top 10 combo resolutions to tackle this January. Try one for the year, or try each one for a few days this January, while change is top of mind. Cheers to a green 2016!

1. Buy fewer individually-packaged foods.
Resolutions In The Mix: Health, Money… and Waste
Instead, buy in bulk and make your own snacks. You’ll likely cut down on processed ingredients and be able to focus on fresh food, while also customizing your portions to what’s right for you. Buying in bulk saves money, and packaging your snacks in reusable containers cuts down on all those wrappers going to the landfill.
Read More: The List: 5 Tips for Buying and Storing Bulk Foods

2. Eat more of your vegetables.
Resolutions In The Mix: Health, Money… and Waste
Eating more vegetables is always good for your health, but you’ll notice yourself purchasing fewer pantry staples (like broth), and throwing out a lot less organic waste, if you know how to use every part of a vegetable.
Read More: 5 Cooking Habits That Reduce Food Waste

3. Pack your lunches.
Resolutions In The Mix: Health, Money… and Waste
Instead of spending an excess of money buying lunch out every day, bring your own. You can pack food in more reasonable portion sizes, and more easily include multiple food groups. Using leftovers will help reduce food waste, and using groceries bought in bulk will reduce packaging waste.
Read More: The List: 6 Smart Ways to Pack Lunch

4. Reorganize your pantry.
Resolutions In The Mix: Organization, Money… and Waste
Use clear containers and label everything. Put the things you use the most often to the front and center. When you constantly see what you already have, you’re more likely to use what you have and less likely to buy more than you need, all of which adds up to a whole lot less waste.
Read More: The List: 4 Ways Being Organized Saves Time, Effort, and Resources

5. Know what you’re buying.
Resolutions In The Mix: Money… and Waste
It’s a great time to brush up on what some key product labels mean. There are lots of goods out there that use certifications and buzzwords to show just how green they are. Some of those touts mean more than others, and sometimes all those eco-labels are just plain confusing. Since green products can cost more, it’s especially important to know you’re really spending your money on the eco-friendly values being advertised.
Read More: A Guide for Greener Shopping

6. Keep your home spick and span.
Resolutions In The Mix: Health, Organization… and Waste
All the dust that gathers in-between big seasonal cleanings can be bad for your respiratory health. This year, clean just a little bit, a little more often, and a little bit smarter. The right tools can make any job easier and quicker, and can create less waste, too — for example, microfiber towels trap dust with one quick swipe, and eliminate the need for paper towels. Cleaning’s a little less daunting when it’s more efficient, right?
Read More: 5 Ways to Green Your Cleaning

7. De-clutter your space.
Resolutions In The Mix: Organization… and Waste
Junk builds up where we linger, in entryways and on kitchen tables. Contain the mess by designating one place as a collection spot for car keys, mail, and whatever needs to go out with you on your next errand (returns, grocery lists, permission slips, etc.). Label baskets or bins for each person, and keep a small trash can and recycling bin nearby so junk mail gets recycled right away rather than finding a temporary — albeit long-term — home on the kitchen table.
Read More: 9 More Easy Ways to Help Yourself Form Green Habits

8. Nurture your creative side.
Resolutions In The Mix: Health, Organization, Money… and Waste
Keep your mental health in check by stretching those creative muscles: Before you toss anything out, think of all the ways you could reuse it, and put your ideas to the test. Used glass jam jars alone prove to be incredibly versatile — for example, you could use a few on your desk in place of store-bought pen and pencil organizers — and reusing glass instead of trashing it or even recycling it is especially beneficial to the environment.
Read More: 9 New Uses for Old Jars

9. Donate more often.
Resolutions In The Mix: Organization, Money… and Waste
Make a goal to donate one bag of stuff you don’t use anymore each month. First and foremost, your donations will provide support to others — but beyond that, your donations will help declutter your home while keeping clothes and household items out of landfills. Oh, and keep the receipts: At tax time, you can claim a deduction for your donations.
Read More: Proper Green: How “Used” Is “Too Used”?

10. Volunteer more frequently.
Resolutions In The Mix: Health… and Waste
Research shows that volunteers have lower mortality rates and lower rates of depression long term. Some green volunteer activities are especially good at keeping you active in the moment, too: Head to a trash pick-up event in a park, and you’ll be moving around for hours. Coordinate an e-waste or used clothing drive, and you’ll find plenty of opportunities to flex your muscles moving boxes around.
Read More: 5 Steps to Organizing A Community Service Project

What resolutions are you taking on in 2016? Share your plans in the comments below!

Share with Your Friends & Family
  • Christine G. 2 months ago
    I reuse old worn cotton flannel sheets torn into pieces to dust with, when they’ve reached their end life as a dust cloth, they go into the compost bin, torn onto smaller pieces to decompose quicker
  • tommy b. 2 months ago
    today
  • Deborah W. 4 months ago
    I didn't know tooth paste tubes or juice packages were recyclable. Is it true microfiber cloth releases tiny plastic particles when washed into the water system? I am always donating to the homeless shelter or Good Will Industries, and books etc.. to the library.
  • TinaMarie C. 5 months ago
    I'm pretty good at most of the items on this list however one of my life long problems is clutter.... someday I'll conquer it!
  • tommy b. 5 months ago
    today
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