87 New Year Resolutions to be More Sustainable

2021 is on it’s way, people. She’ll be here shortly! I promise. In the meantime, take a breath, then start doling out goodbyes to 2020’s varied dumpster fires and make room for an incredible 2021! And may I suggest you consider celebrating with new year resolutions to be more sustainable?

The great thing about resolutions to be more sustainable is that they often come with other perks. Some make you healthier. Or they might save you money. Maybe you’ll build stronger relationships with nature, people, or your own possessions.

Regardless, sustainability is a personal and planetary perk in itself. So if you are considering being more sustainable in 2021, congrats!  You have come to the right place!  Below, you should definitely find something that works for you to make your 2021 footprint even smaller than 2020’s.

Let’s get started!

coffee cup that says "Begin."

new year resolutions to be more sustainable

  1. Eat less meat
  2. Start your vegetarian/vegan diet
  3. Eat more local produce
  4. Buy local whenever possible
  5. Practice the 24 hour wait before you buy something you think you want
  6. Avoid single use packaging where possible
  7. Bring your own reusable shopping bags
  8. Eat your leftovers
  9. Stop wasting food by buying and preparing less
  10. Work on the FIFO method
  11. Stop buying single use water bottles and invest in reusable water bottles
  12. Insulate your home
  13. Hang-dry your laundry
  14. Use reusable makeup wipes
  15. Eat more organic foods
  16. Don’t throw out paper- form a scrap pile for notes and lists
  17. Recycle
  18. Buy second-hand
  19. Stop supporting fast fashion and only buy from responsible clothing brands
  20. Avoid plastic
  21. Stop using single-use Keurig pods. Use reusable coffee filter baskets
  22. Plant native pollinators (flowers for the bees!)
  23. Buy less.  Buy what you need or really want and say no to the lukewarm wants.
  24. Unplug your appliances when not in use
  25. Better yet, put your appliances on a power strip for quick shut off of several at a time
  26. Turn off the lights in unoccupied rooms
  27. Install motion sensors
  28. Donate items that are still useful instead of sending them to the landfill
  29. Purchase from local Facebook groups or OfferedUp
  30. Grow your own garden
  31. Plant trees
  32. Switch all your light bulbs to LED lightbulbs
  33. Use what you have; mend, repurpose, get creative before buying something new.
  34. Use digital products instead of tangible products when possible
  35. Take food preservation classes, then use what you know!
  36. Drive less
  37. Pay attention to food miles
  38. Stop eating beef
  39. Commit to using small businesses that offer needed services (computer repair shops, tailors, etc.)
  40. Start bringing your own container for leftovers at restaurants
  41. Say no to plastic straws
  42. Support businesses that support the environment and community (farmers markets, sustainable restaurants, etc.)
  43. Start composting
  44. Join local cleanups, or organize your own
  45. Use conscious travel brands and tour businesses when you take a trip (check out Green Key or Wajay)
  46. Fix or mend what’s broken instead of tossing it, or buying new
  47. Avoid microbeads in your beauty products
  48. Don’t use synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides in your lawn care routine
  49. Divest from fossil fuels
  50. Switch to drought tolerant landscaping instead of watering a lawn in hot, dry places.
  51. Take public transport when possible
  52. Switch to a hybrid or electric vehicle
  53. Carpool to work or school
  54. Get a seltzer-maker instead of buying and tossing hundreds of seltzer cans/bottles
  55. Stick with natural products over synthetic ones
  56. Eating beef still?  Commit to organic, grass-fed beef.
  57. Use your microwave to reheat things, instead of a conventional oven
  58. Rewear your clothes and wash them less.  Not only do you save energy, but they will last longer.  (easier if you’re working from home!)
  59. Turn your heat down.  Use a blanket or a small space heater if needed.
  60. Volunteer with a sustainable organization
  61. Commit to calling your representatives when a vote on relevant issues comes up
  62. Join Citizens Climate Lobby
  63. Watch ALL the sustainability documentaries.
  64. Switch to shade grown coffee
  65. Downsize
  66. Switch to renewable energy
  67. Use UnPaper Towels
  68. Don’t throw away those ratty t-shirts.  Turn them into rags
  69. Get creative and repurpose.  Look at everything as a resource to be valued!  (ratty t-shirts, empty spaghetti jars, candle wax.)
  70. Keep seeds from your plants, and share with neighbors and friends
  71. Asset-share.  Ask friends for their tools when you need them.  Offer yours.  Or create a tool share with your friends to make it a little more official. (this is how I was able to rototill for my garden without buying one).
  72. Stop buying synthetic fragrances, and instead use organic essential oils for great aromas
  73. Bring bags to pick up litter on your daily walks
  74. Change your showerheads, faucets, and toilets over to low flow units
  75. Try the no-poo method to avoid nasty chemicals from your hair washing routine
  76. Learn your local recycling rules.  (They are all different!)
  77. Stop buying plastic toothbrushes.  They have bamboo ones now!
  78. And no more plastic ear swabs 
  79. Eco-fy your toilet paper game with either a bidet, bamboo toilet paper, or recycled toilet paper
  80. Conduct ‘use by date’ audits, and base meal planning on what needs to be eaten first
  81. Refuse single use cutlery and plates.  Serve on proper plates, and bring your own utensils for fast food
  82. Actually, stop eating fast food.
  83. Ladies, start using a menstrual cup
  84. Learn to stitch small holes in your loved clothing or find someone who can repair them for you.
  85. Say no to receipts when its an option
  86. Commit to learning about how to be more sustainable in one aspect of your life. (health, food, fashion, beauty, etc.) 
  87. Barter.  Exchange what you have that you don’t want to get what don’t have that you do want!

thank you for your commitment to sustainability!

Hopefully there is something on this list that sparked some excitement for you.  Or at least got you thinking about other creative new year resolutions to be more sustainable in 2021. 

I’m so grateful for your efforts in being a better steward of this planet and its inhabitants.  I wish you the best of luck!  And if you struggle at some point to follow through with with your resolutions, don’t give up!  It’s not about perfection- it’s simply about being better.  We’re all guilty of not being perfect.  But we’re still granola to the core. 

Cheers, my amazing guilty granolas! To you, and a green year ahead.

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