It’s a new year and that means chanting ‘New Year, New Me’ while trying to force yourself into the gym or buying heaps of vegetables that may or may not end up rotting in the fridge. New Year’s resolutions tend to seem like small hills at first, but can turn into giant mountains easily. The tendency to over-promise yourself during the first month of a new year is a pretty standard occurrence and can lead into more guilt than you started off with.
The saying goes that it takes a minimum of 21 days to create a habit, which sounds either very short or very long depending on your mood. But not all resolutions have to be major changes that require an entire lifestyle overhaul. Some of them can be small things that can make a large impact over time. The smaller and easier a habit is, the more likely you’ll stick with it for more than just the first month or two of the new year.
Take going green, for example.
Reading through zero waste and green living blogs can be overwhelming and leave you with a mind full of guilt. It can seem like every thing you typically do in your day to day life is creating a negative result within our environment, no matter how hard you try to be an environmental steward. You may even start questioning how much toilet paper you use or how many loads of laundry your family creates. A routine trip to the grocery store can leave you staring in defeat at an armful of plastic bags and groceries wrapped in plastic film.
What if, instead of attempting a major overhaul, you start with simple swaps and build up from there?
Take a look at the things you use every day that you probably don’t put a lot of thought into. Things like plastic straws, paper plates, shopping bags. These things make our lives easier, but they create an influx of extra waste. American’s generate roughly 4.6 pounds of trash per person per day. That means you could be creating over 30 pounds of trash a week, on your own!
Think about each time you grab a quick drink. You end up with the plastic cup, plastic lid, and a plastic straw. All that plastic just for one drink! Those three items add up over time and it could all be stopped with by simply swapping to a reusable cup and maybe even a reusable straw.
If reusable isn’t an option, clean plastic cups can be recycled. Straws, however, can not be.
Changing one thing at a time in each area of your life can lead to longer lasting results and a lot less headache. During the month of January, we will be creating lists of a few common items you probably use every day and their simple swaps that can help you live a greener life! Pick a few every week to try out and head on your way to a Green 2019!
Keep checking our blog throughout January for more simple swaps that can make a huge impact!