7 Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions

We’ve put together a separate guide about potentially making New Year’s celebrations more sustainable.

But, the New Year itself is also a time that people consider making changes in their life.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of sustainable New Year’s resolutions that people might take into consideration.

We’ve specifically aimed the resolutions/tips in this guide at those who might be newer to implementing more sustainable actions and habits in their life, and therefore want a shorter list of tips that are simple and easy to implement.


1. Stop Littering

Some people already don’t litter, and haven’t littered for years.

However, there may be some people that are still prone to throwing a receipt on the ground after shopping, or throwing a cigarette on the ground where there isn’t a bin immediately available.

For these people, a simple sustainable solution is completely eliminate littering and always dispose of waste in a bin.

Being aware of some of the most commonly littered items across society, such as plastic packaging and food & beverage packaging, and also cigarettes, may also help.


2. Consider Reducing Single Use Waste

Common forms of single use waste include single use plastics like food wrappers, single use plastic water bottles, and single use plastic bags.

Items like single use plastic bags, especially shopping bags, are being phased out of several places worldwide.

However, individuals can use reusable items, like reusable and washable food containers, reusable and washable water bottles, and reusable bags, and this might help cut down on some common types of single use waste.

Another option is to be mindful of the amount of packaging that is in the products you buy.

Buying bulk wrapped goods might produce less packaging waste than individually wrapped goods.

Lastly, going paperless/electronic for bills and post can help eliminate unnecessary paper waste.


3. Consider Reducing Food Waste

Food waste has an impact on several aspects of sustainability.

Simple tips to reduce food waste might be:

– Intentionally only buying food you know you will eat during the weekly food shop

– Cook at home, and eat all of what you cook

– If food is leftover at home and is safe and practical to store, store it as required so it can be eaten later as leftovers

– When eating out, don’t order more than you know you will eat. Order smaller portion sizes if you aren’t as hungry

– When food is leftover when eating out, you might ask if you can take it home to eat later. It helps if you’re able to use a clean reusable food container that you’ve brought from home to do so


4. Consider Sorting Waste Properly At Home

Sort waste into the correct waste stream bins provided by your local council or waste collectors.

Several places have general waste bins and recycling bins, with others also having organic waste bins too.

Make sure to read what waste goes into what bins, and sort/dispose of it accordingly.

Sorting waste into the wrong bins creates more work for waste processors, and in some instances, can contaminate specific sorts of waste (e.g. recycled waste being contaminated with organic waste)


5. Consider Doing One Thing To Improve The Sustainability Of Your Transport Footprint

This can involve a range of things, such as:

– Driving a more fuel efficient vehicle

– Driving less total distance in your car over the course of the next year (which could be something as simple as reducing the number of trips to the shop to get food in the week and buying more of the week’s food at once)

– Catching more efficient forms of transport, in terms of per passenger efficiency, such as trains, buses, and so on

– Riding or walking more where possible


We wrote a separate guide on sustainable transport that has more information on the topic.


6. Consider Doing One Thing To Improve The Sustainability Of Your Energy Footprint

This can involve a range of things, such as:

– Using a more sustainable energy supplier at home

– Considering if a solar panel or renewable energy set up at home is financially feasible, and beneficial from a sustainability perspective

Using more energy efficient fixtures, devices, appliances and systems at home

– Using electricity more responsibly at home (such as turning off lights when you leave the room or house)

– Using settings and features that conserve electricity at home, such as timers


7. Consider Doing One Thing To Improve The Sustainability Of Your Water Footprint

This can involve a range of things, such as:

– Fixing water leaks at home

– Using more water efficient fixtures, devices, appliances and systems at home

Not wasting water, or using water excessively or unnecessarily inside or outside the home


Other General Sustainability Tips

We have put together a separate guide where we list 21 tips an individual might implement to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

This guide builds on, and adds to most of the points listed above.




1. Various ‘Better Meets Reality’ guides


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