Everyday Enviro with Elise - New Year's eco-resolutions
Author: Elise Catterall
Hard to believe, but we are already two weeks into 2019! And two weeks ago, like many of us, I made a whole bunch of new year’s resolutions. (I figure if you make a lot, some are bound to stick.) This year, though, I have made two sets – one set of personal resolutions and one set of eco-resolutions.
The personal resolutions are pretty standard - you know, the typical eat better, move more, etc. - and mostly not new to me, but the eco-resolutions are more varied – some new that I’m keen to embrace and some I’m already doing, but wanted to commit to again for the new year. I thought I’d share them with you.
What I’m recommitting to in 2019:
- Purchase/shop mindfully (in other words, banish impulse buying). This means only buying things I really need, but also means making better choices when I do purchase. For example, choosing items with recycled content, or that are recyclable, etc.
- Shop the pantry/wardrobe/bookcase first. There is a lot of stuff in my house, and one of my personal goals is to go all Marie Kondo my home (like everyone else on the planet) on – which will sit nicely with my eco-resolution to use up/wear/read those things that can be used/worn/read. Then there will be less to declutter.
- Avoiding single use plastics. This one is easy because I already have my kit – keep cup, reusable spork, stainless steel straw – I just need to remember to pack it each time.
- Meal planning – This was one of the better changes I made in 2018 – it has saved me money, time, and lots of stress. A bit of time taken on a Sunday before hitting the markets and it pays off all week.
- Walking instead of driving where possible. I have been making a solid effort to make this a habit, but there have been some hiccoughs (like a broken ankle) – 2019 is when I make it a full habit!
What I’m embracing in 2019:
- Eat vegan 1 day per week – I’m already vegetarian, but I’m excited to embrace this for myself and my whole family. It will tie in with my meal planning quite nicely!
- Going litter picking – Much to the chagrin of my kids (though they are coming around), I have been gathering litter (and getting them to) and disposing of it properly when we are out and about. It’s so easy (despite sometimes being a little gross) and feels amazingly good.
- DIY toothpaste – This is still on the to-do list, but I’ve gathered some recipes to give this a go, like this one.
- Through a program with my local council, I ordered a discounted compost bin via Compost Revolution, so this one is a current work in progress.
- Shopping with own containers. As I’ve been reducing my waste by buying in bulk, I’ve been collecting the larger bulk containers and will now start using them to shop with at places like Naked Foods and The Source Bulk Foods.
All of these are doable with really very little adjustment or effort, but they require one thing I struggle with somewhat – living intentionally. So, I have created a big sign that I’ve put up at home that says, ‘Stop & Think’, to catch me when I start living on autopilot. I’m hoping that will help me create a habit of being present. I’ll keep you posted!
See you next time! - Elise
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Author: Elise CatterallElise is a writer, photographer, and naturopath with a passion for nature. She completed a Master of Public Health in 2017 through the University of Sydney. Her photographic work focuses on flowers and plants as a way of celebrating nature. She has been writing for Planet Ark since 2017, sharing positive environment stories, personal environmental experiences and perspectives.
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