January 01, 2020

What Is My Resolution? A Greener Start to the New Year!

Rai Cornell

With the New Year upon us, we often ask ourselves... what is my resolution for the upcoming year? This question has dumbfounded good-intentioned people since the dawn of New Year's resolutions. Choosing the perfect resolution – or multiple, if you’d like to be so bold– is a challenging task, but when done effectively, can be very rewarding.

The underlying purpose of a New Year's resolution is simple: improvement.

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While we often focus on resolutions that improve ourselves, it may be time for us all to collectively agree to commit our resolutions to improve our society and the world at large through our individual actions.

If our resolutions improve more than just ourselves, then we each have the power to make the world a better place.

Here are some hand-picked globally-conscious ideas to help you decide on your 2020 resolutions!

What Is My Resolution for 2020?

When you ask yourself, "What is my resolution?" it's important to carefully choose a resolution that feels genuine for you personally. Ideally, it will also be something that supports the betterment of something greater than yourself, but it has to ring true for you in order for it to be meaningful and sustainable.

Peruse these New Year’s resolution ideas and see if something strikes a cord for you.

Donate Your Time Locally

One of the simplest and most impactful things anyone can do is donate their time to the local community. When you volunteer, you give yourself the opportunity to enrich your community while also enriching your own life experience.

Volunteering gives you access to experiences and challenges that allow you to connect with others in unique ways.

One of the biggest challenges in volunteering is finding causes for which you'd like to donate your time. But you're in luck! Volunteer Match is a non-profit that matches eager volunteers with local organizations searching for them.

Whether you work in a soup kitchen or restore public lands, donating your time for 1 hour per week or 2 hours per month – whatever you can commit to – is an excellent way to start your New Year off right.

Support Charitable Organizations

For those who lack time to donate, there are other ways to support charitable organizations. There are countless worthy charities for virtually every cause, and most of them are always looking for donations – monetary or otherwise.

The American Red Cross, for example, holds blood drives where you can donate blood and plasma. Oftentimes, such a donation more valuable to these organizations than money and can potentially save a life.

Get Outside

Getting outside is one of the best things you can do for your own health. Fresh air and sunshine stimulate dopamine and vitamin D production, and overall just make you feel good!

Plus, doing any kind of physical activity outdoors – whether it be climbing a mountain or taking an easy stroll– has been associated with reduced stress and anxiety, and even improved mood!

While it may sound like this resolution is all about making you feel good, you can pair the goodness of time outdoors with earth-friendly resolutions like contributing to a litter pick-up, starting a community garden in your neighborhood, or volunteering to walk your elderly neighbor’s dog.

Drive Less, Walk – or Ride – More

Speaking of getting outdoors more…

It’s become common knowledge that emissions from gas-powered vehicles are harmful to the environment. You can easily reduce our environmental impact by driving less.

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When you walk or ride a bike instead of driving, you are protecting the environment as well as exposing yourself to the sunshine, fresh air, and exercise – all of which are beneficial to the mind, body, and soul. (Just remember the SPF protection.)

If you have an unrealistically walkable distance to commute to work, consider starting a carpool or taking public transportation. Both provide the opportunity to have some additional downtime and/or good conversation on the way to and from the office.

Dress Sustainably

Sustainable fashion is an up-and-coming trend today. In fact, there are numerous organizations and fashion houses that work tirelessly to promote sustainable fashion.

You can be ecologically responsible with our clothing in several ways, the biggest of which is to avoid throwing out your old clothes. Even if you aren't fond of buying used clothes, it's important to either sell or donate old and used clothes; this ensures that they don't end up sitting in a landfill.

There are plenty of ways that you can make your wardrobe more sustainable, but the most significant way is to make sure your clothes don't go to waste when you're finished with them. Donate your gently used clothing to Goodwill, a homeless shelter, a church, or a community center.

Use More Bamboo Products

Bamboo products are growing increasingly popular and for good reason. Bamboo is a versatile material that can be used in a number of different products. Some of these goods include bed sheets, kitchen utensils, and – yes – toilet paper.

Bamboo is a fast-growing plant that can be grown sustainably without chopping down forests of slow-growing wood sources. Since it regenerates quickly, is strong, yet soft and pliable, it makes for a great substitute for cloth, paper, and lumber.

Educate Others on Sustainability

Whether you plan to volunteer at the local soup kitchen, ride your bike to work, or start wiping with bamboo toilet paper, the most important thing each of us can do for the environment is to teach others how to save it.

Simply start talking about sustainability or get active on social media. Social media gives messages of green living the power to reach millions of people.

Ask your community thought-provoking questions about their Nw Years goals plus their impact on the earth. Soon, each person who sees your message will think, "What is my resolution to society and planet Earth?"

Resolutions for the Future

With the dawn of a new year comes the opportunity to start something new that will benefit all of society. A New Year's resolution is the chance to make a difference in the world.

As we continue to make strides in social and ecological sustainability, our focus will become less on ourselves and more on society and our environment at large. Our hope is that in the future, people will no longer ask themselves, "What is my resolution to myself?" but rather, "What is my resolution to myself, my community, and my world?"

For more on all things sustainability, subscribe to our newsletter. Then, let us know in the comments below what your New Year’s resolution is!

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