Resolutions for a more sustainable lifestyle

Time for resolutions. Yay! I love fresh starts. (I might just be the queen of starting over!) Each year after the holidays I think about improvements I’d like to make in various categories—health, relationships, work, stewardship, etc. This year, along with many of you, I’m thinking about a sustainable lifestyle.

My first resolution about sustainability this year came about while putting away holiday decorations. Sliding the containers on the basement shelving, I started fantasizing about how nice it would be if all of the Xmas containers were the same. Ideally, they’d all be clear with red lids. (I have a rich fantasy life, right?) And for a moment I considered replacing all the non-matching containers with new, matching ones. 

Then I realized how wasteful that would be. The current containers are functioning perfectly fine and also look perfectly fine. Replacing them would have been the opposite of a zero-waste approach. (Okay, to satisfy my tidy tendencies, I did make matching labels for all of them.) 

So here’s my first resolution for this year, along with some others in the C2K category:

Make do. Be more mindful about replacing things that are perfectly functional (like those wrong-color storage tubs). Repair, when necessary, rather than replace. Embrace mismatched, well-loved, wabi-sabi objects.

Plant a pollinator garden. I’m so looking forward to planning our next garden during these cold winter months. I’ll be including food and shelter for bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies in our new space. 

Find more solutions for plastic use. I bring canvas bags for shopping and have always opted for non-plastic toys and household items whenever possible. I even have a nice stock of glass food storage containers. But I haven’t quite given up my use of plastic wrap and plastic bags. (They’re so darn handy.) This year, I’ll make better use of zero-waste alternatives.

Support local food sources. I love to shop at the farmers’ market but don’t get there enough. I resolve to visit weekly when in season. I’ll also explore our CSA and other community food sources. Shopping locally for food supports the local economy and reduces CO2 emissions.

Support more sustainable fashion brands (slow fashion), make some of my own clothing, learn to knit, and get back to mending (which I enjoy). Did you know that consumers today keep clothing about half as long as they did 15 years ago?

There are so many steps we can take, such as committing to non-toxic cleaning and beauty products, buying used instead of new, composting and recycling more consciously, investing in socially responsible businesses, reducing consumption of animal products, driving less, flying less, gardening, cooking our own meals, etc. 

Whether you’re new to sustainable living or it’s been your lifestyle for years, there’s likely something new you can add to your resolutions this year. 

Remember, this isn’t an all or nothing matter. Especially if this is relatively new to you, just choose a couple of things to make part of your C2K lifestyle. And please let me know what you’ve decided to tackle this year!

You might also like: De-cluttering and 5 Ways to give meaningful gifts.

2 thoughts on “Resolutions for a more sustainable lifestyle”

  1. Great article, Karen! If we think back to how our grandmothers lived, we’d see how wise they were in how they used what they had. And their homes were beautiful.

    • So glad you enjoyed it, Beth! Yes, there was real beauty (and still is, I think) in homes where such thought and care is given. Maybe it’s part of what made grandma’s home such a comfortable and inviting place to be.


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