Happy New Year! While it’s always a good time to start taking steps toward a more sustainable lifestyle, the new year provides a great opportunity to start fresh and mark a positive change. This year, consider making a new year’s resolution that helps not only you, but the environment as well!
Here are a few to choose from:
- Adopt Meatless Mondays. Avoid eating meat on Mondays to reduce your carbon footprint, save water and improve your health. Widescale livestock production produces more greenhouse gases than all of the vehicles in the world and demands around 30% of Earth’s land surface. Even more, 41% of total agricultural water demand is used for livestock feed. According to the EPA, agricultural runoff is the leading cause of water quality impacts to rivers and streams in the US. Learn more about Meatless Mondays
- Avoid single-use plastic. Although it is a cheap and convenient option for restaurants, grocery stores, on-the-go lunches and more, single-use plastic is harmful for the environment—both on land and in the ocean. It is estimated that nearly 50 trillion pieces of microplastic pieces, or about 236,000 metric tons, are floating in the ocean. Use reusable shopping bags, insulated mugs, and bamboo or metal cutlery instead of their single-use plastic counterparts. Read more about alternatives to single-use plastics here.
- Get involved in community cleanups. Many organizations hold monthly or quarterly cleanups to help keep our beaches, roads, and parks clean. By cleaning up for just a few hours every other month or so, you can make a huge impact on our environment. Consider adopting a highway with the Hawaii Department of Transportation’s Adopt-A-Highway Program and get your friends involved, too! Learn more here.
If these steps feel too big, start small! Do Meatless Mondays once a month instead of every week; carry one reusable fork with you instead of a whole set of utensils and containers; or try to attend a cleanup every six months instead of every two. Everything makes a difference! For other ideas and environmental inspiration, visit some of our other blog posts.