Make your New Year’s Resolutions Green

Okay everyone, it’s game time. 2018 is right around the corner, and everyone’s planning for their New Year’s Resolution. This year, make your resolution about more than just you. No matter the goal, you can take it up a notch and find ways to make your resolution green, too. Whether you’re trying to fit in a little more gym-time or personal-time in the new year, living more consciously might just help you reach your goals!

Get Fit

The most popular New Year’s Resolution of 2017, most people approach getting fit by signing up for gym memberships or going on diets. In order to keep up with this resolution throughout the year, however, it’s important to take steps that work with your overall lifestyle. By focusing on living a little more sustainably, you might find that your fitness goals will start to follow suit.

This year, try to choose your bike over your car for shorter trips to the grocery store. Equip your ride with a pannier or two to make it easy to tote everything you need. Better yet, hop on your bike to go to the gym–you’ll be all warmed up when you get there! By choosing a bike over a car, you’re not only decreasing your CO2 footprint, you’re working on your cardio in the process.

Take advantage of our outside playground in your fitness plan! Search for nearby lakes, mountains, or even a neighborhood park you can explore (just make sure you stay on the trail to keep your impact low!) Have a dog for a workout buddy? Take them out for morning hikes or get to know your neighborhood with afternoon jogs every week. Exploring the nature in your backyard is a beautiful way to connect with nature, while getting fresh air and a great workout. (Plus, it’s a whole lot cheaper than that trendy spin-barre fusion membership.)

Whether yoga’s your thing, or you shred at the skatepark, gear is an important part of any activity. You can keep your footprint low by seeking products from companies who are protecting the planet you play in! From yoga pants made from recycled water bottles to skateboards made from discarded fishing nets, shop products from companies that are creatively solving the environmental issues you care about on our Get Fit Resolution Guide!

Treat Yo’self

Between work, family, and holding together a social life, it can be hard to schedule out alone time! This year, treat yourself to some relaxation while treating the planet with care. Take a step back, find what makes you happy, and allow yourself to enjoy some much deserved r&r.

Aromatherapy is a wonderful way to give your brain a vacation from the hustle and bustle! Are you running low on calming creams and oils in your bathroom? Surround yourself with organic lotions smelling of rosemary or lemon while steering clear of parabens, phthalates, or sulfates. Keep those harsh, petroleum based chemicals from touching your skin (or flowing through your drain and into local waterways!).

Finding time for yourself can clear your mind and inspire new creative ideas. While enjoying your home spa day, relax even more with a therapeutic coloring book or some self-reflective journaling. Putting a pen to paper can be a great way to calm down–just look for alternative paper sources to reduce what you’re taking from the environment!

Set up your home spa day with our Treat Yourself Resolution Guide.

Cook Consciously

We know, keeping those healthy cooking goals can be hard work! Between deciding on ingredients, storing leftovers, and following through on your weekly menu, it’s easy to give in an order takeout. Once you get in the habit, however, meal planning and prepping can save you a ton of time (and money!).

Start by looking at what ingredients you have, and decide what meals you’d like to cook based on that. Take your reusable grocery bag to the store and fill in what you need, and set up your weekly menu! Future-you will be super thankful for those easy to throw together meals later in the week. Not only does setting up your meals in advance save you time and money, but it also tends to cut down on last minute takeout–which is almost always packaged in styrofoam. (Bonus points if you plan vegan and vegetarian meals: lowering your meat consumption is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint!).

To stick to this New Year’s Resolution, make sure your kitchen’s set up to make for a fun cooking environment. When you have the right tools, you’ll have no excuses! Be prepared with all of the kitchen essentials in our Cook Consciously Resolution Guide.

Minimize Waste

The average American throws away 4.4lbs of trash every day. It’s no surprise that reducing your waste aligns with protecting our planet, but it can also save you money too!

One of the easiest ways to cut down on your waste? Keep a reusable water bottle in your bag so you won’t ever be caught needing a plastic one. Not only are there plenty of environmental and health reasons to say no to plastic bottles, but on average, Americans spend $249.12/year on them! Save money in the new year, and turn to reusable.

Instead of turning to plastic wrap or aluminum foil for your leftovers, give Bee’s Wrap a try. Refuse straws at restaurants (or bring your own!) Start your own compost, and read up on your city’s recycling guidelines. Turn it into a household competition–who has the least amount of trash at the end of the week? Whoever loses has to take out the recycling for the rest of the month!

Start simplifying and minimizing waste with our Minimize Waste Resolution Guide!

What’s your New Year’s Resolution? How will you be approaching it in a environmentally friendly way? Let us know in the comments below!

Sustainable Gift Giving

The holiday season is in full swing, and everyone’s bustling around trying to get those last minute gifts! This season is meant to be cheerful, but it can also be stressful–and not only on you. Our planet feels the holiday frenzy too!

Did you know that in America alone, we throw away 25% more trash from Thanksgiving to New Years than any other time during the year? That adds up to an additional 1 million tons of garbage each week over the holidays. Now that, my friend, is a LOT of extra garbage; but it doesn’t have to be this way! With these simple tips and ideas, you can cut down on your own holiday footprint and start gifting sustainably!

sustainable gift giving waste

Quality Over Quantity

It can be fun to shower those you love with many small gifts during the holidays. What isn’t fun, however, is the clutter left behind afterwards! This year, instead of buying someone a bunch of little gifts they don’t need, buy them fewer, higher quality gifts that will withstand the test of time. In the interest of bettering the environment, stay away from gifting single-use items and buy items that are meaningful, durable, and chosen with purpose.

Gift an Experience

Don’t get me wrong, giving physical presents is a great thing. Gifting a thoughtful experience, however, can be even better. Giving the gift to do something rather than to have something has the ability to make memories that material items simply cannot do. These can include (but are certainly not limited to) checking out a new movie, relaxing at the spa, rooting at a sporting event, or spending a fancy night out on the town!

The Gift of Giving

For the friend who loves animals or for the sibling who adores astronomy, give a present that shows you how well you know them and how much you care. With a little research, it’s easy to find a charity or fund that fits your needs. Know an animal lover? Give them the opportunity to “adopt” their favorite animal. There are many programs that allow you to sponsor an animal of your choice, and provide perks like a certificate, a stuffed animal, and even updates about who you “adopted”.  Or, you could go above and beyond and name a star after your loved one! Most websites provide a certificate, as well as updates about interesting findings around your star. Plus, many programs donate the proceeds towards scientific research! You can never go wrong with a gift that gives back, especially if you’re giving to a cause they’ll truly care about.

sustainable gift giving Adult Coloring Book 1

When you do buy stuff…

Have they been dropping hints that they really want a new pair of sunglasses? Do you always buy matching pajamas for Christmas morning? Are you just dying to surprise them with a gift that’ll always make them think of you?

Giving “stuff” is almost inevitable during the holiday season. Once you have your mind set on the perfect gift, however, take a step back and ask how that gift was made. Giving gifts is a warm and fuzzy time, so make sure you’re giving a present that you can feel great about! By shopping for products made responsibly, you can give with a guilt-free (warm and fuzzy) conscience! Plus, shopping for sustainable gift options can lead to fun and creative ideas! Here are a few of our favorite sustainable gift ideas this year:

sustainable gift giving Origo Casual Socks

For the person in your life that never seems to catch their breath, this Coloring Book made from recycled paper is the perfect chill-out gift!

For those that could use some on-the-go sustainability, the Zero Waste Lunch Kit is an essential. Set your loved ones up for success with all of the on-the-go basics, including Bee’s Wrap food wraps, a Klean Kanteen food canister, and a set of bamboo utensils from To-Go Ware!

Everyone loves a great pair of new socks for the holidays. This year, gift this holiday classic with a recycled twist! These Origo Casual Socks are made using 85% recycled material, so you can gift these with a clear conscience!

Some of our other favorite sustainable gift ideas? This skateboard made from recycled fishing nets, a plant based iPhone case, and this unique backpack made from upcycled vinyl banners!

Wrap It Up

Sustainable gift giving is about more than just the present inside. Imagine this: it’s time to open presents. Kid, teens, and adults alike are ripping into their gifts like their life depends on it. Five minutes go by, and it’s time to clean up. What happens to all of the wrapping paper, tissue paper, bags and bows? Spoiler alert: a lot of it ends up in the trash. So, what can you do about that? Well, there are a few things:

  • Create an eco-friendly tradition: Reuse some of your favorite gift bags year after year.
  • Find creative ways to reuse: From old magazines to newspaper, try creating fun packages with materials you have around the house! Not only will you be saving money and saving paper, but you’ll be adding a personal touch that traditional wrapping paper just can’t give.
  •  Sort and conquer: As you’re crumpling up any non-reusable paper, sort out anything that’s recyclable or compostable! Check out this handy chart to help you know where things go.

sustainable gift giving waste gift wrap

There are many ways you can reduce your holiday footprint this year, and sustainable gift giving is just one. From reducing holiday party food waste to turning down the thermostat, we can all find ways to lower our impact. Share your tips for enjoying a more sustainable holiday season in the comments below!