Welcome to 2024! If you’re anything like us, you might have set some New Year’s resolutions to live a little eco-friendlier this year. That can feel like a lofty goal sometimes, but living sustainably can be as easy making a few conscious choices every day.
From the products we use to the ways we get around, a lot of our daily habits have environmental impacts we don’t really think about. By taking the time to stop, reflect, and then make an intentionally eco-friendly choice, we can all collectively contribute to a greener planet. So where do we start?
As a zero waste store, we think a lot about mindful consumption. What kind of products are we bringing into our homes (are they ethically sourced, environmentally friendly, and built to last), and do we really need that new trend we saw online? Choosing to use what you already have, staying away from shopping trends that change every couple of months, and opting for eco-friendly alternatives (like plastic-free sponges or shampoo bars) are just a few ways to rethink how we buy and use stuff. Maybe your 2024 goal is to switch over to all plastic-free dishwashing tools!
The way we get places day to day plays a big role in how much carbon we’re putting in the atmosphere. If you’re lucky enough to live in a walkable community or a city with public transit, set a goal to increase how much you walk, cycle, or take the train/bus when you’re out! If you still need a car to get around most days, consider carpooling with coworkers and friends. You could even set a goal to use public transit once per week (getting to work, grocery shopping, visiting a friend), and then see if it becomes second nature.
Photo: MBTA Downtown Crossing stop on the orange line. Yassine Khalfalli/Unsplash
How many garbage bags did you put out last trash day? Cutting down the amount of trash you throw away means less stuff going into landfills and incinerators! One easy way to do this is minimizing your food waste by planning meals, composting kitchen scraps, or bringing your leftovers to work as lunch the next day. Single-use packaging also takes up a lot of space in your trash bags, so choosing products with plastic-free or recyclable packaging also goes a long way.
Shop Local and Sustainable:
Supporting small, local businesses is another great way to reduce your carbon footprint while simultaneously growing your community’s economy. These businesses often source or make their products right in your community, so by shopping with them you’re shifting demand towards more sustainable options that encourage even more businesses to adopt greener practices. Bonus points for shopping with your local refillery or zero waste store! The next time you need something for your home this year or a gift in 2024, you can try visiting a local business before buying from Amazon.
Photo: Shelves of plastic-free home essentials at Uvida Shop.
What Are Your 2024 Goals?
Like we said at the start, living sustainably in 2024 isn't about drastic changes. It’s about making a series of thoughtful choices in our daily lives. By embracing these small changes in our consumption habits, we as individuals have the power to shape a more sustainable future for our planet. You don’t even need to make all the changes we’ve suggested here to live more sustainably. Just start by picking a few that speak to you, or you can even come up with a couple of your own
While individual actions may not single-handedly solve the vast challenges of climate change, their collective impact is undeniable. Each small change contributes to a broader movement, fostering a culture of sustainability that inspires systemic change.
Share your goals for 2024 in the comments below so we can build that culture of change together!