The start of a new year is a great time to leave old habits behind and create new ones that make your life better and help protect the planet! With such a small number of people actually accomplishing their resolutions, two ways to make resolutions achievable are to
1) make them specific and measurable, like setting a goal and
2) make them as simple and accessible as possible.
With that said, here are 4 green resolutions goals to consider for 2021!
Reduce your toilet paper and paper towel use
With clear-cutting forests for single-use paper products putting 26 million metric tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere every year, reducing how much toilet paper we use is a quick way to lessen our environmental footprint.
There are many ways you can do this. Simple green goals include buying recycled paper products or buying brands that perforate their products into smaller pieces. This way, you’ll use less paper towel every time the family cat has a hairball. Reusable printed napkins are also a great way to cut down on paper waste at the dinner table.
More ambitious green goals include investing in a bidet to further reduce toilet paper use, or replacing disposable paper towels with reusable ones (like these!).
Monitor your home’s phantom energy use
Did you know that up to 10% of your hydro bill is due to devices that are turned off or not in use, but still plugged in? In total, phantom power equals the annual consumption of 300,000 households. That’s over 2% of all households in Canada!
The solution is simple: make it a green goal to unplug your electronics when you aren’t using them. Small kitchen appliances like toasters and coffee makers are a great place to start – just plug your appliances back in when you need them. We leave a small written note on our appliances as a reminder to unplug them.
Want more energy-saving tips? Check out our blog on saving energy at home!
Brush up on your recycling knowledge
This is our favourite green goal—but we’re biased, of course.
Do you really know what belongs in your blue bin, or what your local recycling depot accepts? We encourage you to take 30 minutes to do some research on what you can recycle. Then, pick 1 – 3 items you weren’t previously recycling that you’ll commit to recycling in 2021.
Want to recycle household paint, household hazardous waste, light bulbs and fixtures, or smoke alarms? Check to see if your province accepts these products using the links above and find your closest recycling location with our Recycling Locator Tool!
Get involved with your community
There are so many ways to do this—through local community groups, your school/university, or by encouraging your family and friends to vote for candidates with an environmental platform in upcoming elections.
Does your community have a Buy Nothing group? If not, you could create one and encourage people to gift their unwanted items to others who can enjoy them (instead of buying something new!). Perhaps you could assist the group as an online moderator, too.
Here’s a bonus: tell your friends about what you’re doing! Evidence suggests that solutions-based storytelling (i.e. taking action on something that matters to you) is more effective at motivating others to think and act environmentally than tales of gloom and doom.