Happy (3rd day of the) New Year! Last year, I made it one of my New Year’s resolutions to stop shopping fast fashion. Unlike the result of the majority of my resolutions, which end up fading after a month of commitment, this one stuck it’s course through the year. Save one multipurpose black turtleneck from H&M, I’ve bought clothing strictly from secondhand stores and sustainable clothing brands.
Although I don’t necessarily believe in the importance of New Year’s resolutions (why should you have to wait to get a new start until the beginning of the year?) , I think the new year offers an opportunity to set aside time to form new goals and plans of action. This year, I want to continue to focus on the pursuit of environmental and social change in the fashion industry, as well as other industries. I think this should be on everyone’s resolution radar as well-unless we do something about our actions, nothing is going to change.
In the spirit of New Year’s and climate change, here are 20 ways you can personally take action in becoming more aware of and changing your consumption habits this year!
1. Buy from secondhand stores or sustainable/ethical clothing brands IF you have to buy clothes at all
2. Eat more whole foods in place of processed and chemical-ridden foods
3. Switch out personal care products to more sustainable options when they run out (i.e. reusable makeup pads, bamboo toothbrushes, etc.)
4. Take public transportation instead of a single car when possible
5. Eat locally grown foods
6. Hang dry clothing versus using a dryer
7. Recycle and educate yourself about what can and can’t be recycled
8. Use a reusable water bottle (tip: bring it EVERYWHERE with you..that’s what I do)
9. Purchase fair trade certified products
11. Reuse as much as possible (i.e. bags, containers, food, etc.)
12. Turn off lights when not in use
13. Fix damaged buttons/holes on clothes instead of trashing them
14. Make coffee at home instead of buying from Starbucks/Dunkin’/etc.
15. Donate old products (clothing, electronics, decorations)
16. Spend more time outside!
17. Eat less meat (you don’t have to become vegan, just substitute different proteins for some meat!)
18. Make your own cleaning products at home
19. Go paperless at school/work when possible
20. THINK through potential purchases before you buy them (i.e. what went into making this? do I really need this? What could I use as an alternative?)