By Marlena Norwood
Even though today is the last day of 2013, you may not have your 2014 resolutions set in stone. 2013 has been a great year—but how can you make next year even better, and more sustainable? Here we’ve summarized some of the main points from the blog this past year into resolutions for 2014, so you can start off the New Year sustainably.
Resolve to…REDUCE PLASTIC
Our landfills are growing rapidly, and plastics make up 40% of the overall mass. Much of that plastic waste comes from plastic water bottles. Luckily, there is a clear-cut solution—buy a reusable water bottle. Bottles come in every shape and color, with awesome features to fit any drinking style. Check out MiiR’s reusable water bottles—they’re sustainable, stylish, and charitable!
So much of what we throw into the garbage is organic material—food scraps, moldy food, and napkins—ALL of which can be composted. Composting reduces the volume of waste being sent to landfills and, that compost can be used as fertilizer in yards and gardens, reducing the need for artificial fertilizers. Start your composting resolution by designating a compost bin in your kitchen and a place in your yard to start a compost pile (make sure it’s warm and moist). Click here for a full composting how-to guide.
Did you get a new gadget this holiday season? A new Surface or an iPhone 5S? Don’t throw your outdated iPhone 4 in the trashcan, or leave it sitting around your house collecting dust with the other unwanted electronics. Send it to an eCycling facility so that the electronic waste can be properly disposed of. Many of your gadget’s parts will be reused and the harmful toxins inside the gadget won’t pose a threat to health.
Resolve to…EMBRACE BACTERIA
Bacteria have a bad reputation; they are seen as slimy, invasive organisms that cause bodily harm. Truth is, your body is made up of trillions of bacteria—and the majority of them you could not live without! Our society is waging war against bacteria with anti-bacterial hand sanitizers, soaps, and even clothing. Besides the fact that these anti-bacterial products are killing off good bacteria, as well as bad, they are creating antimicrobial resistant strains of bad bacteria. In 2014, resolve to use plain soap and water to wash your hands, and only use hand-sanitizer when absolutely necessary.
Resolve to…EAT SUSTAINABLY
Confined animal feeding operations degrade the environment, are known for atrocious abuses towards animals, and are cesspools for zoonotic pathogens that can so easily transmit to human hosts. Moving into 2014, we challenge you to cut down on meat as much as possible (maybe even try out a vegetarian diet), and/or only buy local meat from small-town farmers. Overfishing is also causing huge problems for aquatic ecosystems. Before you eat seafood, make sure to check out the Seafood Watch Handbook to make sure your fish was caught sustainably.
Let’s all work together to make 2014 the most sustainable year yet!