Every year, we have the best of intentions about writing a full set of New Year’s resolutions to improve our mind, our health, and the world around us.
Sometimes, though, resolution-creating can get a little overwhelming. Of course we want to carpool more, take 10,000 steps per day, drink the recommended amount of water, read 12 books, and everything else that experts suggest as a quality resolution. Keeping all of those things in mind over the course of a year, however — well, that’s a little difficult.
Our solution? Keep your focus on specific, actionable items in a certain area. For example, we all want to be more sustainable and environmentally-friendly in our everyday lives, and there’s no shortage of ways to achieve that goal.
So, to keep things attainable, we’re focusing our eco-friendly New Year’s resolutions in one area we love: food and beverage. Read on for our suggestions on how to live a more environmentally mindful life when eating and drinking in 2018.
Bring Your Own Container or Bag to Restaurants and Groceries
Sure, some of you (one of those is my husband) may be #TeamNoLeftovers, and we salute you and your expandable stomachs. But the rest of us often end up with as much as half of our dinner left on our plate. Instead of sending it back with the busboy to be trashed, plan ahead a little and bring your own reusable container to the restaurant. You’ll have lunch for the next day, without any work on your end. As a bonus, the reusable container you bring from home is probably much sturdier than a flimsy single-use carton, so it’ll hold up much better on the way home and to the office the next day.
In the grocery store, start stowing reusable shopping bags and totes in the trunk of your car to use instead of single-use plastic bags and paper bags. Cyprus government began to tax the use of these disposable bags when shopping.
Cut Back on Food with Excessive Packaging
At the grocery store, search for products without any unnecessary packaging — so loose fruits and vegetables! Can’t avoid a packaged product? Check to see whether the packaging was made from recycled goods, and make sure to recycle (or even better, reuse) the container or packaging when you’re done with it.
Drink from a Reusable Water Bottle or Travel Mug
We’re big advocates of drinking enough water each day, since it benefits your mind, your body, and your mood. But each year, 17 million barrels of oil are used to produce single-use plastic water bottles. Seems excessive, right? We agree, and that’s why we never go anywhere without our BPA-free glass water bottle.
Coffee drinkers, you’re involved too. The average office worker goes through about 500 disposable cups per year. Bringing your own stainless steel coffee mug makes a big difference for the environment.
This one requires a little initial homework on your part. Research restaurants and grocery stores that carry food produced close to your home, and make a point to support them with your business. Eating locally means reducing shipping and transportation costs, as well as reducing the amount of packaging used in the process.
How will you improve your sustainability in 2018? Let us know your resolutions in the comments!