Looking back on 2018, I made a commitment to myself to be more conscious of my everyday lifestyle and habits to work toward reducing my footprint. Listening to my favorite podcasts and following some inspirational zero waste accounts on Instagram sparked this idea to live more sustainably, and I wanted to share some of the habits I developed over the last year.
Becoming a weekday pescatarian.
It all started when I was working in Cambodia in Fall 2017 and just had so much easy access to red meats. It seemed like it was everywhere and I told myself the first thing I’d do when I came back to the US was move toward a pescatarian diet on the weekdays and give up red meat to reduce my carbon footprint.
Carrying reusable items.
For the past couple of years I would say I had been using reusable produce/shopping bags and reusable water bottles whenever I could remember, but in 2018 really tried to remember bringing my water bottle and always packing a shopping bag with me *just in case* I made an impromptu trip to a store. Sometimes I would forget my water bottle and just be parched on my commute to or from work (lol not fun) but I really did not want to purchase any plastic bottles if I did not need to!
Composting at home.
Our neighborhood in Queens, NY received compost bins in Summer 2017 and we have been going strong with our composting. This has significantly reduced the amount of regular trash we throw out each week!
Saying no to fast fashion.
I used to be a bargain hunter and would like to shop at the fast fashion stores like Forever 21 and H&M, but the quality of the clothes is not great and they do not last very long. From a sustainability standpoint, many of their clothes are made of more than one material, which makes it difficult to recycle, too. As far as I can remember for 2018, I virtually cut out all fast fashion spending and only purchased investment pieces which may be more expensive in the upfront cost, but well-worth it in the end since I do not need to replace it for a long time.
Throughout the year, I’ve made a concerted effort to refuse straws in restaurants when dining in, passing on utensils when doing takeout, but I know there is more to be done. With these new habits formed in 2018, I am determined to sustain them and continue to build on these lifestyle changes and do more to reduce my footprint.