We have begun a new decade, and it is one of the most important ones of our lifetime. With less than 11 years left to take climate action before there is irreversible damage done to our planet from the effects of climate change, we have an important role to play as individuals and civil society members to live consciously, with the environment in mind, and with the imperative to call on our leaders and urge a shift in our systems for a livable future.
With this in mind, I have been actively trying to work on my lifestyle and seeing where I can make adjustments to reduce my environmental footprint. Here are some low impact living goals I have set for the year!
DIY beauty and cleaning products
As someone who suffered from eczema growing up, and just has what feels like chronically dry skin, I almost always have some lotion on me when I am on the go. Since I use handbags and totes interchangeably, I must have at least half a dozen little lotion bottles or tubes that I own.
While it would be counterintuitive to the zero waste lifestyle to just throw them all away, I am determined to finish these off and start making my own body lotions and butters so I can say goodbye to purchasing any large tubs and bottles.
Additionally, we can spend SO much money on cleaning products for our home: for the kitchen, bathroom, and all the places in between. With so many DIY recipes to try, and what seems to be the all-in-one magical castile soap, I am excited to see how I can keep my future apartment clean and as free of unnecessary harsh chemicals as possible.
Make my own snacks (now with more kitchen space!)
If you checked out my eco-friendly goals for 2019 post, I really wanted to attempt to make more snacks that I could bring when I am out and about. I think with the convenience of bulk snacks in our office’s kitchen, I did not really see the motivation to make my own snacks, but now that I am moving to a new apartment with a larger kitchen, I hope to work on this goal in 2020.
Cook more meals at home
Last year, I spent a good amount of my budget on dining out, and I want to make a concerted effort to use the cookbooks I already own and make some of my favorite dishes at a fraction of what I would pay at a restaurant.
Start a home compost
Ever since moving out and into an apartment building, my neighborhood does not have the brown bin collection program for me to conveniently handle my organic scraps. With more space in my apartment and an outdoor patio, I have the option to start an outdoor compost tumbler or an indoor vermicompost system. I might do the DIY route and use one of my plastic bins for a vermicompost, but I will keep you posted!
Continue carrying zero waste essentials
One of the easiest things we can all do to start reducing our impact on the environment and planet is by carrying our own reusable items and saying no to single-use plastics. I am talking about bringing your own water bottle, utensils, and grocery bag, for starters! You can work your way up from there. Because I switch bags so often I do tend to forget some of these items from time to time (and I will end up just dehydrating myself out of stubbornness and determination not to purchase a beverage in plastic), but I plan to do better this year.