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Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions: An Eco-Friendly Challenge For Every Month of 2021

Jan 14, 2021
Austin Langlois
Contributing Author
Austin Langlois
Contributing Author

One of the New Year’s Resolutions we hope you’ll join us in is to live a more sustainable lifestyle. We all know the importance of greener products, less plastic and more recycling – but integrating these into your daily life isn’t always the most straightforward. Maybe you’re not sure where to even start.

To help you out, we’ve created the Boxed Water Sustainability Challenge, with a special eco-friendly activity, or change to make for each month of the year. In a matter of months, you’ll be able to look back and see the tangible ways you helped out our planet.  

We’d also love for you to keep us posted on how you’re doing with the challenge; use the hashtag #BetterPlanet when you post the progress you’re making.

January: Wear reusable masks

This is an easy one – and one you might already be doing! Disposable masks are made from plastic and elastic – posing grave environmental concerns to wildlife and our ecosystems. If we all switched to a reusable, washable mask for our daily activities could save hundreds of millions of surgical masks a year from ending up in our rivers and oceans. End mask trash with one of Ecomask’s sustainable, reusable masks!

February: Reusable bags – not plastic

If you’re heading to the grocery store, bring your own bag rather than using a single-use plastic bag. You’ll do your part in reducing the number of plastic bags we use a year (a shocking 100 billion in America alone). Check out these awesome “trolley bags” from Lotus Sustainables - perfect for grocery shoppers who care most about convenience! 

March: Go Plogging

Ever heard of plogging? It’s jogging + picking up litter. Starting in 2016, it’s a movement that’s sweeping around the world as people combine two of their passions – running and taking care of our environment. All it takes is a bag, some gloves and some running shoes to get started.

April: No plastic straws

According to Strawless Ocean, it’s estimated that we use more than 500 million straws every day in America – most of which ends up in our oceans. This month go strawless or even cooler, buy your own portable, reusable straw.

May: Resell and donate

One of the most significant contributors to global waste is our trash cycle. Give your gently used items and clothing a new home by either reselling on platforms like Facebook Marketplace or by donating to local charities. Some animal shelters even accept old clothing to use as bedding in animal shelters!

June: Reduce food waste

The U.S. leads in food waste. Americans throw away about 40 million tons of food a year which is about 30-40% of the U.S. food supply and it’s filling up our landfills. This month, pledge to waste less, from making stock with leftover veggies to freezing foods to eat later to even making less. There’s even fruit and veggie services that ship ugly produce (like Misfits Market and Imperfect Foods) to your door, ensuring that produce that doesn’t look pretty still is eaten. 

July: Tap water is the best water

At Boxed Water, we always advocate for drinking tap water. Even after people use our Boxed Water, we encourage you to use it a few more times as a refillable water bottle. This month try to drink only water from the tap – you’ll not only save money; you’ll be helping reduce some 8 million tons of plastic bottles that end up in the ocean each year.

August: Eat local

Eating local doesn’t just reduce your carbon footprint; it also benefits your local economy and local farmers. This month avoid the big chain stores and seek out farmers markets and local vendors who carry local goods for your purchases. 

September: Ride your bike

This month dust off your bike and try to use it as your primary mode of transportation. This might be easier or harder depending on where you live. But even if you can substitute your car rides to the gym or grab your morning coffee, it’ll be a great step for the environment and your health.

October: Go vegetarian

One of the biggest contributors to pollution and carbon emissions is the meat industry. Going meatless can make an incredible impact – in fact, according to research, avoiding meat and dairy could be the single biggest way to reduce your impact on the environment. 

November: Green your home

Small changes in your house can make a big positive impact on the environment. This month consider fixing that leaky faucet, ensure your light bulbs are energy savers and try to conserve as much water as you can when you shower and brush your teeth. 

December: Start composting

Composting is maybe one of the most daunting of all our challenges this year, but don’t worry there’s a lot of resources online to reference. Essentially, just collect your extra food scraps and other organic waste (like leaves and grass clippings) and use it as fertilizer for your garden or landscaping in the spring. Here are some visually appealing options for your kitchen that won’t add odor to your mission. 

So that’s it! Each month we’ll tackle a new challenge, and we hope you’ll join us in making everyday changes for a #BetterPlanet in the new year.

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