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14 New Year Resolutions For 2022 [Eco-Friendly Edition!]

There’s no bigger time for goal setting than the New Year. While many turn towards weight loss or higher productivity goals, let’s make 2022 the year of sustainability with the best eco-friendly New Year resolutions – sustainable edition!

New Year’s Resolution Meaning

You might be surprised to learn that some 4,000 years ago, New Year’s resolutions were a big deal then, too. The tradition originated with the Babylonians, who celebrated an 11-day festival in March, marking the end of their calendar. 

Today, New Year’s resolutions are celebrated on different dates around the world. Many western countries end their year on December 31st, ringing in the New Year on January 1st. It’s at this time that many people proclaim various New Year’s resolutions. These resolutions are goals that they want to achieve. 

The most common New Year resolutions include: 

  • More exercise
  • Weight lose
  • Healthy eating
  • Saving money or reducing debt
  • Pursuing a new hobby

While these are all admirable resolutions, HIdden Lemur and a growing number of travelers around the world believe that sustainable and eco-friendly resolutions are equally as important. 

Best New Year Resolutions (All Sustainable!)

Plan Your Trip With Sustainability in Mind

The beginning of the year is a big trip planning time for many people. It’s an exciting new year for travel and exploration opportunities and it’s easy to get caught up in booking cheap flights or going shopping for a new cheap outfit rather than opting for sustainable essentials

However, one of the best New Year resolutions that you can make is to plan your trip with sustainability in mind. That means planning your trip with eco-friendly travel companies. Some of our favorites include And Beyond, Kynder, and Discover Corps who put sustainability and conservation at the forefront of their missions. 

Trains Over Planes

best new year resolutions
Photo by Josh Nezon on Unsplash

 

You could also choose an eco-friendly travel method. Train travel is one of the most eco-friendly travel methods, especially when compared with flying. The Eurail is a fantastic way to take affordable train journeys across Europe. Be sure to read our article on the most scenic train journeys around the world for some epic train travel inspiration! 

Choose Eco-Friendly Accommodation

Choosing eco-friendly accommodation is another way to plan your trip with sustainability in mind. As the ecotourism movement grows more and more carbon neutral or carbon negative accommodation options are popping up all over the world. Whether you want an inclusive resort or a homestay, there’s an environmentally friendly option out there.  

Slow Travel

Instead of having a New Year’s resolution of traveling to a certain number of countries, make your resolution to travel as slowly as possible. By traveling slowly you’ll reduce your carbon footprint and you’ll get to experience the local culture much more in-depth. You can learn more about slow travel here!

Make Flights as Sustainable as Possible

Sometimes flying to reach your destination is the only option, so when you do need to fly try and make your trip as sustainable as possible by bringing your own food and zero waste essentials. Airplane food isn’t typically amazing to begin with, so bringing your own food allows you to keep your favorites and use plastic-free reusable containers. Don’t forget your reusable coffee cup too!

As of late 2021, Google has also added a new ‘sustainability” label to flight searches. This feature helps travelers search and filter flights by their carbon emission levels. You can also calculate your carbon footprint using Wren.

Explore Closer to Home

Hidden gems are found all around the world and a 5+ hour flight doesn’t necessarily add to the magic. Instead, one of the best sustainable New Year’s resolutions that you can make is to explore closer to home. Atlas Obscura is a fantastic resource for finding unusual and unique places that may have flown under your radar. You might be surprised at what’s been sitting just around the corner!

Eat Fewer Animal Products

Traditional animal agriculture is one of the most unsustainable practices in the world. This year, reduce your consumption of meat, dairy, eggs, and fish to be a more eco-conscious person.

Veganuary is a fantastic challenge that hundreds of thousands of people participate in every year, with the goal of eating a vegan diet for the month of January. Sign up to take part in 2022 – it’s completely free and includes meal plans, recipes, nutrition info, and more. 

Shop Local Produce

best new year resolutions
Photo by Brad Stallcup on Unsplash

As much as a mango during Scottish winter may bring back memories of a tropical summer, mangos definitely aren’t native to Scotland so it had to take quite a journey to arrive. Transporting out-of-season food takes its toll on the environment, so shopping for local food is a great sustainable New Year resolution. 

Buy Food on an As-Needed Basis

More than 900 million tons of food is thrown away annually. One of the best sustainable New Year resolutions that you can make, is to only purchase food when you know it will be used so as to avoid as much food waste as possible. If you have a shop near you, this is a great chance to get out and take a daily walk or bike ride to grab what you need for the next day’s meals. 

If you do end up with food waste, try composting! Worm composting is a fantastic way to quickly break down food waste into nutrient-rich compost and compost tea. This compost can be used in your own garden or tossed back into nature. Check out Worm Farming Secrets and Vermibag to learn more about setting up your own compost system – it’s easier than you might think. 

Choose Organic Products When Possible

Organic farming uses less energy and typically results in fewer emissions than non-organic farming. By purchasing foods and products that are organically grown and made from organic materials you can take another step towards an environmentally conscious new year. 

Turn Down the Thermostat & Get Rid of Phantom Energy

Instead of bumping up the heating when you get cold, invest in a sustainable pair of cozy socks and a big comfy blanket or sweatshirt to keep you toasty. You’ll save money on your energy bill and use fewer resources to keep your home warm. Sometimes you will still need to turn the heat on, so where you can, use suppliers of renewable energy from solar or wind. You could even invest in some solar panels for your home where excess energy is put back into the grid once your electronics are powered. 

Another of the best New Year’s resolutions for sustainability is to get rid of phantom energy. For instance in the United States, the average household spends more than $100 annually to power devices when they aren’t being used (microwaves, toasters, kettles, TVs, chargers). In environmental terms, household appliances can produce 60kg of CO2 each year, so imagine how much could be saved by unplugging your kettle. Phantom energy consumption varies by country, but it’s safe to say that it’s a problem worldwide. 

Swap Single-Use for Reusable

best new year resolutions
Photo by Visual Stories || Micheile on Unsplash

We can’t make a comprehensive list of the best New Year resolutions without including the standard swapping of single-use products for reusable ones. 

Cleaning supplies are essential, but instead of buying plastic bottles from the store with a lot of chemicals in them, try plastic and chemical-free alternatives. You can swap kitchen and bathroom products with sustainable and plastic-free alternatives from ethical and environmentally conscious sites like Eco Roots, Earth Hero, and Jungle Culture. In the bathroom, you can swap single-use essentials like cotton buds for reusable ones (trust us on this) from Last Object. (Shop here and use our discount code (hiddenlemur) to get 10% off.)

For on-the-go travel essentials, be sure to check out our guide to the best reusable water bottles and grab a reusable grocery bag (they’re good for so much more than just groceries!). You can also use our code HIDDENLEMUR10 and receive a 10% discount!

Reduce Fast-Fashion Purchases

Almost 85 percent of fashion textiles end up in landfills. This has to do with the fact that fast fashion is cheap, so it’s easy to buy frequently, but also because it’s low quality, meaning that it has a very short lifetime. The fast-fashion sector is also often involved in human trafficking, making the sector industry not only environmentally poor but ethically horrible as well. 

A fantastic sustainable New Year’s resolution is to cut out fast fashion and instead buy staple clothing items from high-quality and sustainable brands. Check out our guide to affordable sustainable clothing brands

Buy Used Before Shopping New

best new year resolutions
Photo by Becca McHaffie on Unsplash

Big items like couches, TVs, desks, and other furniture are incredibly expensive. A new couch could set you back several hundred if not a thousand or more dollars. Before you buy new, check online at sites like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Freecycle, or Gumtree. You’ll often be able to find items in fantastic condition that people are giving away for free or at a very low price – you just have to pick them up.

This is also a great way to get rid of old furniture or items you can’t take with you on your move. Upcycle before simply throwing things out. If you can’t sell your items, donate them. In the UK, the British Heart Foundation is a charity that will collect many items (couches, furniture, bed frames, headboards, microwaves, kettles, etc.) for free as long as they have their fire tags on them. Not only does this save you from having to worry about getting a massive couch out of your house, but it means that someone else can get good use out of it. 

Offset Your Carbon Footprint

“Nobody is perfect” may seem a bit cliche, but it’s true. It’s a challenge to be eco-friendly and waste-free 100% of the time. There are, however, options available like investing in subscriptions to organizations that support the environment and offset your carbon footprint through their efforts.

Take this free quiz to see how much CO2 your lifestyle generates and to learn more about a fantastic non-profit carbon offsetting company. There are so many great carbon offsetting programs out there, so be sure to read up on them before deciding which one is right for you. 

Vote!

Finally, as our final best New Year resolution, vote! 

Voting with your wallet by purchasing eco-friendly products is important, but so are the people that you put in office. Vote for representatives (at all levels of government) who put conservation as a primary goal in their campaigns. 

Keep Up to Date With the Latest Eco Travel Trends

Thanks for being with us on this journey and good luck with your sustainable New Year’s resolutions! 

Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest eco-travel news and tips sent straight to your inbox.

Hey reader! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase using any of these links, we’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Hidden Lemur is committed to promoting sustainable travel, and we only partner with brands that we believe contribute positively to that cause.

Alysa Tarrant

Alysa Tarrant

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