If you’re looking to make your lifestyle more sustainable, setting a resolution in this area can be a great way to challenge yourself. Here at The Home Depot, we’re excited to share some ideas for sustainable resolutions and tips to help you stay committed to them.

Sticking to Resolutions: Starting Small and Staying Accountable

Before you start, let’s go over some tips to make sure you keep the momentum going all throughout the year.

Step 1: Begin with Manageable Goals. Embarking on a journey towards sustainability can be overwhelming, so it’s essential to start with small, specific goals. For instance, if you aim to reduce waste, begin by focusing on one area, like minimizing single-use plastics in your kitchen. Breaking down your resolution into manageable steps makes it less daunting and more achievable.

Step 2: Create a System of Reminders and Support. Consistency is key in maintaining your resolutions. Set reminders on your phone or keep a journal to track your progress. If you’re comfortable doing so, sharing your goals with a friend or coworker can create a support system, making the journey more enjoyable and less solitary. You might even want to announce it from your social media account to help connect with other like-minded folks and add another dimension of accountability.

With that, here are some sustainable resolution ideas we think you’ll like.

Shop and Eat Mindfully

  • Local and Seasonal Shopping: Transporting faraway food from point A to point B consumes vast amounts of energy. Avoid contributing to the problem by supporting your local farmers and buying locally sourced produce. If you don’t have a farmer’s market near you, choose fruits and vegetables that are in season when you shop for food.
  • Start Composting: This is a great way to reuse kitchen prep waste into useful soil that can enrich your garden or flowerbeds. Buy a composting bin or use a container of your own. Need more direction? You’ll find our composting project here.
  • Embrace Recycling and Upcycling: Thrifting is a wonderful way to nab some unique finds and keep useful items out of the landfill. Don’t forget: These stores also need your donations, so pick a few times a year to check your closets and see what you can give back.

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

  • Cut Down on Single-Use Plastics: Of the 300 million pounds of plastic that we create in a year, nearly half of that is single-use plastic, and much of it ends up in the landfill. Thankfully, it’s very easy to cut down on your consumption. Invest in a reusable water bottle (with a reusable straw if you can), use ecofriendly wraps like Bee’s Wraps or glass containers instead of plastic wrap, and cook at home more to reduce takeout trash. Don’t forget to bring your reusable shopping bags with you!
  • Energy Efficiency at Home: Replace old bulbs with energy-efficient ones and invest in smart technology, like Hubspace, to reduce energy usage. You’ll save yourself a few dollars, too: by some estimates, almost $4,000 over 20 years.
  • Minimize Driving: Driving increases individual carbon footprints: The typical passenger vehicle produces about 4.6 metric tons of CO2 a year. To minimize your footprint, opt for carpooling, public transportation or even bicycling if possible. Bonus points if you work from home since you’re already halving your carbon footprint.

Cultivate a Green Thumb and Reconnect with Nature

  • Start a Garden: Whether it’s growing your own vegetables or creating a sanctuary for local pollinators, gardening can be a fulfilling way to connect with nature. If you have limited time, consider low-maintenance plants like succulents. No matter your choice, The Home Depot has plenty of resources to help you get started.
  • Make Space for Wildlife: If you’re not a gardener, you can still make space for the critters that help keep our ecosystem balanced. You might consider setting up a bee house, a bat house or a bird feeder to make your outdoor space more hospitable to wildlife.
  • Spend More Time Outdoors: This might be difficult during the winter, but when the warm weather returns, increasing your time outside is an easy new year’s resolution to put into practice. Maybe it’s time to invest in new patio furniture or shade to help you enjoy your outdoor living space. The more time you spend in nature, the more you’ll understand the importance of your sustainable goals. Plus, spending time outside can be beneficial to your health.

Remember, the key to maintaining these resolutions is to make them a part of your daily routine. Celebrate small victories and don’t be too hard on yourself if you encounter setbacks. Sustainability is a journey, not a destination.

As we step into 2024, let’s embrace sustainability in our daily lives. Your resolution, no matter how small, contributes to a larger positive impact on our planet. At The Home Depot, we’re here to support you in this journey and can’t wait to see the changes you’ll bring in the new year. From all of us at Eco Actions, we wish you a happy new year and a more sustainable 2024.