- This article was contributed by Jessica Mino, resource management coordinator with the Kane County Division of Environmental and Water Resources.
It’s that time of year, when Kane County residents will make — and start trying to keep — New Year’s resolutions.
My sister recently reminded me that this is a great time to re-evaluate my sustainability goals. She is determined to reduce the waste she produces in 2019, specifically plastic waste.
This aligns with a message I frequently pass along when asked, “How can I be more sustainable?” I respond with, “Reduce your consumption!”
An easy way to know where to start with this broad statement is to look in your trash. What makes up the largest portion of your waste? Start there to make the greatest personal impact!
For me, it is food scraps. So I am committing to finding additional ways to get my viable waste to the compost pile in 2019.
“Sustainability” can be such a broad topic that it is difficult to decide where to begin.
Here are a few resolution suggestions:
(1) Walk, bike or take public transportation.
Reducing your fuel consumption (which also results in a reduction of harmful emissions) is one of the greatest ways to move toward a sustainable lifestyle.
(2) Eat less meat.
Simply reducing your meat consumption can help moderate the greenhouse gas emissions produced from our food supply.
Try having “meatless Mondays” or finding a daily lunch option without meat.
(3) Avoid fast fashion.
Short-lived clothing only contributes to over-consumption and waste issues. Finding timeless, quality items to wear for an extended period of time (and then reuse as rags or to make other needed items) support sustainable lifestyles.
(4) Keep the chemicals out of your household supplies and cosmetics.
Certain chemicals used in our daily products can be harmful to our health and the well-being of the environment, particularly our waterways. Aim to shift toward natural ingredients used in moderation.
(5) Bring your own.
Use shopping bags, water bottle or coffee mug.
Whatever single use item you find yourself using the most of, reduce that waste and the resources it takes to make that product by investing in reusable items (preferably made out of renewable, sustainably sourced materials).
Pick one thing to commit to. When that feels like a part of your daily routine, set a new sustainability goal. Overtime, you may find that you have significantly shifted to a more sustainable lifestyle.
Welcome a healthy 2019 for you and the environment!
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- 6 Things You THINK You Can Recycle — But Can’t
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