9 Sustainable New Years Resolutions

Meaghan Weeden | December 29, 2022 | 5 min read

"Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny."
-Lao Tzu

Are You Ready for a Sustainable New Year?

With the year coming to a close, this is the perfect time to celebrate your achievements big and small — and also to reflect on the energy and intention that you'd like to bring into the new year. When the clock strikes 12:01 on New Years Eve, you'll still be the exact same person that you were before, but there's a certain transformative energy imbued into this time of transition. It's a great opportunity to take stock of your daily habits, and to think about how you can be more sustainable in your day to day life.

A word of advice? Keep it simple — that way, it will be easier to stick to. Here at One Tree Planted, we're strong believers in the power of simple actions. Just like a carefully planted tree, the seeds you sow today, with patience and consistency, will grow into something larger and more meaningful than you might imagine. 

9 Tips to Have an eco-friendly and Happy New Year

pink floral pattern cloth mask

1. Use Less Plastic

From food safety to packaged goods, plastic is everywhere. And we get it: sometimes it's unavoidable. But reducing your plastic footprint is a worthwhile resolution, and seemingly small actions can add up to huge impact over time. So bring a reusable bag when you go  shopping, carry a refillable water bottle, and consider bringing a sustainable straw + your own to-go containers when you go out to eat.

colorful vegetarian salad

2. Eat Less Meat

Industrial agriculture is a top cause of deforestation around the world. Besides its hefty environmental footprint, agricultural deforestation brings us deep into wild places that were previously inaccessible. This  dramatically increases the risk of coming into contact with new diseases. So give veggies a chance + get your animal products from a local farmer if you can.

woman red coat forest

3. Walk More

This year, try to walk more and drive less. It's a great way to get some light exercise, get a different perspective on your daily route, and get to where you need to go. Consider walking, biking, or (when it’s safe to do so) taking public transit whenever you can. Every mile you don’t drive reduces your carbon footprint by about 1 lb. Think of it as a chance to save $ on going to the gym!

small business street florist

4. Support Local Businesses

Small businesses help power local economies and, by extension, the local governments that depend on the tax dollars they generate. So the next time you have a purchase to make, shop around locally first. You’ll be putting food on a local family's table + reducing your own carbon footprint by not having items shipped from thousands of miles away.

retro thermostat wallpaper

5. Reduce Your Electricity Usage

Phantom energy can add an estimated 10% to your monthly electric bill + dramatically increase your carbon footprint over time. So invest in smart strips or unplug your electronics when they’re not in use, turn off the lights when you leave a room, and keep your thermostat below 68°F when you’re awake (and lower when you’re asleep or away from home). These simple changes will add up for the planet and your wallet.

local farmer CSA box

6. Shop Organic Whenever Possible

Organic farmers must adhere to strict standards for pest control. They also generally use fewer resources, have less resource-intensive farming practices, protect bees, don’t pollute the air + groundwater, and promote local biodiversity. And choosing chemical-free, unprocessed food is just one way we can take control of our health. 

DIY green cleaning products

7. Minimize Waste in One Area of Your Home

If going completely zero-waste feels overwhelming, try to focus on one part of your home, like the kitchen or bathroom. Minimize plastic, create DIY cleaning and body care products, and swap out the unnecessary items like plastic wrap and paper towels (according to the EPA, paper is the #1 item going into the landfill). 

man reading a book

8. Read Green

If reading more books is one of your resolutions, add some awesome climate and environment books to the list. A few of our favorites include The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben, Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, and The Overstory by Richard Powers. Looking for more options? Check out our list of 24 Best Books About Nature and Trees!

woman tree planter oregon

9. Plant Lots of Trees

Trees help clean the air we breathe, filter the water we drink, provide habitat to over 80% of the world's terrestrial biodiversity, and so much more. So consider taking direct action to create a positive impact that will last for generations to come. This can mean planting a tree with us, getting to a planting event, or even becoming a tree ambassador to spread the word throughout your community.

We hope this list gave you some inspiration for an eco-friendly new year. All of us at One Tree Planted wish you and your family a happy sustainable new year filled with good health and limitless possibilities. See you next year!

Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most

Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most

As the need for reforestation is global and ever-changing, we feature where trees are most needed now. This project is currently supporting AFR100, the African Forest Landscape Initiative. Learn more

With your help, we will:

  • Provide jobs to minimize poverty in local communities
  • Improve climate change resilience & mitigation
  • Restore forest cover to improve food security
  • Africa is home to the world's second-largest tropical rainforest. The Congo Basin is home to 60% of the continent's biodiversity. However, unfortunately, Africa is alarmingly at risk due to the current deforestation rate - which is 4 times the global deforestation rate. Not only does this threaten the livelihoods of its local communities, but it also affects the planet as a whole.
    Thanks to AFR100, Africa is on a mission to reverse these trends and restore 100 million hectares of land by 2030. This country-led effort will bring 100 million hectares of land in Africa into restoration by 2030. This initiative aims to accelerate restoration to enhance food security, increase climate change resilience and mitigation and combat rural poverty. This includes 32 participating countries in Africa, along with local communities, national governments, public and private sector partners, and international development programs.
  • Planting trees in Africa reaps multiple benefits! Notably, reforestation here will help to add nutrients to the soil and control erosion, minimize poverty within local communities through the creation of jobs, and improve food security by feeding impoverished families through the planting of fruit trees. Ultimately, added forest cover in this region will diminish pressure on remaining forests, allowing for biodiversity to flourish and ultimately helping with the global climate crisis.
  • A personalized tree certificate (see gallery) to say thanks for your donation. We'll also send you updates about this project, so you can track the impact your trees are having on the community and environment.
  • We will plant an array of indigenous tree species throughout Africa, such as Senegalia polyacantha, Faidherbia albida, Albizia adianthifolia, Persea americana, Calliandra calothyrsus, Macadamia spp., shea, and mahogany. Fruit trees will also be planted, which include mango, orange, tangerine, avocado, apple, guava, and Brazil nut.

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