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My 4 eco-friendly goals for 2020!

It’s been a minute since I posted a blog article but I want to get back into it! Throughout January, I shared my 4 eco-friendly goals for 2020 with my email list and now that January is over (HOW?!?!) I wanted to share them briefly here in case you want some inspiration for eco-friendly habits you can introduce to your life too.

 

1 – Eliminate plastic from the grocery store

eco-friendly goals - no plastic

Goal 1 of 4 for my eco-friendly goals for 2020 came from wanting to build on a goal I set last year. I eliminated all plastic produce bags and started purchasing dry ingredients at Bulk Barn but I still have a long way to go with grocery shopping plastic. So this year is all about developing a routine – finding which stores sell plastic free options and which ones allow you to bring your own containers. I eat salads everyday or lunch so finding a grocery store that allows me to buy field greens in bulk was top priority! Since the start of January I’ve found out that The Mustard Seed in Hamilton often has this and I’ve learned about Zerocery. A zero waste grocery delivery service. I’ve only used it once so far but just LOVED it!

A few tips for succeeding at this one:

  • bring your own reusable bags and produce bags to the grocery store EVERY time (keep your bags in your car or at the door so you don’t forget them)
  • find a farmer’s market or zero-waste grocery store in your neighbourhood. Farmer’s Markets are often very receptacle to you bringing your own containers and bags
  • Meal plan – when you meal plan for the week you can do one big shop so you won’t have to grab a few ingredients on the way home and go for the convenient, often packaged option
  • Fruits and veggies with a skin on them that you won’t be eating don’t need to go into a produce bag – they can stay loose.
  • Buy oils and sauces in bulk or opt for glass jars over plastic
  • Ask your grocery store if they will put your deli meat and cheese in your own containers that you bring with you

2 – 70% of my meals will be plant-based 

eco-friendly goals - plant-based meals

Scientists estimate that livestock production is responsible for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas and that it takes 1000 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of milk. The greenhouse gas emissions per gram of beef protein are about 250 times the emissions of legumes. It’s pretty clear that eating more plants is better for the environment. And while I’m not ready to go full vegan right now, I think a good goal for 2020 is to keep 70% of my meals plant-based. Even just swapping out one or two meaty dinners with a plant-based alternative is helpful!

Here are my favourite plant-based recipes right now!

 

3 – Learn all the things! 

I want to take a deeper dive into sustainability and living an eco-friendly life by reading more and listening to more podcasts on the subject. I already read a number of articles on this but want even more knowledge. My favourite podcast on the subject is The Sustainable Minimalists. The episodes are relatively short and easily digestible. Stephanie Seferian interviews guests and does some podcasts solo. Recent topics have included greenwashing, what happens when we donate clothes, is online shopping or in-store shopping better for the planet and planned obsolescence.

I just finished reading The Responsible Company, a book by founder of Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard & Vincent Stanley. They draw on their experiences at Patagonia to discuss the elements of a responsible company in today’s environment. I’m about to start Don’t Even Think About It, by George Marshall. He talks to psychologists, climate scientists and activists to get the real scoop on our motives and the psychological mechanism that allows many to act the way they do.

 

4 – Buy Less Crap

eco-friendly goals for 2020

I’m not a minimalist. Not even a little bit. But I want to be only making intentional purchases of things I LOVE.  So how am I going to stop buying crap?? Here a few ideas.

  • Unsubscribe! I’ve already done this one. I’ve unsubscribed from pretty much any store’s newsletters that just send me sales notifications. If I need a new sweater, I’ll find one just fine without a newsletter tempting me.
  • Don’t jump on the loyalty points band wagon. This one is hard – I love getting a deal. But sometimes I buy those things that have the bonus loyalty points when I didn’t even need it. And then realize it was all for $1 in points! I still do PC points because I’m going to buy groceries regardless. But only things I need!
  • Don’t be an emotional shopper. Have you ever gone grocery shopping while hungry? It doesn’t go over well. Same thing with if you’ve had a bad day. Don’t take that bad day out on your wallet
  • Do shopping in store instead of online. Online shopping often involves a lot of impulse buys and once you realize you didn’t need that thing you’ve already hit “buy”. Just because an online retailer offers free returns, it doesn’t mean it’s good. If you ship that product back, you are using additional emissions to get it back to the shipper and often that product actually ends up in the garbage instead of being resold.

 

So those are my 4 eco-friendly goals for 2020! I hope they inspired you to set some intentions for yourself on ways in which you can consume less and lower your carbon footprint. Check out my post on reducing food waste at your next party to get some great tips!

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