Are you thinking about making some eco-friendly resolutions for the new year that can make a change for good, savings for you and the planet?
EKOH has some ideas to help launch you into a more sustainable year. Why not check them out!
2023 is the year for you to start or ramp up your journey toward living a more sustainable lifestyle. While this might seem a big undertaking, you start with small "steps". The most important step is committing to starting!
Start with small adjustments so they become a natural part of your life, a daily habit and keep growing from there. Adjusting to a sustainable lifestyle and changing habits can take time for you and the family.
Check out a few ways to get started this January to live sustainably and reduce your household bills.
1. Zero waste
Make the new year, the beginning of your zero-waste journey in your home or business. So let's clear up first - what is zero waste?
A zero-waste world/ home is where resources are valued, and nothing is wasted. The goal of zero waste is to minimise and ultimately eliminate waste. Zero Waste New Zealand .
Making small changes in the kitchen or bathroom is an excellent place to start, so it feels manageable.
- Ditch plastic sponges for Eco Sponge Cloths, stop buying plastic cleaning brushes and convert to 100% biodegradable Bamboo Cleaning Brushes and Loofah Sponge Pads.
- Bring your own keep cup for your morning coffee or containers for takeout when you dine out.
- Bringing your own reusable produce and grocery bags for grocery shopping or a reusable shopping bag for other shopping. Getting into the habit now also saves you some change, as many shops charge for a bag in stores.
- Another way to go zero waste is to ditch single-use items and replace them with multi-use alternatives. Switch from paper towels to Swedish dishcloths or plastic sponges for Loofah pads and washcloths. These reusable items can be used multiple times and easily washed and composted at the end of use.
Utilising little zero-waste hacks saves you money in the long run, as removing single-use items from your routine can deduct extra costs from your grocery bill.
Once these little eco hacks start to become second nature to you and the family, you can incorporate more ways to go zero waste into your year.
Or support a local refill and organic store like GreenSpace Organics on Waiheke Island This way, you can bring your packaging, like our Refill spray and Pump Bottles and get the right amount of product for your lifestyle.
Also, try to reuse anything you'd typically throw away. For example, a glass candle container or its packaging can be reused as decorative storage when the wax is gone, and a pasta or jam jar can be cleaned out and used for storing leftover food. Going zero waste in 2023 can help you save money and be sustainable.
Shop local produce stores and support farmer's markets of your produce shopping, so you don't have prepared fruit and veg - this reduces plastic waste and food waste too!
2. Switch out your household essential supplies
While buying multiple products such as cleaning supplies or makeup and hair care products from the supermarket is easy, finding alternatives or multi-use for these things can help you reduce waste from extra packaging and production. Cleaning supplies, for example, tend to have many toxic chemicals in them, with some just there to preserve the products, so watch out for an eco alternative that is not only good for you but also for the earth.
Some examples :
- Zero waste NZ-made EKOH solid dish soap bar - it can be used not only for cleaning dishes but also as a laundry soap bar or spot stain remover bar.
Another option is white vinegar; it can be used as a general cleaner for your floors, bathroom, and kitchen ( make your own using Healthy Clean essential oils and our EKOH refill glass bottles ).
- Changing up your makeup and hair care products can be a cost-effective and zero-waste way to remove unnecessary ingredients from your life. Switching your liquid shampoo bottles for a Shampoo and Conditioner bar - one product that does the job of two bottle products saving producing plastic waste.
- Ditch shaving creams for our Shaving bar
- Switch so Soap bars in the shower instead of plastic bottled shower gels
- Become a Conscious Consumer and think and read the labels before you buy
- Look for concentrated options that can be diluted and go further; for example, the Healthy Clean Floor Cleaner - 1 litre makes 100 litres of ready-to-use floor cleaner.
Living a sustainable lifestyle is a continuous journey. After getting rid of unnecessary items and products containing chemicals and switching out your home's essentials for new eco-friendly products, it continues with being conscious of what you're purchasing. Think about how the items' past and future will affect our waste issues.
Fast fashion is a fun, easy way to keep up with clothing trends, but it includes a lot of textile waste in the long run. Buying clothes from an ethical and sustainable brand will get you clothing that'll last, and you can donate, op shop or regift. You also want to avoid buying a trendy reusable container that'll break after the third use. Make sure your purchases are either made to last and, if not, can be recycled, are biodegradable and reusable, supporting your resolutions for a more sustainable new year.
3. Consider Downsizing - Your home and/ or possessions
This new year might be the right time to declutter and downsize your home or declutter your existing home instead of moving to a larger house. While having a large house or apartment with a lot of space or grounds may seem nice, it doesn't help to live sustainably, especially if every room in your home is not earning its keep!
Having a large home that is financially challenging (rent, mortgage, garden maintenance, cleaning + + ) to maintain your house, and if you space is cluttered, can cause unnecessary stress.
This new year, downsizing your home, whether by getting rid of unnecessary items and clutter or moving to a smaller home entirely, can help you start living a more sustainably. Living in a smaller home ( like a Tiny House ) with less clutter can help keep you organised and live an environmentally-friendly lifestyle. Remember, you won't have the space to bring everything you own into a new and smaller home, so it allows you to take an inventory of what you have. When you're looking to declutter, decide what items are most important to you. Look at which items you use most often or add the most value ( including good memories) to your life. Taking these steps to clean out the cupboards, draws, and garage forces you to look at your consumption and rethink your consumerism in the future.
have a look at Organized clutter for some great ideas of upcycle old objects.
You can repurpose household items or furniture you already have or look to donate them. have a look at Pinterest for ideas that will inspire you.Cleaning the clutter can be a fun exercise, especially if you bring new life to items or donate to needy families.
After decluttering, look at the space now available. You will feel lighter and maybe liberated! You might already be living in the right home, and all it required was for you to declutter and rethink how you live.
If you decide to downsize, determine how much a smaller home makes sense and what you want your downsized mortgage to be. Choosing a smaller house can help you maintain a sustainable life and be a lower cost to run in the long run. You will save on energy usage, including heating, cleaning, gardening and maintenance costs. The money you will save on utilities can also help go towards more home projects to improve the home's energy use to make it more efficient.
4. Update and Automate Your Home or business
You can make your home more efficient this new year by looking at your current utilities and creating a modern switch. While a vast majority of us depend on electricity and running water to live, there are ways you can start taking control of the usage of your utilities and save money this new year. Some things to consider :
- Consider putting in water tanks - use this water for your garden and other systems - adding value to your property and saving water.
- Switch to Solar power
- Compost - whether you are in an apartment or home with land - establish a composting routine - pottying biodegradable materials back into feeding the earth.
- Ditch lawns for gardens - no more mowing! Plant native grass trees and flowers to attract insects, bees and birds, and it looks fantastic.
- Have a veggie garden or veggie/ herb pots - learn about food and teach your children too - find out about your local community gardens that you could support.
- Check out your lighting and appliances to ensure they are water-wise and energy efficient.
5. How do you Travel
Can you make changes to your travel routine in 2023? Ask yourself and your family questions about how you can reduce travel costs and the environmental impact.
- Can you trade out your petrol vehicle for an EV
- Can you switch to riding a bicycle to Work or School
- Can you use shared public transport
- Can you ride share or carpool
- Can you walk to the shops instead of driving
- Can you walk to work, school, the friends' dinner party
- Can you take a train instead of a plane
Your choices matter and you, your family and friends and neighbours can make a difference every day by making small changes to how you choose to live and shop .