Friday, December 15, 2023

Kick off the New Year More Sustainably

Eat More Veggies and Fruits to Live Sustainably

This post provides tips and ideas to help you kick off the New Year more sustainably, and illustrates why that’s a brilliant idea.

Sustainable practices support ecological, human, and economic health and vitality. 

Sustainable living is based on the fact that living things are finite, and need to be nurtured wisely. 

Sustainable practices take a long-term view at ways natural and manufactured resources are consumed. It also looks for remedies for overconsumption and abuse. 

In simplest terms, sustainability is about our children and our grandchildren, and the world we will leave them.

Look below for ways we can reduce our carbon footprint and live more sustainably.

Swap out Traditional Foods for Plant-based Ones

The carbon footprint for those who eat a plant-based diet accounts for 75 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than those who eat more than 3.5 ounces of meat a day. 

New research from the University of Oxford indicates whole food vegan eaters cause significantly less harm to land, water, and biodiversity than omnivore eaters.

Experiment  with tried and true recipes, by decreasing portion size of animal sourced foods and increase amount of fruits, whole grains, and vegetables that you incorporate into menu planning. 

Make Your Bread or Pizza Dough

Be adventurous and try a new plant-based food recipe each week, perhaps one with a new grain like spelt or legume like lentils. Have some fun and try making homemade bread or pizza dough too. 

Add an extra serving of vegetables to your daily plate or add fruit to your breakfast and smoothies. 

After a few weeks of modifying portions, add a portion of a fruit and vegetable you don’t eat regularly. For example, add a kiwi to fruit salad or cauliflower to that stew, and give them a trail run.

Update Water Management Practices

Did you know water heaters account for about 18% of your home's energy use? Set the water temperature a few degrees lower, and wash clothes on cold

These habits can reduce your energy consumption, save money and natural resources, maintain the vibrancy of your clothes, and eliminate 860 lbs. of CO2 emissions a year.

Showering with cool water is actually incredibly beneficial for your skin, and it can boost your immune system and metabolism! 

Cutting down on time we spend running a bath, washing the car, or watering a lawn can conserve much water as well. 

Water Storage Tank and Sustainable Living

With droughts, wildfires, and shortage of water in the world, consider collecting rain water in a water storage tank. This type of container can store water for irrigation, farming, fire suppression, food preparation, and many other uses.

When we pause to consider that water is essential in sustaining life for all living creatures on our planet, we may foster a deeper sense of reverence and responsibility towards this finite natural resource.

Tips to Save Money and Water

Reduce or Eliminate Single-Use Products

Single-use products, including plastic shopping bags, plastic water bottles, and plastic take-out/take-away containers pollutes the planet. Bring your own reusable cloth grocery bags for shopping, non-plastic reusable water bottle for drinking water on the go, and reusable containers for meals to go.

At home, wash out and keep glass jars from food or use glass containers that can be washed and reused to store leftovers. 

Food Storage Containers that are Eco-friendly

If a single-use product is your only option, look for items that are made from recycled materials. 

When you order from the internet, make sure the products and  company you place the order with uses environmentally friendly packaging and shipping materials, and is working to be net zero.

Shop Smart and Track Spending

Be mindful about your belongings. Before you buy anything new, try to reinvent, repair, and renovate things you already own. 

Instead of tossing out old clothes, electronics, and household items, ask yourself whether it can be mended, altered, or cleaned up. 

 Sell things that crowd your closets, cabinets, and dresser drawers to a secondhand shop, swap with a friend, or donate items that no longer fit you to a local charity.

Donate, sell, or exchange clothing for sustainability

Many household items including plastic storage containers or plastic bottles contain harmful elements. Once they are dumped into a landfill, forever chemicals can leach into the soil or ground water or even end up in our reservoirs or the ocean. 

Finding a second home for unwanted items is a good way to avoid creating garbage. It also curtails production of new products, and reduces toxic emissions caused when garbage rots or fossil fuels are burned.

When you do need to purchase a tech product or service, try to refurbish one or support companies that have reached their goal of carbon neutrality or have taken steps to achieve it. For example, read about top carbon neutral companies in the digital space.

Live with Less and Do Your Part to Help Earth Survive

Some of the sustainable moves I suggest you adopt for the New Year may not come as second nature to you. 
See them for what they truly are. Things are not a reflection of your personality or achievements. They are simply objects that you have chosen to keep in your life.

If you resist the urge to buy stuff on impulse, it encourages you to live within your means, as well as reduce the demand for new products and resources required to produce them.

Living simply means you have less clutter, can locate and see what you have with appreciation, and live more harmoniously with our changing environment.

Releasing objects so others may have them, conserves natural resources, reduces waste, and promotes sustainable consumption habits.

Make Sustainability a Family Goal
Make Sustainability a Family Goal

Focus on experiences over material possessions. Spend time with loved ones and/or travel to new places by using eco-friendly modes of transportation whenever possible.

No matter how we view it, living more sustainably needs to be the new normal. Each one of us will decide if and how we do that. Please choose wisely. Our survival depends on it.

Do you think living more sustainably will save money as well as be eco-friendly? Please comment below.

What creative ideas do you have for living greener in the coming years? Please share them in the comments section below.

I read every comment I receive. Just remember to put no links in your comment, as it won't be published that way.

I post on the 1st and 15th of each month. Please add to your online reading list, as you'll get wellness and color tips at the place where a healthy lifestyle and colors intersect. 

See my Facebook page, Pinterest location, and Website too and give me some social love.

Wishing you health, happiness, and harmony in the coming years. Let's put more of our energy into  sustaining a peaceful, eco-friendly planet in the New Year. 

Colors 4 Health

This post has been shared at Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop!

This post has been shared at  senior-salon-pit-stop-294

This post has been shared at Whats-for-dinner-Sunday-link-up-453

Thrilled and honored. This post is a feature at the January 2024 Edition of the Hearth & Soul Link Party.

This post has been shared at Creative Muster Link-Up Party 570


  1. If I don’t need it or it is not a gift for someone, I don’t buy it. Things mean nothing unless they are gifts. I eat a mostly vegan diet (an occasional egg or dairy product) and I cook mostly from scratch. I use what things came in for my garbage. (Like a produce or bread bag or my oat milk carton.) I compost and recycle so there’s not much. Even so, plastic is a real problem. So much plastic waste.

    1. Sounds like you're doing a lot, and hope I gave you a few new ideas. Please let me know if you try anything else out. Happy Holidays and be well.

  2. Nancy- these are some great ideas! I find that I try to be sustainable but we travel a lot and that always throws a glitch in our plans. Every time I go away for 2 weeks, It takes me a week to get back on track. I try to eat healthy, give away things I have too much of or no longer can use.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment and visit. Perhaps you'd consider taking public transportation on an upcoming trip: buses, trolleybuses, trams (or light rail) and passenger trains, rapid transit (metro/subway/underground, etc.), and/or ferries. In any event each bit counts. Happy New Year!

    2. Nancy, I did not realize it was anonymous. It's Judee from Gluten Free A-Z Blog

    3. Glad you noticed that. Perhaps it's because you didn't sign into gmail or your Google account and/or some toggle in the comments section is clicked on or off. Please type your name after your comment and then publish. That's one way of overriding it. Wishing you a beautiful New Year and be well!

  3. This is an excellent post, Nancy, with so many excellent, really do-able ideas to help us all live more sustainably. Thank you for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Community. I'll be featuring this post at the January edition of the Hearth and Soul Link Party which goes live tomorrow (Sunday 7th).

  4. Apologies if this comment shows up twice, Nancy - it didn't look like it posted first time.This is an excellent post, full of so many do-able ideas to help us all live more sustainably. Thank you for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Community. I'll be featuring this post at the January edition of the Hearth and Soul Link Party which goes live tomorrow (Sunday 7th).

    1. Love participating in the Hearth and Soul Community and attending the Hearth and Soul Link Party. I'm delighted and honored my post is a feature this month. Wishing you and your readers the best New Year ever. Thanks so much for hosting the party and be well.

  5. I've always eaten lots of fruits and veggies, but I more fervently follow the Mediterranean Diet now. I have my own garden and nothing ever goes to waste. If I have too many veggies I juice them and the pulp goes into the compost which eventually goes back into the earth.

    1. Wonderful to learn that you are making such good use of your garden to live more sustainably by choosing not to waste food. I wrote a post about the subject titled "Food Waste Not Want Not" Checklist. I'd love it if you would look at the search bar and check it out. Have a great day.