Now more than ever, it’s important that we as individuals take steps toward leading more sustainable, earth-friendly lifestyles. Humans have impacted the environment, and there are things we can do in our own lives to help reduce our carbon footprint. The New Year is the best time to implement change in your life, and if you’re looking for ways to practice sustainability this year, I’ve got ‘em! Here are 15 ways to practice sustainability in 2018.

Try Meatless Mondays

  1. Raising animals for food uses an insane amount of water and energy. By cutting out meat once a week, you can save up to 2,400 gallons of water! (It takes 2,400 gallons of water to raise one pound of beef.)

  2. Switch to reusable shopping bags.

  3. Plastic shopping bags are incredibly wasteful, and often end up sitting in an even bigger plastic bag under your kitchen sink. Carry reusable shopping bags in your car to help cut down on waste. 

  4. Switch to a reusable water bottle

  5. The average American uses 167 disposable water bottles in a year. That’s A LOT of plastic. Switch to a BPA-free reusable water bottle to reduce your individual waste.

  6. Buy products with less packaging

  7. The packaging from your shampoo and your food will end up in a landfill. Opt for products with less packaging.

  8. Eat locally

  9. When you go to the grocery store, try to buy local products. It takes massive amounts of energy to ship food from different parts of the world and the country!

  10. Buy a Brita

  11. Instead of keeping water bottles in the house, buy a Brita filter to help you cut down on waste and enable you to drink your water from the tap. 

  12. Use reusable rags around the house instead of paper towels

  13. Paper towels create a lot of waste. By switching to rags for cleaning, you can save a lot of paper. 

  14. Get a reusable straw

  15. Plastic straws are incredibly wasteful. Try nabbing a reusable straw to carry around with you, or just skip the straw! 

  16. Compost

  17. If you can, try composting. This is a great way to keep some of your waste from going into a landfill, and if you garden, you’ll have fertile soil! 

  18. Start using natural, homemade cleaners

  19. If you don’t feel comfortable making your own cleaners, try buying all-natural cleaners at the grocery store. You can cut down on packaging, costs, and reduce the number of chemicals that are introduced into the water cycle! 

  20. Go paperless

  21. By switching to paperless billing, you can save A LOT of paper. 

  22. Carpool or use public transportation more often

  23. If the city you live in doesn’t have a good public transportation system, try carpooling to cut down on your carbon emissions.

  24. Donate your clothes, don’t throw them away

  25. It takes a lot of energy to make and sell clothing. By donating your clothing instead of throwing it away, you can cut down on waste!

  26. Buy fairtrade products

  27. Paying attention to the labels of the things you buy can have big results. Buying products that have sustainable origins is one way to practice and support sustainability. 

  28. Switch to green energy

  29. Change your light bulbs to energy-efficient light bulbs. LED and fluorescent lights save energy and money.