Sustainable Living

10 Sustainable Lifestyle Changes to Make for the New Year

10 Sustainable Lifestyle Changes to Make for the New Year

Written in collaboration with Jeremy Bowler.

Whether you are new to sustainable living or have tried to improve your habits for several years, there is always room to improve. The start of a new year presents the perfect opportunity to begin a new chapter in eco-friendly living!

By making some small and sustainable lifestyle changes, you can protect the planet while also improving your personal wellness. Use the following 10 steps to success for increased sustainability.

#1. Improve your diet

Poor consumption and eating habits can be a major problem for the earth as well as your own personal health. This guide to sustainable eating will help you rethink what you put on your plate. From buying sustainably sourced foods to growing your own produce to reducing meat consumption, there are many little ways you can improve your diet for the planet!

#2. Shop local

It takes a lot of energy to transport products internationally, be it clothes, furniture, or any other item. Any opportunity to shop locally, or at least domestically, offers the opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint. It often means quicker delivery too.

Besides, it’s great to support small businesses that are naturally more sustainable than many global operations. There has never been a better time to support your local community.

Bonus points if you find local businesses that are also taking measures to operate more sustainably by using eco-friendly materials or reducing energy consumption!

NC State Farmers Market | Fairly Southern

#3. Lose dangerous habits

Dangerous habits like smoking aren’t just killing your body. They are killing the planet. Quitting smoking or more serious substance usage can be very beneficial for your personal health and for the earth. Visit to take charge today.

Aside from encouraging a more sustainable mindset, quitting smoking will teach you about self-improvement. In turn, you will feel healthier and happier than ever.

#4. Reduce your fuel consumption

There are too many cars on the roads, and the emissions from gasoline have wiped out a huge section of the ozone layer. Thankfully, you can reduce your damage by switching to an electric vehicle or a hybrid. Further steps include using public transportation or traveling by foot or bike more frequently.

Whether reducing the amount of fuel used per mile or the number of journeys is up to you. Either way, it is one of the smartest ways to adopt a sustainable life.

#5. Insulate your home

In truth, you can improve sustainability at home in several ways. However, lost energy is the biggest waste by far. Improving your insulation with new windows and doors can transform your property’s efficiency. Visit to learn more. Wall insulation helps too.

When your home is more efficient, you can make a major impact on your carbon footprint, especially since most people spend more time at home than any other setting.

#6. Use efficient home fixtures

Take home efficiency to the next level with energy-efficient appliances and fixtures. This could mean using low-flush toilets, efficient washing machines, and LED lights. Small changes bring big rewards in energy saved. Just by changing out a lightbulb, you are well on your way to making powerful and sustainable lifestyle changes!

#7. Recycle and repurpose items

One of the smartest ways to reduce your use of resources is to make them work harder. Recycling should be a natural feature in all of our lives. But you can take this to the next level with repurposing or upcycling. You can do this with various items at home and beyond.

By reusing your items, you’ll have less need to purchase new items. Fewer new purchases means less resources going into production. This is a huge win for the planet!

#8. Reduce plastic use

The damage caused by plastic has been heavily documented in recent years. Many big companies have acted, and you should too. Eliminate the use of plastic in your life as much as possible. Switching to metal straws, reusable travel mugs, and cardboard or glass packaging will all reduce your carbon footprint.

Reusable water bottle - How to Have an Eco-Friendly Tailgate - sustainable tailgating tips! | Fairly Southern

#9. Keep learning about sustainability

Sustainability isn’t a task that you can simply check off as done. It requires an ongoing commitment. Therefore, staying abreast of the latest developments is key. Reading may be helpful. You can learn a lot!

Aside from giving you an education about new developments, it reinforces your motivation for why you are making these changes.

Also, remember that making our world more environmentally friendly is a multi-faceted effort. It’s fine to look into aspects of the topic that interest you most! Finding areas that are naturally more engaging and interesting to you will help you have more of an impact. For example, if you’re interested in learning more about land conservation, focus on that, and consider this piece by Anne and Carl Deane. Awareness is the first step.

#10. Encourage others to join you

Finally, the biggest impact you can make is by influencing others to follow your lead. Be open and encouraging to friends and family. Share what you are learning and start conversations. Your little corner of the world will improve.

It takes a conscious effort to embrace these sustainable lifestyle changes. Once new habits have formed, though, they become a natural part of your existence. You will feel good about your lifestyle and the efforts you are making for the planet!

xoxo Laura (in collaboration with Jeremy Bowler)

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