My New Year resolution for sustainable lifestyle: 2021 edition

A few years ago I committed to live a sustainable lifestyle and while I am still trying to make a lot of changes in my life to living more productively and do something for the planet and myself. I thought, it would be suitable to share some of my resolutions and tactics in the hope of inspiring others to make more sustainable choices in their life.

We are hearing the word “sustainable” a lot these days by the companies and brands but are they really sustainable or just green washing? I know a lot of people want to live their life more sustainably but can’t figure out where to start. Trust me, it was tough for me as well but if we really want to do something in our life then the nothing can stop us. Also, its not that tough as it looks like. Here’s a list of 10 resolutions I want to procure this year:

  • Reduce Plastic Use: If there is one thing we can do to get started on a journey to this sustainable lifestyle, it would be to reduce plastic use on a daily basis. Plastic is one of the biggest problem and we all know how awful it is for the environment. It always end up in landfills destroying our ocean, river and basically, it’s everywhere in our place. Even though it’s really something we can’t get rid of completely but there are some alternatives we have to switch with and also, some of our habits we need to change. Like saying “no” to plastic bags and always carry a reusable grocery bag with us, Stopped buying bottled water (there is a video made by CBSN on plastic water bottle. Everyone should watch it) and start carrying their reusable water bottle which can be stainless steel, glass and other bottles made with natural fibres. Always say no to plastic cutlery like plastic straw, spoon etc. and carry your own that you have at your home made of steel, bamboo, glass etc. And since hygiene is so important, this habit will also save us from other human touch. There are many other ways to avoid plastic in our daily life like not buying groceries wrapped in plastic and buying organic food, when we are out and feel lazy to cook, instead of asking to pack with plastic we can always carry our silicon bag which is an amazing alternative and amazing one time investment. People often tell me that these eco-friendly products are so costly but can’t you see, it’s a one time investment and will last for lifetime.
  • Reduce the use of chemical in my household: A lot of cleaning products are loaded with harmful chemical which is not only bad for our environment but also for our habits. For this, there are so many eco-friendly Indian brands we can switch to. Like
  • Buy local and seasonal produce: I am trying to eat more healthy food these days and eating local and mostly, seasonal is a great option for a healthier and sustainable life. Also, there are tons of recipe out there for every single fruits and veggies. I am learning to grow herbs and veggies in my garden which is really fun.
  • Eat less meat: These livestock industry is really awful in every way, Not only eating too much of meat is bad for our health but it is also bad for our environment because they release the greenhouse gasses and you know what those gasses does to the ozone layer. From a year, I was having up and downs with my parents because they won’t let be go vegan. Only Indian kids living with Indian parents can understand this, we are not allowed to do anything no matter what our age is. Anyway, after going through a lot with my parents and showing how guilty I feel when I eat meat, I am a vegetarian now. But this year, I will try to reduce my diary consumption as well. And if someone is hard-core non vegetarian, I always suggest them to implement something like “meatless Monday” like in Hinduism, they have a day when they are not allowed to eat non-veg which I learnt from my friends
  • Embracing minimalism: The term minimalism has grown drastically in the last few years but do you know the exact meaning of minimalism. Minimalism isn’t only buying things with less print or whatsoever. Its more about buying more consciously and not buying things in the name of fashion. Slow fashion can be a great example of minimalism.
  • Be more mindful while shopping: Textile industry is only one of the polluted industry but it also exploit human rights and has so many endless issues. So, slow fashion is one of the movements which I joined two years ago and always prefer to check the values, beliefs and other information of the brands. It’s always better to buy from a local ethical brands rather than buying from fast fashion brands. Many people even complain that they don’t find their size and that’s the reason they choose fast fashion brands over the local one. I understand, Even when I was underweight, I wasn’t able to find my clothing size and had to sew my clothes. I understand, fast fashion brands are great, they are not that pricey, has so many variety, always on discount etc. but those clothes ain’t going to help you breathe when those clothes that you wore end up in landfill and destroy our eco system. And even if you think you are having benefits from those discounts, you might want to look again because with so much of discount, they are neither neither give quality products nor paying enough wages to the people who make these cheap quality clothes. So, be aware and train yourself to be a conscious consumer. Trust me, I have an MBA degree with major in finance and marketing and I have read so many case studies how these companies trick your brain and use different psychology techniques to make you buy their products. All I am telling you is to save your work hard money and use it on the use in the products that will benefit you in the long run.
  • Drive Less: Transportation is California’s largest source of carbon dioxide gas, the primary contributor to climate change. So, I prefer public transportation and I barely go out which makes it easy for me. I wish, I could normalize riding bicycle in my area, people will laugh and that will definitely make me feel uncomfortable and thinking about it makes me feel uncomfortable. Maybe, I have to learn how to not care about others viewpoint and do what I want to do which will a few more years maybe!
  • Choose to be more sustainable traveler: Use public transportation, in case of short distance, walking/cycling is a great option; In simple words, always choose transport which helps you to maintain your carbon footprint. One of my friend has this neighbour who is 70+ years old, he always take his car to masjid which is 3-4 minutes walking distance. Don’t worry he isn’t sick or anything, or else he wouldn’t be able to drive his car. He could just walk right? Walking is a great option for our health and environment as well.
  • Discuss more with family and educate each other regarding this lifestyle: Well every time I try to discuss about environment and climate change with my family, it always end in disaster. I am always the one shouting because my parents don’t bother to understand what I try to tell them. They will give one reply to everything I say, “Look everyone is doing it, what will make any difference if only we are the one doing it” it’s like saying “It’s only one plastic bag” by 1 billion people. I am finding ways to change my parents’ habit. I know a lot of people who would rather buy a plastic toothbrush costing 30 rupees rather than a bamboo toothbrush costing 80-100 rupees. Even though, I try my best not to insult them or be harsh and always remind them what kind of world we want to leave for the upcoming generation and corona virus, Bhopal gas disaster, Chernobyl gas disaster, Australian wildfires, Flood every year, Drought etc are great example but some people will always find an excuse and will say, ” this is how nature works”, ” god is punishing us”, “we only live once” etc. So, Instead of taking too much of headache, I maintain my life and try to be a good example for the people who are trying their best or don’t know where to start living a sustainable life for their health and environment.

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