Around this time of year, many of us are reflecting on the past and making plans for the future. If you’re thinking about sustainability when it comes to your New Year’s Resolution, this list might come in handy:

  1. Refuse single-use plastic (straws, bottles, coffee cups, cutlery and bags) – carry a water bottle, a set of cutlery, a keep cup and a canvas bag with you instead
  2. Switch to green electricity or get solar panels – if your current electricity provider doesn’t offer green power, switch to one that does, and use the Energy Made Easy website to compare offers
  3. Eat less meat – even just reducing it by one day per week helps you and the planet. Becoming a flexitarian (someone who eats less meat but doesn’t completely rule it out) is popular these days
  4. Grow your own something (herbs and some vegetables can be grown even in small spaces) or buy produce locally, such as a Green Connect veg box
  5. Buy things second-hand wherever possible – check out the Green Connect op shop if you haven’t already
  6. Reduce plastic packaging – buy in bulk such as from Flame Tree Co-op in Thirroul or The Source in Wollongong, and use beeswax wraps or reuseable containers instead of clingfilm
  7. Use active or public transport more – walk, bike, or take the bus or train rather than driving
  8. Fly less – holiday locally and dial in to interstate or international meetings instead of jumping on a plane
  9. Carbon offset through a program, by planting your own trees, or sponsor a tree at the Green Connect farm
  10. Recycle food waste through composting, a bokashi bin or a worm farm
  11. Save water using these tips
  12. Recycle as much as you can – check out the Recycling Near You website for help recycling more than just what goes in your yellow bin
  13. Maintain and repair things (bikes, appliances, etc) instead of throwing them away
  14. Join or start your own Freecycle group
  15. Join or start your own local Sustainability group – such as Sustainable Illawarra
  16. Commit to not buying any new clothes next year
  17. Do a clean up activity in your local community – follow Beach Clean Ups Illawarra or Surfrider Foundation South Coast
  18. Pick it up – when you see litter, pick up a few pieces and put them in the bin. It all makes a difference!

Whatever you do, Happy New Year 2020. We hope it is your happiest and most sustainable yet.