When I look back at annual lists of people’s New Year’s resolutions, I notice a common thread. For the most part, resolutions are all about you or me.

The one usually at the top of the list is to lose weight. Then you’ll see exercise more, go to the gym, eat healthier meals, find a way to relieve stress — we’ve all made such promises to ourselves.

There is nothing wrong with trying to improve your health, your lifestyle, or your attitude. In fact, last year I came up with 175 suggestions for doing just that. I also shared some helpful tips from health coach Deb Nelson on how to make and not break your resolutions.

Resolutions for the planet

But this year, I got to thinking about some resolutions that might not only be good for the individual but also for our planet. If you like the idea but aren’t sure what you could be doing, I’ve started a list for you (and me).

This is a short and simple list. I invite you to add your own suggestions in the comment section. We’re in this together, so I think we ought to be sharing our ideas.

Resolutions for the planet

  1. Stop washing your clothes with harsh laundry detergents. The chemicals in them can be irritating, as well as harmful to you and the environment. Try switching to eco-friendly laundry strips that are free from phosphates, dyes, and formaldehyde. We’ve been using Tru Earth strips for a few years now and they work great.
  2. Stop using dryer sheets. I thought I couldn’t live without them because there’d be so much static. Has not been a problem. If it is for you, try using dryer balls or these other suggestions.
  3. Consider alternatives to plastic.
    • Reusable shopping bags
    • Stainless steel, bamboo, paper, silicone straws or none at all
    • Resuable coffee cups/lids
    • Bamboo utensils or chopsticks when appropriate
    • Reusable water bottle
  4. Buy in bulk.
  5. Recycle as much as you can.
  6. Go paperless.
  7. Eat local and seasonal foods.
  8. Eat more plants, less meat.
  9. Buy only what you need, look for sustainable brands.
  10. Turn off the water when you’re brushing your teeth
  11. Choose energy efficient appliances.
  12. Sign up for a farm share.
  13. Buy second-hand instead of brand new — even for gifts.
  14. If/when possible, walk, ride your bike, or take public transport.
  15. Consider getting an electric car.
  16. Turn off the lights when you’re not using them or leave the room.
  17. Install a programmable thermostat to turn off the heat/air conditioning when you’re not home.
  18. Start composting. Do it at home or see if curbside or drop off composting is available in your area.
  19. Take this test to see how you can lower your carbon footprint.
  20. Use your voice to ask questions and demand accountability from lawmakers and other leaders.

This is our home, this planet Earth. We should all be doing whatever we can to ensure that it stays as healthy as possible so that our children and grandchildren and generations to come will also be able to call it home.

Happy New Year 2022!