Sustainability Accomplishments of 2020 and Goals for 2021

Even though 2020 was a dumpster fire of a year, I actually accomplished quite a few of the sustainable living goals that have been on my to-do list for some time. This was mainly because I’ve barely stepped out of the house since early March and had far more free time than usual, but I’m proud of myself nevertheless! Over the past year, I:

  • Started growing herbs and microgreens indoors.
  • Set-up and maintained an indoor compost bin.
  • Bought most of my pantry staples from bulk bins for low-waste groceries.
  • Bought most of my produce from either my local farmer’s market or Imperfect Foods, thereby supporting local farmers and reducing food waste (if you’re not familiar with Imperfect Foods, read my review here, and get $10 off your first box here).
  • Learned to cook more plant-based meals.
  • Conducted a plastic audit through The Everyday Plastic Survey and worked to reduce my household waste.
  • Switched to recycled, plastic-free toilet paper from Who Gives A Crap (if you’d like to try it out, click here to get $10 off your first order).
  • Switched to solid dish soap and a locally-grown loofah for zero-waste dishwashing.
  • Switched to reuseable cotton rounds.
  • Gave experiential or upcycled holiday gifts.

Maintaining all of these practices over the long-term is the key to living more sustainably, but now that I’ve begun, it should be easy to continue them in 2021. There are of course many, many other things I could be doing to reduce waste and lower my carbon footprint. To that end, I’ve chosen five new sustainable lifestyle goals for the new year. I plan to:

  • Get a bidet.
  • Start an outdoor vegetable garden. This hinges on moving to new place that has outdoor space, which will hopefully happen in the spring!
  • Start buying non-food items from bulk bins, like laundry detergent and conditioner. I recently discovered a local store that offers these items in bulk, and I’m stoked to try them out!
  • Switch to a safety razor with plastic-free blades. I know, I know, I should have done this ages ago, but I’ve been very slowly using up my collection of plastic-packaged blades.
  • Set up a clothing line to dry clothes outdoors, instead of in a clothes dryer. This is also contingent on us moving to a place with a backyard or outdoor space of some kind. It would certainly be possible to hang clothes to dry indoors, but it would be so impractical in our tiny apartment that I’m going to hold off on this one a little longer.

Living more sustainably takes time and commitment; it doesn’t happen overnight. But by choosing just a few small changes to make, and then later a few more, you can slowly reduce your carbon footprint and make the world a better place, without feeling overwhelmed.

Now it’s your turn: Do you have any personal sustainability goals for 2021? Did you take any steps toward a more sustainable lifestyle in 2020?

This post contains referral links. All opinions expressed are my own.

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