- JCI Blog
2023, The Year of Sustainable Resolutions
Updated: Jan 18
By Claire Del Prete
As we ponder our resolutions for the new year, it’s important for us to not only consider our personal well-being, but also the betterment of our planet. Climate experts predict that sustainability and climate tech will be at the forefront in 2023. This year, it’s time to build the sustainable habits that will follow us into the unpredictable future of climate change.
Start composting your food waste.
While major cities like San Francisco and Seattle have well-established city-wide compost collections, some metropolitan cities are still behind on their waste management. Composting our food waste lowers greenhouse gasses in two ways: it improves carbon sequestration in the soil and diverts organic waste from landfills, where the waste would otherwise break down and release methane emissions into our atmosphere. Plus, food waste acts as a fertilizer to promote growth in your yard. If you don’t have the garden or space to start your own, there are several options to compost your food waste here in Los Angeles. LA Compost, a community-based nonprofit, offers three composting options across a network of 34 locations in Los Angeles County––community compost hubs, compost co-ops, and farmers’ market drop-offs.
Build a sustainable capsule wardrobe, or try renting your clothes.
In this modern, social media-driven age, micro-trends whiz into fashion and go out of style just as quickly. Over 60% of today’s fabric fibers are synthetic and therefore will not decay when they enter a landfill, or worse, our ecosystem. With its accessibility and cheap prices, it’s easy to subscribe to “fast fashion” despite its disastrous effects on the environment and questionable labor sources. Its opposite, “slow fashion”, is a trend that’s here to stay.
“Slow fashion” entails only purchasing clothing made from domestically and sustainably-sourced materials, shopping second hand, or renting clothes. Using the “slow fashion” method, try building a capsule wardrobe, filled with versatile, classic, and well-made clothes. Clothing rental is another option if you want to try out a trend but don’t want to purchase an item you might only wear once.
Avoid single-use plastic.
A 2020 study analyzing global plastic waste production between 2010 and 2016 found that the United States contributed the largest amount of plastic waste, a majority of which ended up in landfills or our marine environments. By making a few swaps in our daily lives, we can contribute less of our personal plastic waste to these daunting statistics.
In recent years, many of us have adopted the reusable shopping bag, and now, it’s time to take it further with reusable bulk containers. Lots of popular grocery stores, like Whole Foods, have introduced bulk goods for purchase by weight. By bringing your own reusable glass or plastic containers to fill up on items like grains, legumes, or granola, your usage of single-use plastic in the kitchen will diminish. Similarly, ditch the Clorox bottles for refillable glass spray bottles and find your nearest zero-waste store for refills. While at the grocery store, another easy swap to consider is purchasing beeswax wraps instead of plastic wrap and biodegradable baggies instead of plastic baggies. For your bathroom, consider switching your bottled products for soap bars, shampoo bars, and other plastic-free cosmetic products, like lip balms in biodegradable packaging.
Be an advocate for the environment.
Climate change has started to appear in front of our law-makers and on our ballots. The passing of the Inflation Reduction Act in August of 2022 was a massive stride in the right direction for climate and health. However, with the Republicans’ takeover of the House, more aggressive climate legislation will likely need to arise from the state level. This year, more than ever, it will be imperative to vote in favor of our environment, to write letters to your state legislature and governor pushing for clean energy and vehicle emissions regulations, to ensure that the planet’s voice is heard by our legislators.