Why not dedicate 2017 to living a more eco-friendly lifestyle? Here are some resolutions you should consider for the New Year…

Every New Year, people around the world brainstorm ways they can improve themselves and then try to stick to these resolutions for as long as possible after the ball drops at midnight. Many people choose losing weight, saving more money, or stopping a bad habit as their resolution, but this year, try something different. Why not dedicate 2017 to living a more eco-friendly lifestyle? Here are some resolutions you should consider for the New Year:

Donate things you don’t need.

You don’t have to wait until the spring to do some major cleaning in your home. Make it a resolution to go through all of your belongings and sort out what you will no longer use. Take the pile of unwanted items and donate them to a charity in your community. This is a great way to reuse items you no longer need instead of tossing them in the trash.

Go through the mail.

On January 1st, go through your mail on a daily basis and make one pile of junk mail, and another pile of bills and notifications that you need. Once you know who is sending you junk mail, enroll with a service such as Catalog Choice that will allow you to put an end to junk mail once and for all.

Now that the junk mail is out of the way, it’s time to move onto your second pile. Go through the letters and contact each company to let them know you would like to switch to paperless communication only. This will greatly reduce the amount of mail you receive—and the amount of paper you have to recycle!

Learn more about what can and cannot be recycled.

When you sort through all of your garbage, do you find yourself questioning whether someone is recyclable? If you’re unsure, where do you end up tossing the item—in the trash or the recycle bin? Many people throw items they’re unsure of in the recycling bin, but if it’s not recyclable, it could end up contaminating other items or damaging equipment at the recycling center. So, this New Year, dedicate time to learning more about what is and is not recyclable. For example, did you know most recycling centers will not accept plastic grocery bags? This is a common mistake that people make, but you can learn to correct it—and many others—in the New Year with this resolution!

Bring your own containers.

Are you going out for coffee? Bring a reusable mug and ask the coffee shop to use your cup instead of wasting another plastic or paper one of theirs. The next time you go out to dinner, bring a small Tupperware container in your bag and ask the restaurant to put your leftovers in your container instead of giving you a disposable Styrofoam box. Making this small change can help you drastically reduce the amount of waste you are creating in your day-to-day life.

Which one of these resolutions will you make your own in January? Share your favorite in the comments below!