Home Blog Sustainable Style 13 Eco-Friendly New Year Resolutions in 2024 | Best Ideas for You!

13 Eco-Friendly New Year Resolutions in 2024 | Best Ideas for You!

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Today on my blog, I’m sharing 13 eco-friendly New Year resolutions for people who want to be more sustainable in 2024, but don’t know where to start. Here at PunkMed, I try to share my real world approaches to being more eco-friendly and sustainable, while also avoiding over-complicating things.

I know you actually WANT to act on your eco-friendly New Year resolutions, but we both know the more simple a resolution–the more likely you are to do it!

This blog post is all about eco-friendly new years resolutions

I’m Your Eco-Friendly BFF, Leslie

My name is Leslie, and I’m the founder of PunkMed! Based in Boston, Massachusetts, my team and I share my best tips, tutorials and recommendations in the areas of sustainability (including eco-friendly new year tips!), urban homesteading, and outdoor living. Think of me as your eco-friendly BFF, someone who shares helpful and actionable tips and advice–all while remaining non judgmental and supportive, as you figure things out. I’m certainly not perfect!

Hi, I’m Leslie (she/her). I hope you find helpful eco-friendly new years resolution ideas on my blog today.

Eco-Friendly New Year Resolutions

In today’s post, I’m sharing different options for eco-friendly New Year resolutions.  My goal with this blog post is to present different *OPTIONS* for you to choose from, and I don’t think you should try to tackle all 14 of these at once.

That would be super overwhelming.

Instead, I encourage you to read through the whole post, and maybe check out a few of the linked resources. Then, when you’re finished reading, I encourage you to choose the resolution that feels EASIEST. When endeavoring to be more eco-friendly in the new year, I get that some folks want to be super, “hardcore,” shall we say, but it’s actually better if you start with one habit to start out your more sustainable new year, and then slowly add on other habits.

In fact, I recommend that you put a reminder in your calendar (I use Google calendar), to come back to this post every month or so and *add* a habit, if you’d like! This way, you can ramp up your sustainable new year resolutions over all of 2024. That way, you can avoid burnout.

Let’s get into it!

#1 Eco-Friendly New Year Resolutions: Swap Out Your Paper Towels

Ok, to get my fun guide to eco-friendly New Year resolutions started, I wanted to start with something SUPER simple and easy to do. This resolution could be part of a larger “zero waste new years resolution,” but it also works as its own eco resolution!

In the United States, most households use a TON of paper towels. Some of my besties who are trying to be more green in 2024 have confessed to me that they go through 2 or 3 paper towel rolls in ONE week.

That’s a lot of trees, my friend!

But, instead of feeling bad and super guilty about this, we can instead choose a new path!

There are a few different options for this eco New Year resolution, so here are some ideas:

  • Get a roll of reusable paper towels, like this one, and then have a little basket under the sink for dirty ones. Every week or so, you can snag this basket when you wash towels!
  • If you know your family will NOT go for using cotton or reusable paper towels, try swapping out your disposable paper towels for a more eco-friendly alternative, like these recycled paper towels.

Finally, I’ve found that just by putting the paper towel roll *inside of* a cabinet, it gets used less. (I may be guilty of doing this during family holidays, shhh.) If paper towels aren’t readily available, people will often use a sponge or a dish rag!

#2 Eco-Friendly New Year Resolutions: Tackle One Room a Month

Ok, my next eco-friendly new year resolution is a BIT more involved, but it’s still pretty fun! Instead of trying to figure out how to be more sustainable or eco-friendly in your ENTIRE house starting Jan 1 (or whenever you start your new year resolutions), you can go room by room!

Every month in the first part of 2024, or every season (every 3-4 months), you can tackle a room in your house with the goal of making it more eco-friendly and sustainable.

From using eco-friendly products in your laundry, to tackling your backyard garden you’ve never really used–going room by room is more sustainable energetically AND a great sustainable new year resolution.

This process can look a variety of ways, but here are a few posts I’ve written from my own experience that you may find helpful:

Now, before you get overwhelmed (or overly excited, then burnt out!), remember that the goal here is small steps to lead a more sustainable life. You know that saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”? Well, neither is an eco-friendly home! Start small, where you are, and slowly build on past progress!

By 2024, you could totally transform your home–by going slowly and sustainably! 

#3 Eco-Friendly New Year Resolutions: Get a Counter Compost Caddy

Ok, this definitely isn’t the EASIEST eco-friendly new year resolution on the list, but I wanted to start with something a bit more out of the box, to get you thinking (and, dare I say, a little excited!).

Kitchen food waste made into compost can be EXCELLENT for your lawn, flowerbeds and vegetable garden (or your neighbor’s, if you’re not into gardening). Unfortunately, Americans throw TONS of perfectly good food into landfills every year, where it can’t be used by Mother Nature.

Instead of throwing away food scraps (or that bag of spinach you forgot about), you can put it in a sleek compost caddy, and then return those great nutrients to the earth.

Last year, I wrote this guide to compost caddies if you want to learn what’s out there, or you can just act on my top rec and snag the BEST kitchen compost caddy here!

#4 Eco-Friendly New Year Resolutions: Give Only “Green” Gifts

For the next easy eco-friendly New Year resolutions ideas, I wanted to offer a suggestion that is actually pretty easy to act on.

Make it a point in 2024 to ONLY give sustainable or eco-friendly gifts.

In the United States, we really “vote with our dollars,” and how we spend our money drastically impacts our planet. While it would be overwhelming to go 100% eco-warrior overnight, I think you could easily decide to “greenify” one category in your budget:

What gifts you buy.

I’ve written dozens (seriously, dozens!) of gift guides to help folks find more sustainable gifts, from sustainable gifts for Dad to super specific posts, like sustainable gifts for skincare lovers. By doing just a bit more research (often 2-3 minutes), you can find more sustainable and thoughtful presents for the loved ones in your life.

How we spend our dollars has a ripple effect, and your support of sustainably and ethically made goods is an excellent eco-friendly New Year resolution for the whole year!

#5 Eco-Friendly New Year Resolutions: Get Out the Drying Rack

Further down in my listicle guide to eco-friendly New Year resolutions, I share tips on how to make different rooms in your home more sustainable–including your laundry room!

Hang drying your clothes is an EXCELLENT eco New Year resolution for those new to being “eco warriors,” as it solves several problems at once:

  • Using a drying rack can lower your energy bill each month
  • Hang drying clothes can make them last longer (the weave of fabric and fibers gets stressed in a dryer)

Finding a good hanging rack can be hard, but my friend Brianne of The Huntswoman often recommends this drying rack for clothing. She’s piled multiple pairs of jeans, dresses, etc, on this and it hasn’t collapsed on her!

#6 Eco-Friendly New Year Resolutions: Add More Sustainable Designers to Your Wardrobe

Ok, I’m going to be honest with you on this one–many sustainability and eco-friendly bloggers talk about how fast fashion is killing the planet (and it is!), but that type of approach usually turns people off and makes them shut down.

Guilting, nagging, lambasting, etc, is not an effective way to create change.

SO, instead of feeling guilty about your past purchases, you can commit to an eco-friendly resolution in 2024 to focus on purchasing more sustainable garments, as well as higher quality garments that can last a long time.

There are dozens of ways you can put this eco-friendly resolution into practice, including:

  • Testing out a fashion subscription company like Nuuly or Rent the Runway, instead of buying statement pieces you won’t wear that often.
  • Allocating a specific percentage of your clothing budget, let’s say 30% or 50%, to buying only gently used clothing on websites like Poshmark–or thrifting IRL!
  • Investing in higher end and quality items for clothing you wear a lot, for example, denim jeans or your winter coat, that you wear a lot.
  • Getting your shoes resoled instead of throwing them away (visiting your neighborhood cobbler can be pretty fun!)

You don’t have to do ALL of these different fashion and clothing eco-friendly new years resolutions, BUT you can pick one or two to start!

And, if you ever need recommendations for a specific eco-friendly fashion brand for a specific item, say bridesmaid dresses or leather jackets, always feel free to send me a DM on Instagram! I’m happy to help.

#7 Eco-Friendly New Year Resolutions: Swap Out Your Toxic Cleaning Sprays

For my next eco-friendly resolution idea, I wanted to share this guide I wrote on how to make your own all-purpose cleaning spray that is more eco-friendly.

I am NOT one of those people who is going to tell you to go 100% green with your cleaning products (bleach is a pretty cool modern invention!), but I *am* one of those eco-warriors who would argue that you can make a more sustainable option at home!

I wrote this blog post after creating an Instagram Reel with my tips and process. I keep this cleaner on hand for my counters and various surfaces–it’s so easy. (Also, honestly, in my experience, vinegar cleans so many surfaces in my home BETTER than store bought products.)

This is ALSO a really great and easy eco-friendly New Year’s resolution if you want to do it ONCE–and not have to think about it again for months. You can use your new year excitement to make this all purpose cleaner, and then USE IT–no reminders or check ins required.

Check out this post on how to make all-purpose cleaning spray here!

#8 Eco-Friendly New Year Resolutions: Start a Vegetable Garden

Ok, friend, if you do not enjoy the outdoors (or even hanging out in the backyard), it’s ok to skip this one! Gardening takes a good amount of time, and it’s ok to enjoy the local farmer’s market if you’re an indoorsy type of person.

If, however, you’ve been wanting to try growing vegetables for years, then starting a garden can be a really great eco-friendly new year resolution!

Not only do you benefit from having healthy vegetables to eat, you can also control the pesticides and other inputs into your garden. Additionally, sometimes our food is shipped across states–even the COUNTRY–to get to us, so growing your own food is a great way to cut down on greenhouse gasses.

I’ve written a number of posts on how to start your own garden, and I’ve listed them in order here:

And here are a few “advanced” posts for people who want to level up their vegetable garden in the new year:

As always, if you have questions about your vegetable garden, feel free to send me a message on Instagram! I’m happy to share my knowledge, as well as point you to other resources if I’m not the expert on your particular question!

#9 Eco-Friendly New Year Resolutions: Check Facebook Marketplace FIRST

This next eco-friendly New Year resolution may surprise some people, but hang in there with me!

Disposable furniture and home goods are starting to fill our landfills, for various fascinating reasons. We don’t need to go into those reasons in my guide to eco New Year resolutions, other than to say–instead of buying NEW, see if someone in your neighborhood is selling what you need!

With people moving often for new job opportunities, many people sell furniture and other home goods on Facebook Marketplace. You can often buy gently used furniture for 20% of what it costs new!

Now, I’m a fan of investing in great high quality furniture, but if you’re looking for bookshelves from IKEA or you want to test out an under desk treadmill–Facebook Marketplace is the place to go!

#10 Eco-Friendly New Year Resolutions: Put Reusable Bags in Your Purse

This next eco friendly New Year’s resolution may seem obvious, but many people fail to accomplish this sustainability goal because they don’t get specific enough.

In the last few years, various cities and counties have banned plastic bags, because they’re terrible for the environment. Deciding to only shop with reusable bags is a great sustainable New Years resolution. This is a little thing that has a BIG impact!

But how many times have you gotten to the checkout counter, and realized, “Crap! I forgot my bags!”

I hate that feeling!

I’ve tried a few different things to help me remember to bring my reusable bags into the store, including:

  • Instead of storing reusable bags in the trunk, fold them up and put them in the driver’s side door. If they’re where you can see them, you’re more likely to use them!
  • Keep a few of these smaller reusable bag pouches in your purse! These are great for quick runs to Target or Walgreens! 
  • Bonus points: if you’re grocery shopping and want to avoid those plastic produce bags, I like these reusable organic cotton produce bags as a sustainable swap!
  • Remember, it’s ok to go back to your car! When you get your cart the next time you’re at the grocery store, remember–it’ll only take a few moments to go get bags from your car. Plastic bags can take 1,000 years (literally, 1,000 years!) to decompose, and it’s worth a few extra moments to go grab your reusable bags.

#11 Eco-Friendly New Year Resolutions: Swap Out Your Makeup Products

Sometimes when it comes to eco-friendly New Year resolutions, I worry that people will dramatically THROW AWAY their non-sustainable products.

But here’s the thing! You’ve already *bought* that product, so it makes sense to finish using it.

The one (ish) exception to this is non-toxic beauty products. If you love doing your makeup each day, then you are likely putting products on your face that could have negative consequences down the road.

A great sustainable New Years resolution for 2024 is to begin swapping out makeup and skincare products for more ethical and sustainable options–that are good for YOU and the environment!

You don’t need to overhaul all of your routines TODAY, but you can get started. Here are a few guides I’ve written on clean beauty to help you with this sustainable resolution:

#12 Eco-Friendly New Year Resolutions: Buy Local Meat

This next eco-friendly New Year resolution may surprise you–but hear me out! Many people, for various health reasons, eat meat.

I’m not going to get into a debate with my vegan and vegetarian readers on this one! <3

If you, like me, eat meat, then this is a great sustainable New Years resolution: Buy your meat locally.

Raising cattle, chickens, etc, can be very inhumane in the United States, as well as lead to problems for people who consume meat from factory farms. A great way to avoid this, and cut down on emissions on shipping meat, is to find a local rancher or farm in your area to support.

Many ranchers or farmers are part of co-ops, and a good number of these businesses deliver meat! (As well as eggs, cheese, produce, etc.)

Shopping local for your meat is a great eco-friendly new year resolution, that can also help small business owners in your community!

P.S. If you live in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, or Maine and are looking for a FANTASTIC local meat share I can’t recommend Walden Local Meats enough. 

#13 Eco-Friendly New Year Resolutions: Encourage Your Office to Be More Sustainable

This eco-friendly New Year resolution may not be doable for everyone, but depending on what your 9-5 is, you can create MASSIVE change with little effort.

Taking a look at your office and department, you could influence choices like:

  • Buying printer paper that’s been recycled
  • Encouraging your work to set up a shredder system where an outside vendor takes paper to be recycled
  • Asking HR or People Ops if it’s possible to set up a composting system in the cafeteria
  • Buying more ethical or eco-friendly corporate gifts
  • Encourage employee swag or new hire gifts to include a nice reusable water bottle
  • Replace low quality branded swag given out at conferences with a donation to a local non-profit

With this sustainable new years resolution, it’s ok to start small! When it comes to this eco New Year resolution, I usually recommend that people approach these changes as being something the customers will like, new hires care about, etc. Unfortunately, “saving the planet” can be a hard business sell.

This blog post was all about eco-friendly new years resolutions

Read these eco-friendly guides next:

Looking for more helpful sustainable living tips? Below, I’ve shared a number of posts that are packed with the very eco-friendly ideas:

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Pinterest is a great platform for learning how to be more eco-friendly in the new year! Join me on Pinterest here, to get all of my gift guides and tips for sustainable living.

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