5 Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions For 2024

We’ve all heard the saying, “New Year, New Me”. Whether you’re setting personal goals for yourself or creating a vision board of the life you want, another great way to start the new year is by reflecting on ways that we can contribute to a healthier planet and adopting sustainable resolutions that promote positive change.

A 2024 goals planner, cup of coffee, pen, and glasses

Here are five sustainable resolutions for you to consider:

1)     Conserve energy at home.

Your first step to leading a sustainable life in Alberta begins with adopting energy-efficient habits at home. Reduce your energy consumption by switching to LED light bulbs, installing a programmable thermostat, properly insulating your home, and upgrading to energy-efficient appliances. A simple habit of turning off lights and electronic devices when not in use goes a long way too. Find more seasonal energy saving tips here.

2)     Generate your own solar power.

As much as you can try to reduce your energy consumption, you are still going to need power to run your home. Since electricity in Alberta primarily comes from non-renewable sources, you can choose to reduce your energy usage carbon footprint by installing a solar PV system. Alberta has a world-class solar resource, so why not take advantage of this abundant sunshine all year round to generate your own clean power at home? Best of all, you can now apply for a $5,000 Canada Greener Homes grant and up to $40,000 interest-free loan to cover the costs of your solar PV system. Take this quiz to find out if your home is suitable for solar.

3)     Support farmers in Alberta by buying local.

We have a thriving and productive agricultural sector here in Alberta. By buying more locally produced and seasonal foods, you are not only supporting local farmers but also reducing the carbon footprint associated with transporting food over long distances. Explore farmers' markets, join a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) initiative, become a member of a food co-operative, or visit nearby farms for your grocery needs.

4)     Cut out single-use plastics and reduce waste.

Compared to a couple years ago, it has now become a lot easier for us to reduce our reliance on single-use plastics, such as plastic bags, water bottles, and disposable cutlery. Most grocery stores in Alberta have already stopped offering plastic bags as of last year, requiring shoppers to bring their own reusable bags. Restaurants and coffee chains have also replaced their plastic ware with compostable straws, cups and take out boxes. By making the switch to reusable alternatives like stainless steel water bottles, cloth bags, and glass containers, we can all collectively decrease plastic waste and help protect the environment.

5)     Practice mindful consumption.

Before buying something new, ask yourself if you really need it and if it aligns with your values. Consider buying second-hand or from local sources to reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing, transportation, and landfills. Fast fashion, for instance, may offer affordability and accessibility to the latest styles, but it has led to significant environmental issues, labour exploitation and a disposable clothing culture. By being mindful of your consumption habits, you can help contribute towards a more sustainable and responsible circular economy. If you’re looking for affordable second-hand clothing, check out these popular thrift stores in Calgary and Edmonton.

The easiest way to stick to these resolutions is to choose ones that align with your lifestyle and values. At the end of the day, sustainability is a journey. Any small and consistent effort that you make, will create a positive impact for the environment and your community.