Another year has come and gone, and we can all agree it has been an interesting year. As we put 2016 to a close and welcome 2017 with optimism on being a better year, we create new goals for our self improvement. These resolutions do not have to be big life changing goals, in fact these five small lifestyle changes can make a huge impact on your well-being and the Earth in the long run.
Vancouver has many great secondhand shops with preloved gems. Why opt for a thrift store over buying new? In order to keep up with consumer demands, fast fashion is cheaply made in less-than-ideal working conditions, creating millions of litres of water waste and contamination. In addition, approximately 13 million tonnes of clothing are found in landfills a year.
To combat the fast fashion cycle, we can start recycling our clothing and buy second-hand. It may require some more digging, but you will find quality-made statement pieces at a low, discounted price. Some of the most loved Vancouver thrift shops include Turnabout, C’est La Vie, The Frock Shoppe, and of course Value Village.
Eat More Plantbased Foods
A simple way of feeling more energized in your daily life is to start introducing some plantbased meals into your diet. You do not have to dive right into a new diet change necessarily, however, starting slow with one vegetarian meal a day can make a difference. There are many diverse restaurants in Vancouver for food inspiration and food delivery options to help guide you.
While there are numerous eateries with vegan philosophy in the city, such as ZEND Conscious Lounge and Eternal Abundance, it is easy to order plantbased at most restaurants. Do not be afraid to let the server know, ask for alternatives and replacements, or check their online menus and put together a great veggie meal before you arrive.
Use Less Plastic
One of the easiest ways of creating a clutter-free household while simultaneously improving the environment, is using less plastic. Waste from plastic is extremely damaging for the planet since it is not biodegradable and is a hazard to animals. Reusable tote bags are available at most grocery stores, or you can bring any reusable bags from home. If you want to take it a step further, you can bring containers to put your bulk food items in for zero waste shopping.
Volunteer at an Animal Rescue & Shelter
If you are an animal lover and want to help abandoned animals and rescued animals, consider volunteering at Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA) and Richmond Animal Protection Society (RAPS). Both are non-profit organizations with no-kill policies. Volunteering for these organizations allows you to feed, clean, and interact with the animals. Since many of the cats and dogs brought in are rescued, they do require more care and specialized attention and in return they show their love unconditionally.
Clean Energy Transportation
It is no argument that car pollution destroys the Earth’s ozone layer, but you can help reduce gas emissions by seeking transportation alternatives. Car sharing is the newest trend with many services and apps such as Car2Go, flok, Evo, and Modo. It is a great option for inner city residents since owning a car is not necessary, but accessible if needed for distant travels. If you are in the market for a car, try looking into battery-run Tesla that holds very little environmental effect.
Living an ecofriendly lifestyle is something that takes small changes to maintain, but with practice, it becomes second nature. You will find it brings balance in every aspect of your life from better health, to less clutter obtained from over consumption.
Let 2017 be the year of You and the Earth.
Happy New Year!