8 Low-Commitment Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions

8 Low-Commitment, Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions
Sustainable New Year's Resolutions

In all honesty, we’re completely over having generic New Year’s resolutions that require massive lifestyle changes like eliminating gluten or saving $10,000 in a year.

It’s clear that when you start to make little, impactful changes, those big resolutions just seem to fall into place and act as the cherry on top of what our small, sustainable New Year’s resolutions initially were set out to be.

Our belief is that our aspirations shouldn’t be made to appease to strangers. They should be tailored to what truly makes us and the planet healthier. 

We know. We’re getting all woo-woo on you. 

But the fact is, when we take on a sustainable life, we buy less, eat less, need less, and use less, which ultimately reduces our stress and helps us be happier in our personal and professional relationships. 

It’s an undeniably positive snowball effect.

It’s true that we’re imperfect and that amount of food, plastics, time, money, and energy we’ve personally wasted is incalculable. But the simple, overall goal is to just try to be better. 

In an effort to help you take on a slow, impactful lifestyle, try to choose one or two of our 8 Low-Commitment, Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions to facilitate in making you a better you for the start of a new decade. 

8 Low-Commitment Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions

1. Swap Out One Wasteful Item

Cotton swab abuser? Wet wipe junkie? Plastic bottle connoisseur?

We’re guilty of all three. Choose one and ditch it. 

Much like dieting, we can’t imagine giving up all of our favorite conveniences at once. It’s a sure-fire way to get overwhelmed and just give up your new resolution entirely. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with starting by taking out one wasteful item and working in the others at your own pace.

You could be well on your way to zero waste by 2021.

2. Choose One Local Company to Support

Much like choosing just one polluting product to part ways with, think of something you buy from a big box store regularly and see if you can find a local swap, like a bar of really good chocolate or fair-trade coffee.

We’ve gone on and on about why it’s important to shop local or B-Corp, but we also know that these items come at a much higher price. Try it out once a month and see how it makes you feel. If buying local works with your budget and schedule, you’re doing more for the planet than you realize.

3. Go Secondhand

It just so happens that whenever we wear second-hand clothes, people tend to compliment our ‘fits more. Sure, it takes more time to sift through racks at your local thrift store or clothing exchange, but it’s also something that can easily be converted into a hobby or even a career with apps like DePop.

Oftentimes you get higher quality clothing for less than the price of new fast fashion. And who doesn’t like having the most unique wardrobe of their friends? Call us vein, but if we can look good while living sustainably, we’ll take it.

4. Buy Less

Hate shopping altogether?

Great. This is the easiest way to live sustainably all year long. Consumerism is overwhelming. There’s always that new thing we “need” to buy or huge sale we just can’t miss. 

Unless you absolutely need it, skip it or just simply see how long you can go without it. Baby steps.

5. Make One Store-bought Item at Home

If you’ve ever lived in a foreign country, you know that many of the conveniences you’re used to having at your fingertips aren’t easily accessible to you anymore. Some view this as a downside, but for us, it was an opportunity to try our hand at being the creators of what we love.

Shoot your shot at recreating your favorite snack, skincare product, or houseware item. You might even find that people love your version more, resulting in that side hustle you always dreamed of.

6. Be Mindful

Much like buying less, this one’s free. 

Just simply be aware.

We say this a lot, and it’s undoubtedly easier said than done. But when you know what is wasteful and what isn’t, you’re a part of the solution.

Similarly to understanding the nutrition facts of your favorite IPA or baked goods, you can make a more educated decision as to how much you consume and the frequency in which you consume it.

Knowledge of brands, actions, and people who choose to partake in the sustainability movement helps you make better day-to-day decisions.

Start slow and incorporate more when you can.

7. Carpool, Walk, or Bike When You Can

Oh, how we miss living in a walkable and bike-friendly city. The amount we saved on gas and ride share’s helped us accumulate wealth without even trying.

We know this option isn’t convenient for everyone, but when you can carpool, walk, or bike your most common routes, you reap the benefits of an eco-friendly life, saved money, and health goals being met.

Three birds, one stone.

8. Say No

We had the privilege of hearing Arianna Huffington speak at the 2018 #GIRLBOSS Rally in Brooklyn. 

If there’s anything we took from that busy day, it was when she said, “‘No.’ is a complete sentence.”

Let 2020 be your opportunity to refuse stuff. Whether it be plans you don’t really want to attend, a receipt you’re just going to toss in the trash, or extra food you might not necessarily need to consume. 

Permitting yourself to refuse is a subtle form of both self-care and activism, two things you’ve likely been looking to incorporate into your routine. 

Take Things Slow

We really can’t imagine trying to take on more than one or two of these, so move slow. Maybe your sustainable New Year’s Resolution could even be to try one resolution a month. But in a culture of fast food, fast fashion, and fast cars, be the one who takes their time and does things right.

Which of these Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions have you tried? Which would you recommend to a friend or family member who’s got a problem with waste?

Let us know in the comments below. Happy Holidays, Slacktivists. See you in 2020.

PODCAST: How to Realistically Live a Sustainable Life with Kristiana Tarnuzzer

PODCAST: How to Realistically Live a Sustainable Life with Kristiana Tarnuzzer
kristiana tarnuzzer the cause bar how to live sustainable life

We get it.

Buzzwords like “sustainable” and “eco-friendly” start to lose their appeal after learning, in reality, how hard/expensive it can seem to make the switch.

We’ve laid out some suuuuper simple ways on how to realistically live a more sustainable life here. And the best part? All of ’em revolve around merely consuming less, and that’s free.

But actually seeing or listening to someone who implements those practices into everyday life always helps spark that jolt for those of us reluctant or scared to take the leap.

We really can’t blame you. It seems overwhelming, time-consuming, and even more expensive to support the brands that actually do give a damn. Especially with holiday giving coming up, you might feel even more pressure when it comes to putting your moolah where it matters.

And, hey. It’s possible (and totally normal) for you to even question whether one person buying one eco-conscious thing can truly make a difference.

As usual, we’re here to give you the very cheesy reminder that yes, it absolutely can.

But what’s more, is when you start to turn those little actions into habits, your peers tend to take notice.

This was indeed the case of our guest this week on Good Work FM, Kristiana Tarnuzzer, founder of The Cause Bar

What started out in 2018 as an LA-based digital and IRL community resource for supporting sustainable, ethical brands as well as conscious and impactful experiences, is quickly shifting into a program designed for aspiring philanthropists.

kristiana tarnuzzer the cause bar how to live sustainable life

Kristiana has made it her beeswax to focus on community service in both big and small ways, whether it be co-founding a New York City-based nonprofit and taking international mission trips, or simply just having her kids wrap birthday gifts for underserved children.

With her decades of experience in supporting conscious brands and trustworthy nonprofits, she is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to making a social impact of any size.

Beginning January 2020 The Cause Bar will undergo a powerful shift in igniting transformative change via a new initiative for aspiring philanthropists, appropriately named Set The Bar – a referral-based program designed to cultivate and ignite your authentic personal mission and method to giving while aligning you with tailored and curated social impact experiences.  

Listen to this week’s episode of Good Work FM to see how she got started:

How You Can Help

If you want to be a change-maker like Kristiana but lack the time or resources, then sign up for your charity subscription with Down to Donate to get on the path of micro-philanthropy.

GIVEAWAY: Over $300 Worth of Eco-Friendly Goods

GIVEAWAY: Over $300 Worth of Eco-Friendly Goods

You guys have been so good, you deserve to be rewarded. But not just any kind of reward, we’re talking hundreds of dollars worth of eco-friendly brands and brands that support nonprofits.

Why are we so eager to spoil you? Because we believe each purchase you make can do one of two things:

1.) It can impact the environment in a positive way

2.) It can impact the environment in a negative way.

We know you want your purchases to hold some positive power, but it’s possible you might not know where to start when it comes to supporting eco-friendly brands or brands that support nonprofits.

So we’ve partnered with some of the best ones out there to get you on your way to living a sustainable life that’s good for you, the planet, animals, and nonprofits.

One might say this is the best giveaway of all time.

So what do you have to do to enter? We’re glad you asked.

1.Go to our Instagram

2. Like the giveaway post. It’ll be our most recent post.

3. Follow @_downtodonate + at least one other account tagged in the picture.

4. Tag a friend in the comments below

Giveaway will be closed on 10/17/2019.

Now, if you really want to win you can follow one or more of the steps below to get more entries.

-Share our giveaway post on your IG stories and tag @_downtodonate (3 extra entries)

-Sign up for our newsletter (5 extra entries)

-Start your charity subscription service with Down to Donate (10 extra entries)

What’s included in the giveaway?

A gorgeous tote from Out of the Woods Bags, a pound of beans and a t-shirt from Dean’s Beans, two pairs of socks from BOLD Socks, beautifully scented toiletries from SoapBox Soaps, one seasonal issue of Womanly Mag, As many rolls of Who Gives a Crap TP as we can fit, two pairs of Voyce Threads socks, Etee reusable food wraps, $50 gift card from Gifts for Good, a Charity Charge T-Shirt and Koozies, a Down to Donate hat.

Good luck to each of you <3

Per Instagram rules, this promotion is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram, Inc. By entering, entrants confirm that they are 13+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram’s terms of use.

The Down Diaries: Vol.1

Hey. Welcome. We’re stoked to have you.

It’s particularly cool that you’re here because this means you’re ready to do something. This means you’ve been looking for a solution on how to make donating to nonprofits easier, and it’s possible that we’re the answer.

That’s dope. But what you’re doing is much bigger than just that.

Sure, mindlessly donating is awesome. I mean, we mindlessly do lots of things; sing, tap, spend, eat, eat, and eat. So, adding social good to that list almost makes you some kind of superhuman. As if you’re… unstoppable.

Okay. Let’s not get carried away.

This kind of thing we’re doing, Down to Donate, only works if we’re all in it together. Sure, you can boast over drinks about how you just signed up for this cool, new service that’s founded by two incredibly charming and talented young ladies, but what difference does that make if the person you’re telling that undeniably wonderful news to doesn’t care?

Well, here’s where you step in. It’s now your job to make them care.

If you’re anything like us, you’d sprinkle a couple facts on ‘em. Something like:

Bet ya didn’t know the majority of all donations in the U.S. are made by individuals, and around $400 billion are donated every year.


Did you know a nonprofit’s support base is made up less than 10% of recurring donations? Don’t you have, like, eight different subscription services already?

We’re a little sassy, so feel free to add your own friendly twang when it comes to spreading the word.

Today, this is the most information we’ve ever had available to us. And in the fastest amount of time. Tomorrow will out-do today. And the day after that will out-do tomorrow.

It’s our responsibility to educate the people about issues that both, directly and indirectly, affect us. This doesn’t have to be a political thing. It doesn’t have to be a look-at-me-I-donate-to-charities kind of thing either. Although, we think the whole being-humble-about-giving-back thing is kind of dated.

It does, however, have to be about being aware. But more importantly, doing something, even the smallest action based on that awareness.

You know what our goals are, and they’re honestly not that outlandish. We just need a few good people who are passionate about equality in order for this platform to work.

We’re pumped for what’s next. Keep on signing up.

Monica Weintraub