Updated: Jan 7
Every year when January 1st rolls around, we put pressure on ourselves to start fresh. We get a gym membership, swear off carbs, declare sobriety, and deep clean the houses. These resolutions hold promise in transforming our individual lives and changing our outlooks. We at White Rhino know these resolutions can be cliche or hard to stick to, but there’s nothing wrong with creating goals and boundaries for yourself as we head into the new year. This post-holiday season, in addition to these typical resolutions, we’re focusing on ways that we can become more mindful consumers. This means considering our consumption and shopping practices and their impact on the world at large.
Don’t worry - this list won’t have anything that you can’t stick to. In order from easiest resolution to more challenging:
1. Follow brands that align with your values
This one is one you can do today, and it’s purging your Insta account from brands that don’t align with your consumption values. Figure out what boundaries you want to put around your consumption - if you want to buy from sustainable clothing companies, find ones that post content related to their sustainability practices. If you want to eat less meat, follow vegetarian or vegan accounts that post delicious recipes. By changing the messages you see every day, it’s easier to create habits that you’ll stick with on the journey to becoming a more mindful consumer.
2. Do your research
There is a ton of information out there at the drop of a Google search. By researching various brands, you can start to create a list of places you want to shop at in 2021. We recommend checking out sites like Good on You, which ranks clothing brands based on their sustainability and ethical practices, or Imperfect Foods, a grocery delivery platform designed to eliminate food waste. There’s no shortage of platforms and sites that have made it easier to become a more mindful consumer with little effort.
3. Use your recycling bin
We know you have one, but if you’re anything like us, sometimes it’s easy to shy away from recycling efforts at home. Read up on recycling procedures in your area - do milk jugs need to be washed out? What types of glass and plastic do they accept? Once you have these answers, incorporate recycling into your everyday routine. If you have a small bin, keep it somewhere in your kitchen for easy disposal. If you have a large bin, leave it next to your regular trash can as a reminder to keep up your recycling efforts. 91% of plastic isn’t recycled, and while this stat doesn’t just fall to the consumer, every little bit helps.
4. Thrift, Upcycle, Donate
With tons of different online thrifting options out there, it’s easier than ever to search for styles that have already been brought into the fashion ecosystem. Thrifting is a great option for vintage trends and a way to reuse items that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Upcycling is a version of this, where old styles are repurposed into new ones. If you’re not into used clothing or don’t have a knack for repurposing your own clothing, in the new year we recommend donating clothing items that you no longer wear and replacing them with higher-quality items from sustainable brands. By donating clothing, you’re allowing someone else to reuse stuff you no longer have space for while eliminating waste.
5. Ditch disposables
Getting rid of plastic use is the toughest one on our list, and for good reason. Most items we buy have some variation of plastics attached to them, whether that’s in the product or the packaging. With shipping becoming the preferred method of shopping, plastic waste is more prevalent than ever. With this in mind, it’s important to search for ways we can mindfully consume while mitigating plastic waste. We recommend swapping bottled water for tap as a starting point, paying extra for brands that use sustainable shipping materials, and shopping in-person as much as possible to start. Many food delivery services allow you to opt-out of plastic cutlery, another small step we recommend the next time you order takeout. By being cognizant of plastic use, we can reduce the amount percolating through the environment.
We hope these resolutions aren’t too daunting, and that you consider these suggestions towards becoming more mindful consumers in 2021. From all of us at White Rhino, have a fabulous New Year!
What are your New Year's Resolutions? Let us know in the comments below.
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