The new year is here and that means setting goals, resolutions, and action plans. You may already have yours picked out or maybe you’re still figuring out what to choose. Either way, consider adding a few of these 12 sustainable living skills to your list!
Composting isn’t as difficult as it may seem. After learning the basics, it’ll become a daily habit. You’ll contribute less to landfills and have more soil to use around your home. Read Composting 101: The Best Beginner Composting Tips to learn all the basics.
Recycling is a skill everyone should learn. For those few items that can’t be reused, composted, or repurposed, you can recycle them. Many people have mini recycling bins at home. You can keep them anywhere: kitchen, pantry, basement, even your garage. Mini recycling bins come in all shapes and sizes. If you have crates, containers, or baskets lying around without use, start using them to sort your recycling. When those bins get full, take them to a local recycling center. To learn more about recycling read Wishful Recycling: How Can We Improve How We Recycle.
Did you know 92 million tons of clothes end up in landfills each year? During 2023, learn the skill of mending clothes to reduce your contribution to this number. This skill is really an art form! You’re taking worn clothes and turning them back into beautiful pieces. Instead of throwing out ripped jeans, mend them with a patch or turn them into shorts.
Just like the skill of mending, sewing is a very important thing to learn both by hand and using a sewing machine. You can repurpose old pieces of clothes into new ones, fix cloth dog toys, sew up a teddy bear’s ripped leg, and more. Sewing reduces waste by simply reducing the number of new items needed.
Another few skills along the lines of sewing are knitting and crocheting. These skills allow you to make your own blankets, hats, gloves, and more. You can also use these skills to make handmade gifts for friends and family during the holidays, birthdays, or celebrations.
Windowsill Herb Growing
Growing herbs on your kitchen windowsill is an amazing skill to reduce waste, save money, and give you a feel for self-sustainment. There are tons of herb options to choose from. There’s mint, thyme, basil, cilantro, and so many more! These herbs can be used for cooking, herbal remedies, and more. There are so many resources online to help you learn how to grow herbs!
Just like growing your own herbs, gardening is very similar but on a much larger scale. If you live somewhere where outdoor gardening isn’t possible, no worries! Many people grow indoor or patio gardens. As long as you’ve got sunshine, soil, and water you can grow food at home. It’s important to grow what you and/or your family will use. From watermelons to jalapenos, you’ll have fresh produce at home! To learn more about gardening, read the Top 4 Zero Waste Gardening Tips.
In today’s day and age, soaps often are full of artificial fragrances, chemicals, and additives that are terrible for our health. Making soaps by hand is a skill like no other. It often seems too complicated but there are simple tutorials out there on the internet. If you haven’t tried natural soap bars, try a few out to see how you like them. The organic dragon fruit green tea bar soap is a great one to get started with.
After you learn the skill of soap making, gift a few bars to friends and family during the holidays or other celebrations. They’ll be so excited you made them by hand.
Learning about environmental preservation as a whole is a skill many should acquire. The more knowledge people have the better we can protect the earth we live on. A few things within this skill are volunteering for cleanups in your local area, conserving water, shopping small and sustainably, planting a tree, and consuming wisely. To learn about conscious shopping, read Eco-Friendly, Zero Waste Online Shopping.
Minimalism is the skill of living with less and not holding onto material goods. Many think it’s all or nothing with minimalism but that’s not true. If you’re not ready to go full speed ahead, try sorting through a few rooms and taking out anything you haven’t used in the past year. To learn more about minimalism, read Minimalism by Choice.
Cooking from Scratch
Cooking from scratch is a skill getting tossed under the rug. In today’s day and age, it’s easier to buy prepackaged foods or eat fast foods. Sadly this is not only harming our bodies but also harming our earth. By learning how to cook from scratch, you’ll learn how to make foods out of items from your garden. The Zero Waste Vegan Cookbook is a great resource for recipe ideas!
Food often goes bad quickly which creates a large amount of food waste in our landfills. Learning food preservation can help end that! From canning to dehydrating to freezing, there are tons of ways to preserve food. To learn more about preserving food, read 4 Easy Food Preservation Methods to Save The Season.
Learning how to DIY is not only fun but also helps reduce your shopping and consumption! There are endless tutorials online, especially on Pinterest. Instead of buying a brand-new coffee table for your living room, use old wood to make your own. Or if you’re looking for something a little more simple, try making your own Christmas decorations. There are endless opportunities with this skill.
Learning just one of these 12 skills will help you make a better impact on the environment. Sustainable living isn’t just about the earth, it’s also reducing cost, stress, and waste. If everyone learned just one of these 12 sustainable living skills, just think of how we could impact the world.