8 Sustainable Habits for 2022
January 22, 2022 | Ariana
Last Updated on January 22, 2022
I don’t know about you, but it’s hard to believe another year has passed and we have welcomed 2022. And what comes with a new year other than resolutions or intentions for the next year; maybe we want to tackle learning a new skill, create new hobbies, dive into a healthier way of living, adopt new (or reignite a few old) sustainable habits that are not only good for us but the environment.
Last year, for example, I made a pact to myself that I would get outside more, scheduling time that would take me away from the screens of my computer and phone. I spent more time outside with Nala, and unplugged from work. It left me feeling refreshed, renewed, and a bit closer to meeting my step goal.
This post was sponsored by MegaFood, all thoughts and opinions are my own. For more information please see my disclosure policy.
Now, I’m not super hardcore about creating New Years Resolutions. I do like to outline a few things I want to accomplish this year, and reassess with myself every quarter. So many new years resolutions are destined to fail because we either over commit, make the goals too hard, or don’t create a plan to succeed.
My major goal for the past three years has been a better work-life balance, and prioritizing my physical health. Each year, I do a better job at getting outside, working out, and eating better. It’s been a lonnnngggg and slow journey, but that’s OK. It’s more sustainable for me to take small steps and check in with myself each quarter than to try everything at once and crash and burn after 5 days.
Start with a few small goals and write out how you’re going to achieve them, and don’t be afraid to build on old habits. Making existing habits just a bit bigger and better has been the number one way to help me actually accomplish my goals.
Ok, this one is a pretty easy one, but it’s all about consistency. I feel so much better when I take my vitamins. As someone who eats a plant based diet, taking B vitamins (specifically B12) is essential in maintaining my energy levels throughout the day.
I’ve been taking Blood Builder iron supplement, an immune booster for, my Women’s One Daily multivitamin, and a probiotic. But, without fail, about a week or two after taking them consistently, I forget, skip a few days and then wind up on my period with very, very low energy because I’m lacking in iron and B vitamins.
This year, I want to keep the consistency up. I bought a cute pill container so I can set it out on my counter to see them and take them every day. This makes the task even easier, and I’m all about making things as easy as possible to achieve.
When it comes to vitamins, you know I love MegaFood. I’m always impressed by their quality and commitment to sustainable farming practices. MegaFood is a certified B Corporation which means they meet a strict code of social and environmental practices.
They also have a striking list of certifications like non-GMO project verified and it’s the first supplement brand to have its entire line certified glyphosate residue free. They also test for over 125 pesticides and herbicides as well as many others.
If you’re interested in stocking up on some high-quality supplements made from real food, you can get 20% off your order with the code GZW122.
If you work 60-70 hours a week it becomes difficult to eat as healthy as we’d like. We come home famished and make something fast, but the fast selection isn’t always the best choice. However, if you start taking vitamins you will still be feeding your body goodness even on the days you just can’t bring yourself to cook.
get active for a little bit every day:
Yeah, yeah, it’s cliche, but I did such a good job of it last year, and I want to keep it up! I want to continue this year to do my best to get outside every day (rain, shine or snow) and stick to my exercise routine.
Even if it’s just taking Nala on a walk around the block or a mini-dance party for one. I want to move my body a little bit every day. If exercising more is one of your goals, try to stick to baby steps like walking outside for a few minutes, dancing to a few favorite songs while making dinner in the kitchen, or doing push-ups and situps during a commercial break.
I’m working out pretty consistently 4 days a week, and getting outside with Nala at least once a day. But, I got into this routine by starting really small. So take it easy and don’t be too hard on yourself. Oh, and try to make the moving process as enjoyable as possible. I can never say no to Nala’s cute face or dancing to a favorite tune. This really helped me enjoy the process rather than dread it.
My health journey last year started with eating more. I’ve never really been into calorie counting, but after working out consistently for a year, I wasn’t gaining any muscle. After seriously tracking what I ate for six weeks, I realized I was skipping meals more often than I thought and eating far under what I should be eating for my height and activity level.
Eating more is something I’m still struggling with, but have added smoothies and protein shakes into my diet have really helped me meet my caloric goals. The key to meeting my macros is no surprise – meal prepping!
I fell out of this habit when I moved across the country, but am wanting to get back into it again. Meal prepping really sets me up for success. It allows me to get low waste, plant-based meals on the table incredibly fast. I love to prep protein-rich yogurt, legumes or beans, snacks like hummus and overnight oats, even almond milk. And, I can’t wait to start making my own seitan again.
Because while taking supplements and vitamins is wonderful, they aren’t a substitute for whole nutrition. “Food is always first for both the macronutrients and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that we all need to thrive. However, in modern times it’s challenging to get all of our key nutrients from diet alone. A supplement is intended to literally ‘supplement’ your healthy lifestyle, and is never a replacement for eating fresh whole foods daily. I believe that a high quality supplement can be a powerful ally, for filling in the inevitable gaps in our diet.” Erin Stokes, Naturopathic Doctor and Medical Director at MegaFood.
Prepping allows me to reduce packaging waste, food waste, rely less on convenience food and take out, and ensure I’m eating a balanced plant-based diet which are some of the most impactful eco friendly changes you can make in your personal life.
be active in local politics:
Now reducing food waste, eating more plant based, divesting, and flying less are some of the most impactful changes you can make on a personal level, but I want to think beyond that. Personally I feel I’ve mastered a lot of changes at home.
In 2016-2019 I served my local government with a three year term on the beautification commission where I helped work on litter legislation. I worked on a Styrofoam ban, an annual city wide clean up day, dump day to help prevent illegal dumping, community gardens, and more.
If you feel like you’ve mastered a lot of the personal and individual changes, I’d highly recommend you start looking into your own local government. You can be part of transitioning your community into a more sustainable one.
Moving to a new town means I have to start completely over. Attending more meetings (I just attended one on sustainable building codes), getting to know my city councilors, getting caught up on existing legislation and finding my way back into the habit.
My first stop is my city website to see when the city council meets, to see when the boards, commissions, and committees have meetings. After a quick google search, I see that there is a sustainability committee.
Attending those meetings would be a great place for me to start. If you’re interested in learning more about this process check out my blog post on getting involved in local government.
continue take action tuesday:
I’m still finding my footing after moving, and know it’s going to take time for me to get up-to-date on what’s happening locally and nationally. But, one of my major goals is to continue #TakeActionTuesday.
Last year, I started a bi-weekly series that had live videos, stories, and a call-to-action to help you get involved. These posts are dedicated to engaging politically, writing, and more specifically calling our legislators. It has been a ton of fun and a great monthly practice for anyone to get involved in. It’s a great way for us to use our voices together.
By quarter two of next year, I hope to be more settled and start this up again!
become a member of your local co-op and support local farmers:
Many towns have a local co-op or CSA where you can support local farmers and sustainable agriculture. For more information on sustainable agriculture see my blog post on why soil health is so important to the health of our planet and local communities.
Co-ops are dedicated to offering a variety of fruits, vegetables, and other products from local farmers and small businesses. As a bonus, the majority of co-ops also have a bulk food section where you can bring your own containers.
“Buying from local farms in the form of a CSA makes farming less risky because it enables farmers to plan and have steady, guaranteed sales and in return gets you super high quality, super fresh produce and you get to support your community! The less traveling your food needs to do to get to you shrinks your carbon footprint and also means that the food is likely more nutrient dense as a lot of produce is picked far before it’s ripe so that by the time it gets to you through the supply chain, it has time to ripen and not go bad. Buying from local farmers is a win for you and them and the planet.” Bethany Davis, Director of Social Impact at MegaFood.
This was one of my major goals last year, and I’m happy to report I read 52 books! I read a mix of fiction and books on sustainability. I run a book club where we read one book a season focused on sustainability. We have a zoom meeting where we meet for an hour to discuss the book and always have a great time.
Since I’m in the process of restoring our house built in the early 1800s, I have A LOT of time to listen to books, and am bolstering my list for 2022.
restoring my house and trying to do it as eco friendly as possible:
If you haven’t heard, we bought a house! And, we’re in the process of restoring it. It’s a loonnnnng road ahead, but we’re trying to be really thoughtful and environmentally conscious with our choices without completely breaking the bank.
Making your home more energy efficient is a fantastic way to reduce your footprint, and you don’t have to do anything drastic to start. Here’s 10 ways you can make your home more sustainable. And, don’t forget to check out my guide for apartments too!
*bonus* more music and theatre:
Many of you might know that I was a full-time professional actor. I’ve done quite a bit of film, Shakespeare, and musical theatre. With so much of this coming to a halt in 2020 and 2021, I really hope I can do a show this year.
These are a few of my goals for the year, I’d love to hear more about some of your resolutions? What’s one of your goals for this year?
And a huge shout out and thank you to MegaFood for sponsoring this post. As a reminder you can get 20% off with the code GZW122 at megafood.com.
Love these tips! I’m mostly continuously working on all of them (minus the house and theatre). I would love to be part of the book club! But being in Australia makes it a little tricky! Thanks for all your work! I love reading these! Keeps me accountable and I can work on things!