5 Eco-Friendly New Year’s Resolutions for a Better You and Better Tomorrow

Happy new year sign


Thinking about a New Year’s resolution for 2023? 


Yearly surveys tell us that most people choose resolutions that focus on their health. The most popular resolutions are to exercise more, eat healthier, lose weight, and save money. 


But have you ever thought about making a resolution that benefits you and the planet? 


Turns out, many things that are better for the planet are better for you, too! Setting an eco-friendly new year’s resolution accomplishes both goals. (Win-win!) 


Studies show that roughly 41% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. 1 Yet, there’s always a similar discussion surrounding the conversation — Do resolutions actually work

Are New Year’s Resolutions Effective? 

The short answer: Yes! 


The full answer: We’re all human, so it’s a bit more complicated. 


When all is said and done, approximately 12% of resolution-setters will stick with it to the end of the year.1 But… should we really call the rest a failure?

What percentage of new year’s resolutions fail?


I’d like to encourage you to flip this question on its head. Let’s look at this glass half-full instead of half-empty.


👉 Turns out, halfway through the year about half (46%) of the people who set a New Year’s resolution are still succeeding! 


And interestingly: People who set goals rather than resolutions are much less likely to succeed — only 4% feel successful after 6 months!1


So even if many resolution-setters will “fail” at some point, it’s encouraging to think that for 6 months of the year, they continued those healthy habits and lifestyle changes. And isn’t 6 months better than none? 


When it comes to sustainability and protecting our planet, progress is better than perfection. You’ve probably heard it before, but one of our favorite sayings is: 


“We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” — Anne-Marie Bonneau


So while you may not make it to December 31st without a few hiccups, setting an eco-friendly New Year’s resolution is still progress! 


How to set yourself up for a successful eco-friendly New Year’s resolution: 

Notebook with the words New Years Resolution written


To determine how to succeed, it’s helpful to look at why resolutions often fail:


  1. According to a study by Discover Happy Habits, 35% of people who failed their New Year’s Resolution said they set unrealistic goals
  2. 33% of participants said they failed because they didn’t keep track of their progress. And… 
  3. 23% of participants said they simply forgot 😳

So if you strive to be successful this year, consider: 


  1. Set realistic resolutions. It’s wonderful to dream big, but habits are easier to create and stick with when they don’t turn your current lifestyle upside down. 
  2. Track your progress! Try marking it off on your calendar or create a printout for your fridge. 
  3. If you’re tracking your progress, you’re much less likely to forget about your resolution. But consider setting reminders in your phone, posting sticky notes on your desk, or finding a friend to hold you accountable!

Now you know the best practices to succeed, here are our top 5 eco-friendly New Year’s resolutions for 2023! 

Resolve to Eat for the Planet

Doesn’t sound so bad right? This one pairs well with resolutions to eat healthy or cook at home more, because both of those things are inherently good for the planet! 

Eco-Friendly Resolution #1: Go Meatless on Mondays

Photo of vegetarian burger


Eating meatless is a wonderful way to reduce your carbon footprint while also improving your health! 


  • Plant-based foods require less land and therefore have a significantly lower environmental footprint. (Exhibit A: Protein and calories from meat require 100x more land than equal nutrients from plant-based alternatives.2)
  • Plant-based diets are known to be nutrient-rich, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and aid in maintaining a healthy weight.3

We talked about making these resolutions realistic, right? So maybe going full vegetarian or vegan is a goal of yours, but it can be helpful to start small. Try going meatless on Mondays, or opt for vegetarian lunch on M/W/F. You can always overachieve, but it’s helpful to choose a resolution you can adhere to in order to build momentum and confidence in your new habits. 

Eco-Friendly Resolution #2: Cook a Catch-All Meal Every Week

This one is all about reducing food waste. Since agriculture is one of the leading causes of climate change, reducing food waste is an easy way to lower your carbon footprint — plus it reduces methane emissions from the landfill! 


Your wallet will thank you too, since the average American family throws away $1,600 a year in produce alone.4 So if your goal is to save money this year, try reducing your food waste with a “catch-all meal'' at the end of every week. What’s a catch-all meal? 


When you’re thinking about the meals and groceries for the week, plan to include one meal at the end of your week that incorporates all the leftover bits from your other recipes. Here are a few examples of meals that go well with a wide variety of meats, cheeses, and produce: 


  • Pasta (Works well with all types of meat, veggies, and cheeses. Especially effective for using up greens like spinach or kale)
  • Curry (Meats and veggies of all kinds work well in curry. And if you think you don’t like curry you just haven’t found your style yet! Check out yellow, red, green, panang… etc.) 
  • Stir Fry or Fried Rice (Pack in those leftover veggies!)
  • Soup or Stew (So many variations… check out these 35 Best Soup Recipes for ideas)
  • Pizza (Use up any remaining meats, cheeses, and condiments)

This practice is also great if your New Year’s resolution is to cook at home more! Which leads to our 3rd food-based eco-friendly resolution: 

Eco-Friendly Resolution #3: Make More Home Cooked Meals

Photo of person cooking at home in the kitchen


Here’s another one that will save you money, help you eat healthier, and lower your environmental impact! 


This can be a challenging resolution, because we all know the desire for delivery when you come home from a long day at the office… Remember, keep it realistic and achievable! 


Take a close look at your own habits (and be honest with yourself!) How often do you order delivery or take-out? Do you usually pack your own lunch or are you grabbing a premade sandwich from the coffee shop across the street? 


  • What if you cooked at home 3x/week?
  • What if you packed your own lunch Tuesday-Thursday?
  • What if you resolve to only get takeout on Mondays, after your weekly meal planning and grocery shopping? (Because let’s be honest, grocery shopping is draining and who wants to cook after the most exhausting day of the week?)

    Think about what’s realistic for you, and then set an eco-friendly New Year’s resolution you’re likely to succeed at! 

    Resolve to Pursue Plastic-Free 

    Another healthy and eco-friendly resolution is to always choose plastic-free options when available. 


    How is this better for you? Well, turns out… You eat about a credit card’s worth of plastic every week. 😳 This is because microplastics exist in everything from your food to water to consumer products. Since “every piece of plastic that has ever been created is still on our planet today,” plastics are everywhere in our ecosystem and food sources.5 


    Plastics have now shown up in our blood, breast milk, lungs, and colons just to name a few. Though the impacts are still being studied, expert ecotoxicologist Dick Vethaak calls it a “plastic time bomb.”5


    Choosing plastic-free alternatives throughout your life is an effective way to reduce your carbon footprint, while also improving your health! 

    Eco-Friendly Resolution #4: Pick Plastic-Free Packaging

    Food stored in glass mason jars


    There is so much unnecessary plastic in our world today. For instance, toilet paper does not need to be wrapped in plastic. At Cloud Paper, our bamboo toilet paper comes in plastic-free packaging that is 100% recyclable.


    In 2023 challenge yourself to always pick plastic-free packaging when there’s an available option. Maybe that’s toilet paper, or maybe that means picking unpackaged produce rather than pre-prepped veggies. It might mean choosing soap bars that haven’t been shrinkwrapped, or finding a tablet toothpaste rather than traditional tubes. 


    The options are endless, but whenever you have a choice, choosing plastic-free is the best option for the environment. But that’s not the only way to reduce plastic in your life…

    Eco-Friendly Resolution #5: Commit to Carrying Your Own Reusables

    Bringing your own bags, reusing water bottles, and saying No to straws have all become popular in the sustainability lifestyle, but how committed are you to the cause? 


    Your eco-friendly New Year’s resolution could be to never take a plastic bag, or to keep a clean metal straw in your car for every Dunkin’ visit. Try resolving to always tell delivery that you don’t need plastic forks. Want to eliminate styrofoam? Bring your own tupperware when you eat out so you can carry home your leftovers. 


    These resolutions are best fitted to your own lifestyle, so think about where you could make changes and what feels like a realistic resolution. 

    Embrace Your Eco-Friendly New Year’s Resolution

    Of course, there are plenty of other eco-friendly New Year’s resolutions you could choose. 


    • Always choose no-rush shipping
    • Shop from sustainable businesses
    • Eat local, in-season produce
    • Start a compost
    • Always recycle

    In the end, the best New Year’s resolution is the one that excites and inspires you. Choose something you want to accomplish and it will make it ten times easier to succeed. 


    And remember, if you fail — is it really a failure? Don’t let one mistake derail you! As long as you make progress toward eco-friendly habits, you’re contributing to a better tomorrow. 


    Thank you for choosing an eco-friendly New Year’s resolution for 2023! 



    1. Discover Happy Habits | Success and Failure Statistics
    2. Cloud Paper Blog | It’s Not a New Diet Fad: Why Environmental Experts Are Asking You to Go Meatless
    3. Medical News today | What To Know About Vegan Diets
    4. Recycle Track Systems | Food Waste in America in 2022
    5. Web MD | Microplastics and Health Risks