By Alexis Durocher. Alexis is a Marketing and Outreach Representative with Energy Sciences. The firm helps clients meet energy challenges with practical solutions that reduce waste and increase net operating income.

Having New Year’s resolutions help you start the new year with a vision of how you will grow throughout the year. Many people choose resolutions focusing on better health, spending time with family, and other positive lifestyle changes. You could also add energy and sustainability resolutions to your list this year to improve your personal impact on the planet.

Try one of these sustainable New Year’s resolutions ideas to elevate your goals for 2020:

1. Pledge to reduce plastic use

The oceans are filling with plastic and it is starting to affect wildlife. This year was all about “Save the Turtles, ditch the plastic straws,” but there are many other ways you can help with the plastic issue. As important as it is to recycle the plastic you do use, it is also important to reduce your plastic usage in general. Try keeping reusable silverware in your purse, desk or car to avoid plastic utensils. Buy items in bulk when you can, using your own containers and remember to bring your own bags when shopping.

2. Reduce the amount you are sending to the landfill

In addition to recycling and reducing plastic usage, there are many other ways to create less trash. Recycling centers may take items that aren’t allowed in typical curbside pickup. Reusing items you might normally recycle, like pasta sauce jars, is another ways to defer items from landfills. Glass jars are great for food storage. An added plus is the jars are also microwave safe, unlike plastic containers.

3. Go meatless for one day per week

Over the past few years trends like “Meatless Monday” have become popular. Replacing just one day’s meals with meatless options saves money and improves health for us as individuals. On a global level, the meat industry is one of the biggest producers of greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change. Choosing high-protein plant foods like beans or tofu is a win/win option.

4. Buy local

While it is important to support local businesses to help the local economy, it also reduces the environmental impact of your purchases. When you buy local products, they have less distance to travel to get to you, thus reducing CO2 emissions.

5. Make smalls changes in your office or home

Many companies have sustainability policies or plans for their office. Make it a priority for the year to really take a look at your day to day operations and see what can be changed. Is your lighting up to date? Do you make sure they are off at the end of the night? Does your office recycle? Have you gone paperless?

Taking a deep look at your daily operations can give you a sense of how much energy and materials you are wasting. Anything being wasted is money lost. Make 2020 the year you start taking steps to reduce energy and solid waste.