New Year’s Resolutions: Deciding Your Footprint

Lillian Minix By: Lillian Minix


This year was hard for many reasons, but in a lot of ways, it gave us the opportunity to recollect and consider what we do and who we are.

As we enter 2021, we welcome a New Year with new resolutions and insights about how to help make ourselves better. What if we could make sure our resolution footprint didn’t just benefit us, but benefitted the earth and communities around us too?

Have you considered the footprint of your New Year’s resolutions? Some pretty common resolutions include saving money, drinking more water, reading more, creating a cleaning schedule, etc. These are all really great resolutions and are sure to help us solidify our more sustainable selves, but how do they affect the world around us?

Some resolutions have a footprint that we did not consider before committing to them, like drinking more water for instance. Did you know that when you drink four to six cups of water daily as recommended by Harvard Medical School, your yearly intake of water could be up to 2,200 cups or 137 gallons annually? That’s a lot of water, and since water isn’t as renewable of a resource as we once thought, it almost seems like we’d be doing the earth a disservice by sticking to our New Year’s resolutions.

But what if we created a healthy offset for our water intake? Watering houseplants with ice cubes that fell on the floor, not running the water while brushing our teeth, and taking shorter showers can all make impacts within our households according to St. Johns County Utilities’ 12 Days of Water Conservation. Small changes in habits like these might just offset our healthy resolutions to drink more water without wasting any.

Reading more could also impact our sustainability footprint by affecting how much paper we consume and creating a cleaning schedule could impact how many chemicals we add to the water table. Consider adding a healthy offset to the mix by purchasing a reusable e-reader for books or earth-conscious cleaning agents for your home.

Healthy offsets can be also be found in socioeconomic parts of our world. Saving money is a great yearly goal, but we know we’ll end up buying that coffee every once in a while when we should be setting the money aside. Think about cutting back on one coffee a week and replace it with a $5 donation to a local charity of your choice instead.

From donating and supporting local businesses to using less plastic and walking more, our footprints have the potential to impact the world in big ways, and we don’t have to sacrifice the health of the earth or our communities around us to ensure that we benefit from our resolutions too. After all, we’re all in this together.

What will your resolution footprint be in 2021?