Many of us are setting goals that will up our game in the office, in the gym, or in our personal lives. While you’re in that headspace, I want to challenge you to consider the world that enables you to log those extra miles or take your team to the next level. This New Year, make 2019 your greenest ever.
For the next 12 months, I’ve got 12 ideas for very simple behavioral changes that can give our planet its best home court advantage:
1. Avoid plastic
Hydration and refueling is important, but try to avoid plastic bottles and food preserved in plastic packaging. Single-use plastic is used far too often and, apart from harming the environment, it is not beneficial for your general health.
2. Give new life to unwanted gear
Unused possessions collect dust and don’t do anyone any good. Worse, sending them to the dump only perpetuates an unsustainable consumption cycle. Make donations, organize flea markets, or just avoid buying further items which shortly after their first use end up in the cellar.
3. Less is more
If there is one thing that I have learned living in Germany it is that “less is more.” When organizing any kind of event keep it simple. Say it with me, “Reduce, reuse, recycle!”
4. Carpool or ride a bike
Leave your car at home. Get a lift with a colleague. Split the gas cost and reduce the emissions. On a nice day take a bike and turn your commute into your workout.
5. Save energy
You can’t run a race without evenly pacing yourself. A sudden sprint at the beginning or middle will leave you exhausted and your body running on overdrive. Same goes for your appliance energy use. Do not use the dryer, the washing machine, the hairdryer, the heater and the iron at the same time. You’ll save money and reduce peak hours. And don’t forget to turn off all lights and devices when not in use.
6. Bring your own bag
My adidas tote bag goes with me to more places than just the gym. Keep a reusable bag in your car or backpack so it’s at hand whenever you stop by a shop. Say goodbye to double-bagged groceries and find that trendy reusable bag that you can take everywhere.
7. Save water
It’s so easy. Turn off the faucet when lathering soap at the sink or in the shower. Wash your dishes and your clothes on eco-cycles. Water your plants in the early morning or evening when it’s cooler, it evaporates more slowly when it’s cool.
8. Take product back
Bring your worn-out or unwanted clothes and shoes to the take-back station in key locations. We take any brand, not just adidas. We want to give them a second life.
9. Keep a home recycling system
Help to recycle as many waste items as possible and separate glass, paper and plastic properly before you throw them in the waste containers. Compost food waste for your garden with eggshells, tea leaves, coffee grounds, fruit and vegetables to reduce landfill waste.
10. Be the sponsor for nature
There are many green areas in your neighborhood which deserve care and attention. Take your friends, partner or the entire family to a park and collect the trash on your walk. Or, join the plogging movement, and collect while running.
11. Buy local
Just like I enjoy supporting my local sports team, showing love for the local farms and plants not only ensures fresh food lands on my table, but it helps reduce the carbon footprint of produce transported across seas.
12. No junk mail
Save paper by opting out of paper catalogs, bank statements and bills. Browse online instead.