Setting a New Years resolution doesn’t have to involve creating a daunting check-list. While there are 365 days in the year to implement change in your life, there’s something refreshing about slapping a blank calendar on the wall; it’s an opportunity to try something new.
Adopting sustainable living habits can be beneficial at any time, supporting our community and planet.
Julie Dennis has made inspiring progress with her store The Local Fill. Among many things, her business offers bottle refills for household products, offsetting thousands of single-use plastics from the landfill since opening at 1515 Pitt St. in Cornwall in 2019.
Dennis offered five tips to consider going into 2024…
1. Start with one step
When starting or expanding on a sustainable living journey, focus on one practice or product. “It’s important to not be overwhelmed,” said Dennis. We have a lot of customers who come in and say ‘oh, I am just going to try out your dish soap’ or ‘oh, I am going to try out your shampoo’ and then they come back and try something else the next time. This is perfect because they’re already changing that one habit.”
2. Don’t allow unnecessary items into your space
“People are looking through their house at this time of year and maybe they want to live a little lighter,” said Dennis. “Before you get into that purging step, don’t allow these unnecessary items into your house. If people want to give you stuff, just say you don’t need it. Or, if you are bringing something new into your house, maybe (donate) something old at the same time.”
3. Live intentionally
Living and consuming intentionally can lead to a more simplified lifestyle. Being thoughtful and having a plan can assist with this, whether it be through meal prepping or simply using a refillable water bottle. “That’s the root of the problem is that it’s so convenient (to use single-use plastics). We are busy in our everyday life… we are so hectic that it comes down to convenience… and I’ve said this so many times that convenience equals waste,” said Dennis.
4. Educate yourself about product ingredients
Dennis said that a lot of her customers try to make a change towards more natural and organic products. “You’re not putting chemicals on your skin and in your belly… just going chemical-free as much you can,” she said, encouraging others to take the time to educate themselves about product ingredients. “We really strive for clean ingredients; a little less takeout, a little less processed, and making your own meals.”
5. Start a conversation
Engage with those around you to have a conversation about sustainable living habits, as well as broader implications and events happening around the globe