Greener Resolutions for the New Year

Start thinking about your clothing items differently

In North America, 9.5 million tonnes of clothing end up in the landfill every year. It’s easy to just throw out old t-shirts and replace them with cheap, new ones; but, there are also plenty of simple ways to repurpose or recycle your clothing items. Start off by only buying what you think you might actually wear and try buying second-hand; thrifting can be fun! However, let’s face it, some of our clothing items have reached their end.

Here are a few ways you can repurpose old clothing:

  1. Turn your old t-shirts into rags to use around your house! Simply cut them up into the sizes you need and voila, cleaning rags.
  2. Make re-usable bags and produce bags out of shirts. It is easy, fun, and creative! Here is a quick ‘how-to’:

  1. Turn that old pair of jeans sitting in the back of your closet into an item you will actually wear or use. Denim is so durable and can be repurposed into a variety of items. Check out this site for 15 fun ways to use old denim:


Make healthier choices in the way you clean

Most generic cleaners host a variety of substances that are both harmful to yourself and the environment. In Langley our water systems are all connected, and anything that goes down your drain or in the drains around your house, ends up in Langley’s rivers and streams. Furthermore, many of these chemicals are harmful to our health as well.

Here are some greener options for cleaners, all made from products that you likely already have in your home!


General cleaner:

1 cup water

½ cup household vinegar

½ tsp lemon essential oil

¼ tsp liquid dish soap

mix in a bottle and shake before using!


Tub and tile cleaner:

¼ cup baking soda

½ cup household vinegar

warm water

use a sponge to scrub!


Eat what is in your fridge!

Let’s face it, food waste is a huge issue in Canada. Food that ends up in the landfill doesn’t decompose properly and releases a harmful gas called methane into our atmosphere. So, let’s stop wasting food and make a resolution to learn new ways to use up all of the things in our fridge!

A few tips on where to start:

  1. Create an “eat me first” bin in your fridge to keep track of items that should be used first.
  2. Shop sensibly. Deals can be tempting but try and stick to items you know for sure you will use soon – overbuying often leads to perishable food going bad.
  3. Create a ‘soup stock bag’ in your freezer – collect scraps from your vegetables or if food looks like it is about to go bad, add that to the bag too. Then, boil them down to make a delicious vegetable stock.


Shop zero waste

New year, new set of shopping habits! Sometimes buying things from the grocery store result in waste that we can’t help. But, there are a few ways to avoid waste and, adding simple actions into our daily routines bit by bit will hopefully one-day result in being a completely waste free shopper!

  1. Bring reusable shopping bags and produce bags to pack your items into.
  2. Bring bins, tupperware, or jars when buying in bulk.
  3. Visit a refill centre for things like shampoo, soap, laundry detergent, etc.
  4. Say no to the small things that fill up in our trash like twist ties, receipts, code tags and stickers, etc.
  5. When you are at the grocery store, try your very best to buy things in bulk! Almost everything comes in bulk now, and filling up bins with bulk items will lead to less plastic in your trash.
  6. If buying a pre-packaged item is unavoidable, do your best to buy recyclable packaging like glass, metal or paper.


Be sure to keep a ready-to-go-shopping kit in your car or in your bag for when you last minute stop on the way home to get groceries.


Continue to buy local

Here in Langley we are lucky to have many locally owned businesses AND have winter farmers’ markets! Buying local contributes greatly to our local economy, reduces the use of fossil fuels, often uses less plastic, supports local agriculture and promotes healthy community connection.

Check out the winter schedule for the Langley community farmers’ market here:


By: Emily Lorenz

Image from: