Whether 2020 sped by or dragged on endlessly for you, one fact remains: 2021 is here! (Good riddance, 2020.) During this time, people often think of New Year’s resolutions or goals they can set for themselves in the coming year.

There are a lot of ways to change your habits in 2021. Diets, exercise routines, and self-help plans are just a few examples. These goals are great, but why not aim for something larger that actually takes less effort?

Living a more sustainable lifestyle is something we can all strive for. We should all care about our impact on the environment around us. Our environment affects our health, our development, and so many aspects of our lives.

Reducing our carbon footprint should be a New Year's Resolution for all
Reducing our impact on the environment should be a goal for everyone

It is important that we maintain the natural world we have for future generations, but sometimes this seems like an impossible task for an individual. However, making small contributions to global sustainability does not need to be a massive undertaking.

So, how can we learn from 2020 and start 2021 off with a sustainable picture in mind? You’re just a few steps away from making a difference in the New Year. We assembled a list of 7 sustainable development goals you can apply to your lifestyle in 2021.


1. Live locally

Man riding a NIU scooter through the local streets
Living locally can mean reducing your noise pollution with an EV

We might all live in a neighborhood, but do we actually “live” there? It’s easy to get caught up in the bigger picture of your city, but we can’t forget about our local communities. While 2020 has been a difficult year to get out and connect with others locally, the next year may provide a chance for a new beginning.

With a few tips in mind, your New Year’s resolutions can be locally focused as well:

  • Buy local and organic food whenever possible
  • Pick up one piece of trash in your neighborhood per day and dispose of it properly
  • Reduce noise pollution in your community by driving a silent EV
  • Volunteer with local charities to support recycling or trash cleanup initiatives

With a NIU scooter, you can explore new areas of your neighborhood, meet new people in your area, and take the initiative on these local goals.


2. Conserve and reuse your tech

A power strip with electronics plugged in
Using power strips and turning off idle electronics can help vampire drain

We are surrounded 24/7 by our devices, appliances, and electronics. They provide us with opportunity, entertainment, and so much more.

But most of us have some room for improvement when it comes to conserving and reusing the technology around us. There are a few things you can do to help:

  • Reuse old chargers and cables instead of throwing them away to reduce personal e-waste
  • Use a power strip to turn off idle electronics and reduce “vampire drain
  • Donate old devices to charities when no longer needed
  • Switch your small household electronics to rechargeable batteries instead of single-use
  • Buy second hand household appliances

Tech is such a crucial component of our modern lives. Together, we can continue improving our lives with technology and still be sustainable in our approach.


3. Eat and drink more sustainably

A plate of cooked vegetables
Eating and drinking more sustainably is important in 2021

Next on our list of 7 sustainable development goals for 2021: eating and drinking. Food and beverages are an obvious necessity of our everyday lives, which means there are plenty of achievable opportunities to be more sustainable with these habits.

Take a bite out of 2021 with these simple steps:

  • Eat more plant-based meals, even if only infrequently
  • Save leftovers and waste less food at meals
  • Opt for canned beverages instead of bottled, as cans are easier to recycle and transport
  • When purchasing alcohol, support local breweries and distilleries


4. Use less water

A cat drinking from a water faucet
Be mindful of your water usage

We often take water for granted. You simply turn on the faucet or the shower, and there it is! Fresh water at your disposal. But it’s not an unlimited resource. We each have to do our part to make sure we can maintain the water supply for our needs.

Don’t let this chance go down the drain! Check out these tips for using less water:

  • Shave 1-2 minutes off your daily shower time to conserve water
  • Purchase a water-saving shower head to reduce excess usage
  • Do not leave the faucet running when brushing your teeth or shaving
  • If you have a yard or garden, do not over-saturate it with water


5. Buy less, buy thoughtfully

A woman thinking
Consider your purchases more thoughtfully in 2021

Especially around the holidays, it’s easy to treat yourself and your loved ones to extra goodies. Maybe you just like browsing for the best deals. Or perhaps you enjoy the excitement of awaiting a new package to arrive with your name on it.

Whatever your reason for purchasing, it’s helpful to consider what you buy and whether you will really need or use it in the long term. In particular, stick with these pointers when buying products:

  • Avoid “fast fashion” clothing that is meant to deteriorate quickly
  • Purchase high quality products around your home that last longer
  • Avoid purchasing single-use items whenever possible
  • Shop at thrift stores or secondhand stores to give clothing items new life


6. Reuse and recycle

A blue recycle bin
Reusing and recycling are very helpful to the environment

For many, the phrases “reuse” and “recycle” have been repeated in our minds for years. But we could all use a refresher on some best practices for how to best achieve this! We can all do our small part throughout 2021 to recycle and reuse, without being overwhelmed.

Here are a few considerations for reusing and recycling in 2021:

  • Bring reusable bags on shopping trips to reduce plastic waste
  • Recycle products and packaging whenever possible (paper, plastic, glass, batteries, etc.)
  • Drink from a reusable water bottle and avoid bottled water
  • Work with your employer to ensure there are easily accessible recycling and compost options in your workplace


7. Use green urban mobility options

A train pulling into a train station
Trains are a greener long distance travel option, when compared to planes

As our cities continue to grow, they also continue to get smarter. With the recent upheaval in the urban mobility space, it’s easier than ever to navigate our cities in more sustainable ways.

Finishing off our list of 7 sustainable development goals for 2021, here are some green mobility tips to help you get around smarter in 2021:

  • Walk short distances to get exercise and avoid unnecessary polluting
  • Lower your emissions by riding an eco-friendly electric scooter
  • For long distance travel, take a train instead of flying (when available)

You can also support companies with greener visions of the future. For example, companies like NIU have saved over 1.8 billion kilograms in carbon dioxide emissions by providing urban mobility options to the masses. That’s equivalent to planting more than 90 million trees!


What are your New Year’s resolutions?

These might seem like 7 very simple sustinable development goals, but they can have a profound impact on the environment around us. We encourage you to incorporate some of these New Year’s resolutions into your 2021 sustainable lifestyle. While it may take some time, every contribution helps.

We asked one of our readers, Tedd Soost, what his New Year’s resolutions are for a more sustainable 2021. One of his big focus points will be more affordable and efficient transportation options. “I’d like to test out car sharing and see if it can work for my family. If so, then we would only own NIU scooters,” he says.

With some dedication, we can work together to continue making our world a better environment for all.

Which goals are you excited to include in your sustainable lifestyle for 2021?

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