Founder's Eye View

August's Resolutions for A More Sustainable 2022

Lizzie Horvitz, Founder & CEO

We're all familiar with the idea of an annual New Year’s resolution where we gear up to take on a challenge that…probably falters by the time Valentine’s Day rolls around. That’s why, at Finch, we’re owning flexibility and celebrating every small win and setting resolutions each month to gradually (and practically!) improve our relationship with the planet. After all, one size doesn’t fit all. 

Check back here every month for an update on our next resolution and progress on the previous month’s efforts. We also want to hear how you did! Email us at hey@choosefinch.com – we may even give you a prize for participating! If you have other resolutions or ideas, let us know those, too!

August Resolution Leave No Trace

August's Resolution

Leave No Trace

Heading to the beach in August or planning to walk in your local park? Challenge yourself to pick up litter where you see it and put it in the nearest bin, even if it’s not your waste. Take a picture and send it to us, and we’ll track who picked up the most trash during the month! When you’re walking, be sure to bring a small bag (plastic grocery bag, dog waste bag, or tote works perfectly) and a pair of gloves! Your city workers, and the planet, will thank you for your help.

No Single Use Plastic Resolution

July's Resolution

No Single-Use Plastic

Let’s challenge ourselves to no single-use plastic use for the entire month. By single-use, we mean something you’ll consume and throw away within 48 hours (so, shampoo bottles and cosmetics don’t count…we’re just getting started and we can start small!). Here are some examples of things to avoid this month: 

  • Bottled water, soda, or gatorade (and no, it doesn’t count if you fill up your Poland Springs bottle again and again). 
  • Take-out containers (and disposable cutlery and straws) 
  • Coffee cups (most hot ones aren’t even recyclable due to their wax lining) 
  • Plastic grocery bags
Travel Footprint June Sustainability Resolution

June's Resolution

Minimize Your Travel Footprint

The official start to summer has arrived (YAY) and that means more weddings, college reunions, and family vacations. After two years of minimal travel, we all deserve a few getaways (we interrupt this message to also acknowledge that COVID persists, so let’s continue to be smart and safe). Unfortunately, flying is not only expensive, but also incredibly carbon-intensive. The airline industry is responsible for 2.5% of global CO2e emissions. This month, let’s focus on traveling in the least environmentally impactful way possible. Here’s what we suggest:

  • Take alternative modes of transportation, like a bus or train, whenever possible
  • Bring reusable stuff when you travel (who wants to spend $6 on airport bottled water anyway?)
  • Pack light. If each Delta customer cut their luggage weight by two pounds, the annual environmental footprint from reduced fuel consumption would be equivalent to taking 10,500 cars off the road. Wow. 
  • If you do need to fly, the one type of offset Finch loves is for travel – check out Wren or Offcents
May Resolution

MAY'S RESOLUTION

Fight That Eco-Anxiety

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Life can be stressful no matter what life stage we’re in, and that stress is exacerbated by the impending doom that the world is catching on fire and we’re not doing enough to stop it. Eco-anxiety, which is defined by the American Psychological  Association as “the chronic fear of environmental cataclysm that comes from observing the seemingly irrevocable impact of climate change and the associated concern for one's future and that of next generations,” affects many of us. We’d like to focus May on fighting a little of that anxiety in the ways we know best: 

  • Write in a journal and give gratitude to at least one thing in the natural world each day.  
  • Get outside! Try to add 30 minutes to your usual time spent outside. In other words, if you generally are outside for an hour a day, make it 1:30. If you’re normally stuck inside in an office from 8-6, try to spend at least 30 minutes outside. We love this app that helps track your time. 


Spring Cleaning Resolution for April

APRIL’S RESOLUTION

Spring Cleaning is here!

It’s that time of year to get rid of things that don’t serve us. Let’s channel Marie Kondo and “minimize.” Here are some ideas:

  • If you haven’t gone through your closet recently, try finding at least 5 articles of clothing or accessories to sell or give away so that someone else can take advantage of your impeccable style. 
  • Purge the medicine cabinet. For any expired medicine, creams, or cosmetics, ensure they’re recycled properly (check out our blog on medicine, order a bag from Pact Collective for old cosmetics, and make sure all bottles are emptied, washed out, and recycled according to your local guidelines. 
  • Swap out your cleaning supplies. We generally encourage people to use the rest of whatever you already have (as opposed to throwing away a lightly used bathroom cleaner only to buy a new sustainable one), so when you’re ready, try a brand like Blueland, CleanCult, or find one at a local refillable store. One of the best ways to avoid falling into old habits is to plan ahead and know exactly what you’re going to get before the moment comes.


Go Vegan

MARCH’S RESOLUTION

Go Vegan

Finch is all about not having to compromise the things we love because we know how important that is. So, this goal may seem a bit out of left field.

Here’s the thing…the entire food production industry accounts for about 35% of all global emissions and over half of that is specifically meat production. With so many amazing new cookbooks and plant-based alternatives, being a vegan has become easier and more enjoyable than it has ever been before.

The Superbowl is over, Memorial Day cookouts are months away, so use this month to get creative in the kitchen and realize you don’t actually miss that parmesan on your pasta or bacon on your sandwich as much as you thought you did. And, if you decide you DO miss those things, well then you’ve only given them up for a month, seems like a win-win.

**We’re not doctors and know that there’s no one size fits all. If you need animal products for health, religious, or cultural reasons, maybe try repeating last month’s resolution or finding something that works for you.**


Don't buy things you don't need

FEBRUARY’S RESOLUTION

Wait 24 Hours Before Buying Something New

Who hasn’t ordered a sushi-making kit at 1 AM from an Instagram ad after one too many White Claws and regretted it immediately the next day? It’s not just me, is it? Well…our February resolution is all about reducing that impulse control to help your environmental footprint and your budget.

This month, we’re implementing a 24-hour waiting period before buying something new (food & other necessities don’t count...please continue to eat and make sure you have toothpaste. In fact, if you want the inside scoop on which toothpaste to scoop, we’ve made this handy-dandy guide).

Here’s how it works: Browse for things you need or want online or in the store (or those that target you…damn you, brilliant algorithm!), but don’t spring for it until 24 hours later after you’ve had time to really think about it. If you still want it, proudly hit that purchase button. If not, you’ve possibly saved yourself more money than you would have by switching to Geico.

February’s the ultimate “nesting” month and, frankly, there just isn’t a lot we need! 

Cutting back on energy use

JANUARY’S RESOLUTION

Cut Back on Energy Use

January 10th was National Cut Your Energy Costs Day. Whether you’re living with your parents, just moved into an apartment with your significant other, or are traveling around the country in your converted camper van, let’s all try to find one or two hacks to cut our energy costs (and emissions!). Since our day of inspiration falls on January 10th, let’s each shoot for a 10% reduction.

January Recap:

“I reduced my energy cost by 7% this month, so I’d say it wasn’t a complete failure!”

  • Lizzie Horvitz, Founder of Finch

Here’s what some of the Finch community found most helpful:

  1. Buy a smart thermostat - this generally saves an average of 10%-12% on heating bills and 15% on cooling! Wow. 
  2. Sign up for Arcadia Energy. These masterminds help you sync with your utility to bring greener energy to your mix. 
  3. Conduct your own energy audit at home. Not included: hard hats & cool electrician outfits (also not necessary). 
  4. Unplug all chargers when they’re not in-use and make sure your lightbulbs are LEDs.
Free Sustainability Planner

Do you have any helpful tips to get me started?

We’re so glad you asked! Here are a few ways to kick-off your sustainability resolutions.

  1. Keep a record. One of the most helpful things to do every month is jot down a quick note about your starting point. We all have different strengths and weaknesses, so it helps to be clear about what your personal baseline is. Over the course of the month, we also like to make note of what our biggest challenges are and where we’re excelling the most, so that we have some good guidelines to refer back to the next time. It’s also super fulfilling to look back at the end of the month to see how far you’ve come. 
  2. Be kind to yourself. What do we always say? Sustainability is all about progress, not perfection. We have no expectation that every person on the planet will be a Net Zero vegan who makes homemade soap (although, if you’re already there, AMAZING!). Take it step-by-step. If you slip up, it doesn’t mean that your whole month is ruined or that you’re not a “real” environmentalist. We’re all human and we all make mistakes. 
  3. Find a buddy. Challenges are always more fun with a partner. Plus, finding someone who is willing to do this challenge with you means you have someone to help keep you honest on the tough days and celebrate with you on the days you do something great. We like scheduling check-ins with our buddies at least once per week.

And, download this brainstorming tool to set your own personal resolutions if these don’t tickle your fancy! 

Resolutions

A Letter from Our Founder:

New Year’s Resolutions are so 2021…

I know that feeling of pride when you set a damn good New Year’s resolution on December 31st and go into the new year feeling like you can do anything you set your mind to… I also know that feeling of guilt when you mess up on your resolution on January 15th and feel like you have to wait another 11 months and 2 weeks before you can have another shot at it.

In true Finch form, I’ve had enough of the self-imposed guilt trip and, for the last two years, I’ve tried monthly resolutions instead. So far, it’s been a great experience. I get to challenge myself for 28-31 days and if I love it, I try to integrate it into my everyday routine (it takes 21 days to form a habit, right?). Last year, my monthly resolutions were:

January: Read 30 pages of a book (for pleasure) every day

February: Don’t say anything negative or complain

March: No social media

April: No alcohol

May: No sugar

June: Take 10,000 steps per day

July: Read four articles every day from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New Yorker, and The Atlantic each

August: Jump in the ocean every day

September: No sugar (I really failed in May and wanted to try again. Spoiler alert: I failed again. I <3 chocolate.)

October: Meditate every day

November: Write in a journal every day

December: Don’t buy anything for myself that I don’t need (i.e. food doesn’t count). 

This year, Finch is getting involved. I’m going to continue my personal resolutions, but we’re adding sustainability-specific ambitions and keeping track of our progress. It’s always better to have a friend to hold you accountable, right? We’re going to share our company resolutions, as well as some of our personal ones, in the hopes that they inspire you to follow suit. At the end of the day, we believe our individual actions can have a pretty powerful collective impact.

—Lizzie