By Julie Tomascik

It’s a new year. We made resolutions and goals. And although it’s trendy to break those resolutions as fast as you set them, taking small steps can help you achieve your goals this year.

But eliminating certain foods from your diet shouldn’t be one of them.

As we all strive to have a positive impact on the world around us, let’s consider ways to reduce our environmental footprint.

Rock that outfit more than once
That little black dress? Yes, you can wear it more than once. The same goes for shirts, jeans, jackets and other outfits you buy. Rock them all year long and even into the next year and the year after that!

Don’t waste water
When it comes to conserving water, small adjustments can really make an impact.

Taking shorter showers can help save water.

For your yard, consider planting a type of grass that doesn’t require as much water.

Other steps you can take to help conserve water include:

  • Turning off the water while brushing your teeth.
  • Checking your toilet for leaks.
  • Matching the water level to the size of the load when doing laundry.
  • If you drop ice cubes, don’t throw them in the sink. Instead, drop them in a house plant.

Reduce food waste
Americans waste a lot of food. And I mean a lot. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, food waste in the United States is estimated at between 30-40 percent of the supply.

Why? How?

Some people buy more than what they need. Others buy foods and don’t store them properly, which leads to spoiled food.

But food waste can be avoided by shopping smart and with a plan. This helps save time and money, too. Click here to learn about 5 common mistakes often made at the grocery store.

And eat leftovers! They aren’t just for the holidays. Storing your leftovers in a glass or clear container can help ensure you don’t forget the food. You can designate one day a week to eat any of the foods you have left in the fridge.

Portion control also impacts food waste. You might not think much about scraping your leftover food into the trash, but food waste has a major impact on the environment.

Get creative in the kitchen, and make friends with your freezer. Because freezing food is one of the easiest ways to preserve it.

So, to summarize…
If you want to reduce your environmental impact, try implementing steps mentioned above rather than eliminating beef from your diet.

Because beef cattle actually account for a tiny amount of greenhouse gas emissions—only about 2 percent, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. And beef cattle production as a whole, including production of animal feed, is responsible for only 3.7 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

The staggering majority of greenhouse gases are due to transportation at 28 percent and electricity generation at nearly 27 percent.

So, grill a steak or bite into a burger. Do that with fruit and veggies on the side and don’t forget your leftovers.

Trends may come and go, especially for clothes. But a wardrobe can last more than a season and so will these tips on slipping your foot into a smaller environmental footprint.