New year, new opportunities for a sustainable you 

The fresh start to the new year signals the beginning of something new to try to better ourselves. Why not make 2023 your year of showing up for the planet and committing to an eco-friendly action? We’re here to help you set attainable eco-friendly goals for 2023 with these ideas.  

An eco-friendly resolution can be as simple as remembering to bring reusable bags with you during grocery runs or cutting out single-use cups. Many behavioral scientists recommend writing down goals and steps  to help you achieve them.  
Bottom line for success: Set concrete goals and plan a path forward. Start the new year off with some attainable resolutions to do something good for the planet in 2023. Don’t forget to track your progress, too. How many walks outdoors? How many creative recipes did you make out of leftovers instead of throwing food away? How many items from your closet did you put to use or give a new life to by donating? Let us know.  

Here’s to a better, new year for you and the environment.  

Get outdoors more 

Check out King County Parks for some approachable lowland walks in our many woodland and natural areas. With picturesque views, and everything from gently graded, paved footpaths to unpaved, wooded trails, these lowland excursions make for a great nature break for a fresh start to the new year.  Share a photo from your favorite walk or outdoor excursion with us!  

Declutter and recycle old clothes 

Getting organized is always a top resolution. Why not start with your closet? While cleaning out closets and dressers you may end up with a pile of unpaired socks, stained t-shirts, and torn pants. Nearly 95-percent of old, damaged clothes, shoes, and linens that end up in landfills can be reused and recycled instead. The Environmental Protection Agency found in 2012, 2.25 million tons of textiles were recycled, saving greenhouse gas emissions equal to that of 1.2 million cars on the road for one year.  

If you must get rid of that sweater, or other worn out or damaged clothes, you can recycle ♻️ them at a Threadcycle drop-off location. Even items that are stained or torn can be donated and they’ll be turned into new products. Last year we recycled almost 180 tons of textiles at King County recycling and transfer stations alone! Learn more about Threadcycle and find drop-off locations near you.  

Cut down on spending and food waste 

We’re all looking for ways to spend less and reducing food waste is one way to do it. Wasted food makes up one-third of all waste from households that comes to our landfill . Buying more than you need, forgetting about leftovers, and improper food storage all lead to food ending up in the compost – or worse, trash. Now that you’re past the holidays, get your food organized in a way that will reduce that food waste and save money. From how you store your produce, to how to arrange food in the refrigerator, these 10 tricks will keep food fresh longer. 

On top of saving money and taking up space in the landfill, reducing food waste helps lower our carbon footprint. Many of us throw away food that’s past its prime, not aware of the potential recipes that can be created with it. Turn old bread into breadcrumbs or bread pudding. If carrots look past their crunchy prime, add them to a soup or stew.

Choose safer household products 

The best way to reduce your family’s exposure to harmful chemicals is to choose home and garden products that don’t contain toxic materials. When shopping for products, read the labels and choose the least hazardous product. Look for products that: 

  • Have an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Safer Choice logo  
  • Do not have the words CAUTION, WARNING, DANGER, or POISON on the label 

Use Do-It-Yourself cleaners 

Try making your own cleaners with ingredients you already have at home. Check out these instructions for safer cleaning recipes that are more eco-friendly than many conventional cleaning products, which often contain toxic chemicals. 

Still have questions about hazardous waste? Contact the Haz Waste Help Line for additional information on proper disposal and how to use safer alternatives. Call 206-296-4692 or email

Disposing hazardous waste properly keeps toxic materials out of our waterways and protects people from exposure to dangerous products that can affect their health. In the new year, take some time to review what’s in your cabinets. If you find a hazardous product (look for the words WARNING, CAUTION, DANGER, or POISON on the label) that you no longer need, bring it to a hazardous waste location. Find a disposal location here: 

In 2022, more than 67,000 customers visited a household hazardous waste disposal location in King County.  The choice to bring hazardous waste to a collection location makes a difference to the health of our local environment. You are helping to safeguard our waterways and wildlife from pollution – cheers to that! 

Share your resolutions and progress with us! 

On social media, use the #ecofriendlyresolutions hashtag and tag us.  

Instagram –  Tag @kingcountydnrp in an Instagram post or send us a message 

Twitter – Tweet and tag us @kcdnrp 

Facebook – Send us a message to King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks on Facebook

Email – Send an email to 

Leave a Reply