8 Secrets to a Happy and Healthy Year


Looking for the secrets to a better year for you and the planet? We’ve compiled a few ideas on how to accomplish both. These might inspire you to formulate a set of your own resolutions and goals for the new year.

1. Step outside—even just for a short walk.

There’s no minimum distance when it comes to adventure! Your lunchtime walk through a park counts. A hike through an urban park after work counts, too. Find a few places that you can visit throughout the week or when you’re short on time. No matter how many times you visit a place, there’s always something new to see, hear, and experience.

2. Recycle.

This year, commit to better understanding your local recycling rules, regulations, and systems. Set yourself up for success by using dedicated recycle bins at work and home. Find a location near you to recycle old e-waste and batteries. Do your research! There are a number of items that you probably didn’t know you could recycle, like crayons and toothbrushes

3. Don’t let the rain keep you inside.

Each season can present unique challenges that might make hiking uncomfortable—unless you prepare! Wear clothing that is appropriate for the season to stay dry, cool, or warm. Sometimes a little drizzle can make for a peaceful walk through the forest, especially if you’re seeking solitude.

4. Read more books.

Whether you prefer nature guides or adventure stories, get your fill for free at the library! This list of 25 books for the well-read explorer is a great place to start.

5. Volunteer on public lands.

There’s no better way to help parks, refuges, and forests than by signing up to volunteer. You can join one of SCA’s one-day volunteer events, like the ones SCA hosts every January for the MLK Day of Service and every April for Earth Month. Hope to see you on the trail!

6. Try a new podcast.

Find yourself needing a new podcast for your commute or walk at the gym? Try one of these outdoor podcasts.

7. Reduce your use of single-use plastic.

This goes well with #2 on our list! Take some time to think about single-use plastic that you could avoid in your daily life. You might pay attention to straws, plastic shopping bags, or plastic to-go containers as a way to get started. Visit the Plastic Free July site for resources to help identify which plastic items you can avoid, tips on how to do it, and how you’ll impact the planet as a result.

8. Be in the moment.

Put the phone down for a moment and fully experience the world around you. It’s amazing how much time we let slip away while we’re on our devices. Head outdoors to regain that quality time with yourself, friends, and family. Plan a picnic or outdoor game night and keep phones in a pile. You’ll rediscover just how much fun the people in your life can be!

Interested in New Year’s resolutions that will also help the planet? Check out these five easy ideas.