While it may seem like the New Year is a chance to ‘start over’ and leave all your bad habits behind, we often find ourselves dropping our resolutions by February, or worse, the first week of January. Why? The pressure of huge lifestyle changes, combined with a haziness of going back to work after a longer holiday, can make us a bit flaky.

Stop considering 2018 the chance to have a complete character adjustment- instead, use it as a time to reflect on previous actions, and improve overall behaviour by making small, yet significant changes.

Not sure where to start? We’ve got a few ideas that will make a positive impact not only on your life, but also on others all around the world.

Let your bum make a difference in the world

The average person uses about 57 toilet paper sheets per day, and sadly, only five percent of the paper flushed down the toilet in Australia is made from recycled materials. Treat your bum by switching to Who Gives A Crap – you get toilet rolls straight to your door, while people in developing countries get brand-new toilet facilities.

And speaking of bums… you can never have enough underwear. Why waste time underwear shopping, when you can have high-quality jocks delivered to you? The boxers from Buy Undies Give Undies make a difference – for every pair you buy, they donate a pair to children in need.

Power through responsibly

Addicted to coffee? So are we! Order ethical coffee bags from Monochrome Coffee Co. or 23 Degrees Coffee Roasters – every bean helps impoverished communities in remote locations. Out and about? Head into STREAT in Collingwood to pick up a bag of freshly roasted coffee instead.

Want to do even more good? Say no to takeaway cups; instead, purchase a reusable cup from Green Collect. Not only are you helping the environment by refusing a paper cup, you are also reducing waste, since all their items are recycled, and ready to be reused.

Sustainable farming straight to your kitchen

If eating less junk food, or cooking more rather than ordering takeaway, was one of your new year resolutions, you are not alone. Grocery shopping in a supermarket (and often without a list) can lead to some questionable choices, especially in the processed food section. Avoid this by shopping locally: Melbourne Farmers Markets and The Community Grocer are amazing initiatives that help the community with dozens of locations around the city, and improve your pantry with fresh ingredients, free of harmful chemicals.

No time to shop? Worry not: Melbourne’s largest environmental park has their own delivery service, rightfully named CERES Fair Food, which brings organic, carbon neutral groceries to your doorstep.

There’s no place like a socially conscientious home

Start Broadband are an Australian-based company offering high-speed internet at a competitive price. As part of your initial contract, a share of your bills goes into providing broadband for disadvantaged families. This leads to better education and employment opportunities, and stronger community connections.

Keep your home beautiful, as well as ethical, with gorgeous items from The People’s Fabric. All of their homewares, such as throws or cushions, are handmade by remote artisans, with half the profits going back towards building their community.

Now what?

Rome wasn’t built in a day, so give yourself time to adjust to new changes, and make goals attainable by proposing small resolutions. Don’t limit yourself to the start of the year – add a tiny, yet significant change to your routine every time you feel like trying something new. And if you want to find even more options, head over to our main directory, and choose your own path!

Doing good never felt so easy.

This article first appeared in our monthly newsletter The Gazette. Sign up here and never again miss your monthly dose of good stuff.