Every year, people make New Year’s resolutions to better themselves and make the coming year the best yet, but this year, consider making eco-friendly resolutions to better the planet instead.
Living a greener, more sustainable lifestyle benefits the environment in countless ways, but many of us don’t realise it also benefits us, especially our savings. Because being more environmentally conscious entails using reusable products, producing less waste, and lowering energy use, to only mention a few, you will spend and waste less money.
Here are 10 resolutions you can make this year to make a significant difference in the world.
1. Cook From Scratch
This is a more difficult resolution to maintain, but it will benefit your health, your wallet, and the environment endlessly. Processed, packaged convenience foods waste energy, oil, water, and trees from farm to factory to store to table. This is particularly tragic because processed foods are frequently devoid of nourishment and must be sweetened, fortified, preserved, and “flavour enhanced” in order to be palatable.
Cooking from scratch may be made considerably easier by batch cooking on weekends, meal planning, and buying cookbooks that specialise in quick and easy preparation. It’s helpful to have something home-cooked in the freezer for those times when you’re too sleepy or rushed to cook.
Take advantage of this opportunity to slow down, spend time with family or friends, and enjoy self-care.
2. Eat Less Meat
It’s not just beneficial for you to eat less meat and dairy; it’s also excellent for the environment! Meat and dairy products cause twice as many emissions as plant-based foods
Raising livestock, according to Greenpeace, emits as much greenhouse gas as all vehicle emissions combined! On the other hand, vegetables and poultry have a carbon footprint that is ten times lower per serving than red meat and dairy. Reducing your consumption of animal products can significantly reduce your personal carbon footprint.
Most resolutions fail because they require too much change or commitment, so don’t take on more than you can handle when it comes to changing your diet. Even simple dietary changes, such as eliminating meat from one meal per day, increasing fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet, or moving to organic produce, can significantly impact the environment.
Veganuary inspires and supports people all over the world to try vegan for January and beyond. It is a great way to challenge yourself to eat no meat for the first month of the year or maybe just take a few steps. Check out our tips for Veganuary.
3. Eat Organically & Locally
Organic food is more expensive up front, but it is money well spent because it is more nutritious, and you won’t have to worry about the health impacts of GMOs or hazardous pesticides.
You can also rest assured that your food was produced in a way that aided in the protection and enhancement of the ecosystem in which it was grown. And if your food is also grown locally, you can rest assured that it is helping to support your community’s local economy and cutting down on the pollution from food transport too.
4. Start Composting
Start composting your food scraps, leftovers, and other biodegradable materials in the New Year. It is one of the easiest ways for you to reduce your waste. Composting has numerous advantages, and it is crucial for people who live a low-waste lifestyle.
It’s a lovely feeling to toss something into the compost bin after it’s reached the end of its lifecycle, knowing that it will organically decompose and create organic material to enrich the earth.
Even if you’re not a gardener, composting is still a great choice. Donating your compost to a community garden is a quick and easy way to dispose of compost without wasting it.
5. Drive Less
Driving your car less is another fantastic approach to reduce your carbon footprint. When your destination is close by, make it a New Year’s resolution to drive less.
Even if not daily, using public transportation is a terrific method to minimise your carbon footprint significantly. If taking the train or bus instead of driving is an option, take it!
If you reside in a city without reliable public transportation, you may get around by walking, biking, or even hiring an e-scooter. E-scooters are becoming more common in urban areas, and they are a cost-effective and fun option.
6. Turn Down Your Heating
You may reduce your carbon emissions by 2,000 pounds per year by changing your thermostat by two degrees down. In addition, you’ll save an average of £75 on your electricity bill! Isn’t this a win-win situation?
Smart thermostats have made it easier than ever to track your energy usage and operate your thermostat from your phone or tablet. You might be able to programme your existing thermostat if you don’t have a smart thermostat. Most thermostats allow you to set the ideal temperature or raise and lower it at specific times throughout the day.
7. Avoid Phantom Energy
“Phantom” Energy is the energy used by electronic gadgets that continue to drain power even when they are turned off (also known as “vampire” energy). An energy vampire is any device that has a “standby” or “instant on” mode.
Energy vampires, according to the Department of Energy, can account for roughly 10% of a household’s monthly electric cost. Every year, you might be squandering hundreds of pounds on electricity!
8. Ditch Fast Fashion
Big-box retailers with ridiculously low-cost clothing appear too good to be true—and they are. Our unquenchable hunger for low-cost, season-specific apparel could not be more damaging. In reality, after the oil business, the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry on the planet.
Asian and Indian farmers destroy their fertile soils and deplete precious groundwater to grow millions of acres of GMO cotton for export, instead of food for their hungry people, in order to meet our demand for the newest fashion fad. Chemicals used to keep pests at bay and soil fertility high cause health issues at all levels of the ecosystem.
Cheap fashion also promotes the use of petroleum-based, highly toxic synthetic fabrics and dyes and the usage of massive amounts of fossil fuels in farming, manufacturing, and transportation. Our obsession with low-cost, on-demand clothing also supports terrible, often hazardous sweatshop conditions for textile workers worldwide.
Consider whether you need any new clothing this year and, if so, only purchase what’s necessary. When shopping for clothes, strive to choose timeless styles that won’t go out of style in six months, high-quality materials and craftsmanship that will last.
9. Buy Reusable Products
One of the most effective strategies to reduce environmental impact is to use reusable products. Because you’re using reusable things, you’re generating less waste.
In the UK, it is estimated that 5 million tonnes of single-use plastic are discarded each year; eliminating just one single-use plastic from your everyday life will save an unbelievable amount of waste.
Start with items such as reusable makeup remover pads, beeswax or soywax food wraps, silicone baking mats, and reusable shopping bags.
10. Shop Ethically, Shop At GoEthical
Shop from GoEthical during 2022 to help make sustainable lifestyle choices, whether you have a specific product in mind, or you’re looking for items to support your new year’s resolutions. Buy and sell sustainable, artisan, ethical, pre-loved and eco-friendly products at GoEthical.
Chat and connect with like-minded community members, and discover detailed listings for ethical and eco products from small sellers to well-known global brands.