As we prepare for the New Year a lot of us are happy to be leaving 2020 behind,  many of us are still looking for ways to support the planet in 2021. So GoEthical has put together a list of ideas for sustainable new year’s resolutions ideas.

Here are 5 new year’s resolutions to make a big difference to our planet, and save you some money, too. 

Swap out your single-use plastics 

It is estimated that 5 million tonnes of single plastic is thrown away every year in the UK, swapping out just one single-use plastic from your daily life will cut down on an incredible amount of waste. 

Here are a few suggestions for a great alternative to single-use plastics:

  • Sustainable water bottles – By ditching the single-use plastic bottles you could be saving up to 150 wasted bottles per year.
  • Reusable utensils – We waste an incredible amount of plastic utensils every day, from the fork you get with your salad to the coffee stirrer at your local cafe. Grab yourself a set of reusable cutlery  to use when you’re out and about.
  • Washable cotton pads – Most cotton pads don’t biodegrade due to the bleaching and mixing processes used to create them. Many of us chuck away 1-2 cotton pads per day, so switching to a reusable alternative is a great way to reduce your waste.
  • Safety razors – Around 5.5 million people in the UK are using disposable razors, which often become blunt after a week or two of use, making a vast amount of landfill waste. Swap to a safety or straight razor with swappable blades for the eco-choice. 

Wondering where to purchase the above? Check out the GoEthical app, an ethical marketplace for conscious consumers. 

Bring your own shopping bags

Studies have shown that British consumers still use 1.11 billion plastic shopping bags per year, even with the introduction of the 5p, 10p, and 50p shopping charges that various retailers have introduced after the charge requirement came into effect in 2015. The reduction in shopping bags will save some of the 100,000 marine animals which are unnecessarily killed by plastic bags annually. 

12 million barrels of oil a year are used in making the plastic bags used in the US alone, with 10% of the total oil supply going to making these bags. This is a non-renewable resource that creates an incredible amount of greenhouse gases. 

Pop a reusable shopping bag in your car, your bags, and your coat pockets to ensure you always remember a shopping bag on your next trip out.

Cook from scratch 

This new year’s resolution will benefit not only the environment but also your health and your wallet. The processed, packaged convenience food many of us are fond of is creating an absurd amount of waste.

We throw away 6.6 million tonnes of household food waste per year, with 70% of this being food we could have eaten. Home cooking, batch cooking, and meal planning is a great way to reduce your food waste in the new year. Having a homemade meal ready for you in the freezer when you’re tired is a great way to avoid ready-meals and food waste.  

We suggest you start slow, with just one or two meals a week to get used to your new resolution. A batch-cooking session on the weekend is also a great way to introduce home-made meals into your life. 

Give Veganuary a go 

The livestock industry accounts for 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, with animal agriculture accounting for 18% of this – more than all transportation exhaust emissions combined. The meat industry also uses a vast amount of water, with some estimates saying it accounts for 70% of the water used in the world, with others reporting that number being 92% of our freshwater. 

Give Veganuary a go to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it is an established national campaign encouraging people to try the vegan diet out for the month of January, with a wide range of participating restaurants to help the cause. 

If going totally vegan isn’t on the cards, then eating less dairy and meat is still the number one way to reduce your carbon footprint. Whether that be through a Meatless Monday, Vegan Before 6, only eating meat on the weekends, or by only buying meat and dairy that’s ethically and sustainably sourced. Every meatless meal helps. 

Avoid fast fashion 

Big chain shops like Primark, H&M, and BooHoo with incredibly cheap clothes often seem too good to be true, especially in the Christmas and New Years sales, but that’s simply because they are. The world’s demand for cheap clothing that is only worn for one season is massively polluting, with the fashion industry producing 10% of all global emissions, alongside using 1.5 trillion litres of water annually. 

In order to meet our demand for the latest fashion trends, garment workers in manufacturing countries are generally treated inhumanely, with almost no worker rights. Brands often aren’t paying their workers minimum wage, and if they do it’s in countries where the minimum wage is way below the living wage. 

These garment workers are also working endless hours, up to 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, with some working until 2 or 3 am during busy periods. The normal working week is 96 hours for these labourers. Alongside this, they perform in unacceptable conditions with massive health and safety concerns with fires, injuries, and diseases being frequent occurrences on textile sites. 

In 2021, consider whether you need to buy any new clothes at all by re-organising your wardrobe and pairing together new outfits. If you do need to buy new items, stick to timeless pieces that won’t go out of style bought from sustainable fashion brands that treat their workers right. 

If these sustainable fashion brands are out of your budget, consider buying second hand, preloved, and vintage or organise clothes swaps with your friends so you both end up with an exciting new piece of clothing that has produced no pollution.

Download the GoEthical App for a more ethical future

Shop from GoEthical during 2021 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. 

Download the GoEthical app to start supporting sustainable businesses:

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