Is it even new year if you don’t make a resolution? With environmental news hitting the headlines on a regular basis, why not make it the focus of your 2019 resolution? The 2018 WWF Living Planet Report which collates scientific evidence on the health of the planet, confirmed that unsustainable human activity is having a catastrophic effect on our natural systems and highlighted the urgent need for action. That’s why we’ve put together a list of sustainable New Year’s Resolutions you could make this year to Go Green in 2019. No matter if big or small, if we all make a choice geared towards living a more sustainable life, together we can make a difference.
- Walk more – A double win to get us started, benefit your health and the environment. However we know it’s not always possible to walk everywhere so if that’s not realistic, why not use a bike or public transport more often.
- Buy and use a reusable water bottle – Cut out those single use plastics. Keeping hydrated is also great for your health.
- Only shower for 10 minutes – Save water! And if you’re still using a bath, switch to showering.
- Buy more second hand clothes – Fast fashion is incredibly bad for the environment. Synthetic materials also contain a lot of micro-plastics so opt for clothes made with natural materials. While you’re at it, why not to commit to donate old/unworn items from your own wardrobe more often?
- Go vegetarian or vegan – It’s surprisingly easy and again comes with many health benefits. This switch will save huge amounts of water, reduce deforestation and habitat destruction and avoid further pollution of rivers and oceans, to name but a few benefits! There’s plenty of research out there showing this is one of the best ways you can do your bit for the environment, so get reading and start eating less meat and dairy.
- Car pool – If you need your car for a commute why not car pool? Cut your carbon emissions and meet new people in the process.
- Get a keep cup – Curb those coffee cup habitats. Many coffee shops now also offer discount for people bringing their own cups so you may even save some pennies.
- Ditch plastic straws for good – Buying a drink? Remember to politely request for no straws. If you prefer to drink through a straw, get a metal or bamboo reusable one, simple!
- Switch your shampoo bottles for bars – Cut out another pointless plastic. There are lots of great alternatives out there, particularly online, but also in high street stores like Lush. *Top tip* if you travel a lot, find and reuse a small old tin to store it in. Transporting these can be slippery business.
- Make your own cleaning products – Green cleaning is another great idea, make the move to switch your cleaning products. Chemicals that are washed down the drain can be hazardous for the environment. Combining simple natural ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda, and lemon means your products contain none of these toxic chemicals and can be picked up cheaply from your local store. If you can’t make your own, buy brands like Ecover which use plant-based ingredients that are biodegradable.
- Compost – Composting is super easy and is great for the environment! It helps soil hold or sequester carbon dioxide reducing your emissions. Plus it returns valuable nutrients to the soil to help maintain soil quality and fertility whilst reducing soil erosion and preventing storm water runoff.
- Use reusable shopping bags – Say no to plastic bags. Always carry a reusable one with you.
- Recycle – Do a bit of research and see what your local council recycles. If they don’t do collections, visit your local recycling centre. Glass, plastic, newspapers, magazines, clothes and shoes. Even committing to just one of these is doing your bit. Make the extra effort and be sure to make sure all food packaging and waste are cleaned . Oh and don’t forget to check the labels to make sure they are actually recyclable.
- Take 3 for the Sea – Whenever you visit the beach this year, pick up at least 3 pieces of trash each trip. This initiative has been a great success. If you’ve got the time, join in with local beach cleans and help prevent rubbish polluting our oceans.
- Travel with a cause – OK we may be a little biased with this one, but why not benefit the environment on your next holiday? Volunteer with a conservation organisation and help with valuable research and promoting conservation action. You’ll visit beautiful destinations whilst contributing to the local community in the process.
Hopefully this has given you some food for thought and inspired you to make a change to benefit the environment next year. If you have any good ideas of your own, be sure to let us know. Good luck for going green in 2019!