Life

7 Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions For An Eco-Friendly 2020

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The new year and a brand-spanking-new decade is around the corner, and with that comes new year’s resolutions. Whether you absolutely love the chance to start afresh, or aren’t too keen on it, new years' resolutions are a great way to try out something new in life, take better care of yourself, or even perhaps the environment.

The word of the year in 2019 was ‘climate emergency’. With news of the Amazon rainforest fires this summer, the UK having the hottest day on record in July, and bushfires currently ripping through the Australia bush — it’s no surprise environmentalism and climate action is at the forefront of people’s minds.

This year also saw climate action activism take centre stage with the likes of Extinction Rebellion protests in London and across the UK, youth activists loudly fighting for change — not just Greta Thunberg, but her piers Isra Hirsi, Leah Namugerwa, and Autumn Peltier to name a few.

On an individual level, sometimes it can be difficult to know how to make a change, and what to do to better impact the world. But setting new goals for 2020 could help change your habits and live more sustainably where possible.

So here’s a list of sustainable new years resolutions and goal ideas to try out in the new year.

1
Veganuary
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January seems to be the month of challenging yourself — like dry January to give your liver a break after all the festive alcohol consumption. So, why not give Veganuary a whirl? Plant-based eating is one of the best things you can do for the environment. The month-long commitment requires you to ditch the dairy and meat, and if you like it, you can keep it up or adjust your diet to include more plant-based meals going forward.

2
Shop Second-Hand

You could try to shop second-hand where possible. Obviously, that’s not possible for all the things you need in life, but why not choose one area in your life like your clothes, or furniture and only shop pre-owned? Websites like Gumtree, Depop, and Facebook Marketplace are great for finding used gems for a fraction of a price.

3
Grow Your Own
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A low maintenance-resolution – why not commit to growing some plants? Whether that’s in the form of herbs on your window sill for cooking, helping out at a local community garden, getting some house-plants or even guerilla gardening! Plants literally intake carbon dioxide and produce oxygen.

4
Support Grassroots Climate Action Organisations

Make a vow to research and educate yourself on climate action and organisations and people making a difference. Whether that’s through joining protests, signing petitions or donations. While some of the onus for climate action should be individual, it’s really about making governments and large organisations listen and take action. You can help encourage that by working with others.

5
Make Do & Mend
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In the UK, the average lifetime for clothing is an estimated 2.2 years and now more than ever it seems more convenient to simply give into fast fashion and buy something new. Why not make a pledge to fix all your slightly worn clothes? You don’t have to throw out your favourite holey shoes, take them to a cobbler, or see if your local dry-cleaners offers repairs or alterations for worn, damaged or ill-fitting clothes.

6
Ditch Plastic Bags

Make a new years resolution to ditch single-use plastic bags and instead carry around a bag with you for your shopping. And if you want to take it that one step further, you can evaluate where else you can cut out single-use plastics in your day-to-day life, for example you could take reusable cutlery with you instead of using plastic spoons and forks.

7
Swap In Eco-Friendly Products Into Your Life
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For your new year’s resolution, you could make an effort to swap in eco-friendly alternatives into your everyday life. Whether that’s through sustainable cosmetics and sanitary products, or using non-toxic cleaning products, see how you can swap in sustainable alternatives.