It’s officially December, bringing with it the festive season! Every year when we reflect on the year that has passed, we ask ourselves, ‘What can we do next year to be better?’. This article will explore how to set five environmentally friendly new year’s resolutions. The idea of New Year’s resolutions has for a long time been about getting fitter, healthier, losing weight, and moving more. Many of these self-imposed strict rules are conjured when bombarded with ads for gyms when thinking of how ever-so-slightly snug our clothing is after a few days of treats and Christmas dinners.
Let’s face it, many resolutions we make are hard to stick to. We may decide on restrictive or very new ideas that don’t always fit into everyday life and many are forgotten going into February.
New Year’s Resolutions: What if we make the environment healthier next year, instead?
What if, instead of just thinking of ways to improve our physical self, we thought about ways we could improve our environment. The way we use everyday things, help us make an eco-friendlier year ahead.
Just think, what if everyone made one small change to become more environmentally friendly? The impact would be much larger than just one person. That is the basis of change, if, collectively, we can make small changes to the way we act. Together we shall have a much larger impact.
Are you wondering where to start? Being more environmentally friendly or environment-conscious doesn’t have to have radical ideas, or necessarily cost the earth. There are small changes that can be made into everyday routines that do make a difference, however small it may seem. There are many items we don’t really consider when thinking about ways to be environmentally friendly. Below are five ideas that you could give a try.
5 ideas for environmentally-friendly New Year’s Resolutions
Water flasks or reusable bottles
Why not take a flask of water out with you to save you from buying plastic water bottles throughout the day? Not only will this save you money in the long term, but it will be a gentle reminder to drink more. This is definitely a resolution to keep. You can get reusable or eco-coffee cups too. A simple switch can save hundreds of cups being disposed of a year. Healthy for the planet, healthy for you!
Reusable straws; a great New Year’s Resolution
The same can be said for straws. It’s such a little thing to think of, that little straw in your glass or takeaway will end up in a landfill – or worse, the paper alternatives end up soggy in your glass.
Reusable options can be purchased in lots of places, stainless steel, silicone, and even glass straws. Many come with cleaning brushes and portable carry pouches so you’ll always have one should the need arise. Kids love being able to choose their colour straw out of a pouch so they can remind you when you can make a swap when out and about.
Whether you have a baby, are expecting one, or know someone who is, why not discuss cloth nappies? It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, even one reusable nappy a day could save 365 nappies from landfill in a year. That’s 365 fewer nappies that take 550 years to biodegrade. There are options for all budgets and many local councils do reusable nappy schemes and vouchers. It’s worth looking at. There is a wide cloth nappy community online ready to help anyone new or with any questions.
My boys are 22 and 24 years old, but when they were babies, I used cloth nappies. These are very similar looking to disposables but save the environment. At the time, I ran the 3 Counties Real Nappy Network, offering alternatives. Why not look at what help you can get from local companies or even your council?
What do you do with your loose change? Throw it in a piggy bank, chuck it in a change jar or lose it down the sofa never to be seen again. Instead of losing the pennies, why not put them in a little pot. At the end of the year, you can then donate this to charity.
Perhaps choose one that has environmentally conscious values? Why not throw in a few pounds from time to time and have a coffee at home instead of one in a coffee chain. You can feel warm, knowing those pounds will be adding to your little charity fund.
Get those walking shoes on as a New Year’s Promiseco-
Walking is my favourite activity and is a fantastic way to get fitter, enjoy mindful moments and connect. This can be done whether you are with loved ones or with your own thoughts and nature.
Instead of driving everywhere why not embrace the beautiful crisp days and wrap up for a nice walk instead of driving for a coffee? Perhaps park a little further away from work if you can and walk that little bit extra. Cutting down on driving will cut down on your emissions and be more environmentally friendly but will also save money on fuel. Get your 2022-self walking into the New Year ready for whatever it may bring.
With walking and charities in mind, I am so excited for my 2022 adventure – completing my bucket list coastal path walk in Wales. This South to North walk is surrounded by sea and natural beauty is 850 miles long, although it may be closer to 1000 miles by the time I actually finish! I would love to combine this wonderful event with raising money for charity and would love some ideas on which one to choose. Leave a comment with your thoughts!
I hope this article has given you some inspiration to help set environmentally-friendly new year’s resolutions.