Every New Year, we reflect on the previous year and re-evaluate some of our life choices. We even go the extra mile to make resolutions for the New Year hoping to spark a positive change. We make resolutions for health and fitness, improved finances and even for career and self advancement. We forget about the current state of our planet: natural resources are constantly being depleted, plant and animal species are becoming extinct and the climate is changing rapidly. For most people, 2020 is not just a New Year. It says a lot about the next decade.
This year, why don’t we incorporate an Eco-friendly resolution into our New Year plan to work towards a greener and sustainable planet? A lot of times, our New Year resolutions are a bit too overwhelming and at the end of the year, you end up feeling like you failed yourself. That is why I decided to set simple realistic goals.
- Avoid Plastic: Plastics have become an intricate part of our lives as we either wear it, work with it, eat and drink from it. It’s no news that they are detrimental to the environment as they either end up in landfills polluting ground water or in the ocean where they are ingested by sea creatures. Reusable shopping bags and water bottles are great ways to reduce plastic consumption. You can also go a step further by replacing single-use plastics with Eco-friendly alternatives. For example, use reusable straws and cutlery instead of plastics.
- Reduce Waste: People tend to buy stuffs they don’t need. In 2020, set a goal to be a conscious consumer. Learn to repair instead of discard. Meal planning will go a long way to reduce food waste. Doing a waste audit weekly helps keep track of the success of this goal. Don’t forget to reduce, reuse and recycle materials.
- Avoid Fast Fashion (Go Slow): Fast fashion involves the mass production of low quality inexpensive clothes to meet current fashion trends. These clothes are not designed to last hence, they easily wear out and are discarded. These textiles are either burnt (releasing Green House Gases, GHG) or are dumped in landfills where the chemical such as dye leach out causing water pollution. Resolve to think before you buy.
- Start a Garden and a Compost Heap: The easiest way of going green is to grow your own food or buy organic and local foods and compost your kitchen waste. This way, you’re not only sure of what you are eating, you also get to reduce carbon emissions caused by the transportation of food from the producer to consumers.
- Plant Trees: If you are looking for an affordable way to make a positive impact on the environment, plant a tree. Trees play a vital role in the carbon cycle. They trap carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and give out oxygen. They also help reduce erosion and provide food and shelter. An old Chinese proverb says
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is Now”.
- Be Informed: Sign up for Newsletters to stay informed. Resolve to talk to at least one person every week about current environmental issues and how they can get involved.
Baby steps in your efforts will make a huge difference as long as you remember to practice them all year long.
Happy New Year!