As we enter the new year, we must think about how we, as young people, can positively impact our planet.
First and foremost, we need to take responsibility and make better lifestyle choices for the environment. These actions could involve reducing our carbon footprint by using public transportation, eating less meat, or purchasing reusable products. Additionally, we can try to support sustainable businesses and brands that prioritise environmental stewardship.
If you’re wondering where to start with your sustainable New Year’s resolutions, you’re in luck. We’ve compiled a list of realistic and achievable goals that can help you make a difference in saving Mother Earth.
Nine realistic New Year resolutions you can do for the planet:
1. Incorporate plant-based meals into your diet
Reducing your meat consumption and incorporating plant-based meals into your diet greatly reduce your carbon footprint. Try to have at least one meat-free day a week, and explore different plant-based protein sources like lentils, beans, and tofu. You can also experiment with plant-based recipes to add variety to your meals.
2. Reduce single-use plastic waste
Using reusable bags, water bottles, and containers is an easy way to reduce single-use plastic waste. Keep reusable bags in your car, or by the door so you always have them on hand. Opt for glass or stainless steel water bottles instead of plastic ones. And when packing your lunch or bringing home leftovers, use reusable containers instead of disposable ones.
3. Choose environmentally-friendly transportation
Transportation methods like biking, walking, or public transit can significantly reduce your carbon footprint. If you need to drive, consider carpooling or investing in an electric or hybrid vehicle.
4. Don’t throw trash on the streets
This might not sound like much, but keeping your trash in your pockets, if there aren’t any waste bins in sight is a big deal. You prevent sewers from getting clogged, and accidents from happening, and show a good example to the younger generation.
5. Switch to energy-efficient products
Switching to energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances can significantly reduce your carbon footprint. LED light bulbs use significantly less energy than traditional bulbs and last much longer. Energy Star-certified appliances are also a great option for reducing energy usage.
6. Support local produce
Supporting local produce by shopping at farmers’ markets or joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. By buying locally, you’re reducing the energy required to transport food long distances.
7. Save water
Reducing water usage is another crucial step in sustainability. Take shorter showers and fix any leaks in your home. You can also invest in low-flow showerheads and faucets to reduce water usage.
8. Recycle and dispose of electronic waste properly
Properly recycling and disposing of electronic waste is important to prevent harmful chemicals from entering the environment. Find an e-waste recycling program and dispose of your electronics properly.
9. Educate yourself and the community
Educating yourself and others about the importance of sustainability is key to making positive changes in your community. Join local groups or attend workshops that teach various ways you can contribute in a better planet, from composting lessons to preparing plant-based meals. Share what you learn with friends and family to spread awareness.
So, let’s start the new year with a commitment to sustainability. We have the power to make a positive impact on our planet by making small but meaningful changes in our daily lives.