Want to live more sustainably? Here are 5 effective New Year Resolutions to do just that
There’s no better time to make new goals in life than when the year is coming to an end. And if you want your New Year resolutions to go beyond losing excess Christmas weight and also make a positive impact on the planet you have reached just the right place!
It can be a bit of a jungle figuring out exactly how to be more sustainable, especially if you already started eating less meat, recycling and biking or taking public transport to work (if not, these are amazing resolutions, btw).
So, let’s get to it! Here are 5 resolutions for a more sustainable lifestyle. There’s something for everyone, ranging from very ambitious (I’m talking to you hardcore climate-change-conscious consumer!) to easy-to-implement (this is for the just-getting-started-on-this-honourable-journey-consumer).
1. A year without new clothes (for you and/or your family)
The fashion industry is responsible for 10 % of the annual global carbon emission. That’s more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. Holy yikes! At this pace, the fashion industry's greenhouse gas emissions will surge more than 50 % by 2030.
Help stop this development by buying as few pieces of clothes as possible. Luckily, the world is full of wonderful used clothes and innovative platforms for renting, buying and swapping clothes. If you’re in Denmark, try out Trendsales, Vera’s Vintage, Reshopper (for kids clothes). And if you love dresses consider getting a subscription to Resecond.
2. Merge your movie night once a month
Netflix streaming for one hour uses the same amount of energy as boiling 8 litres of water, which corresponds to about 163 grams of CO2. Yeah, that kind of ruined my mood too. Sorry. Why not plan a monthly movie night with a small group of friends or the family downstairs? This way you are sure to see your friends and save some CO2 at the same time - win-win.
3. Minimise food waste
The good news is that Danish households have reduced their average annual food waste the recent years! It’s really easy to get started too! The bad news is that the starting point was rather high. In Denmark, 700.000 tons of food is thrown out annually. 260.000 tons of this is thrown out at the household level costing 13,5 billion DKK. There’s good reason to get started, right?
Make a weekly meal plan, so you shop only what you need. Make a stock of the peels of your vegetables, the green parts of leeks and stalks from herbs. Make soup if you have tired-looking vegetables, freeze food you won’t manage to eat (you can freeze most things including eggs, pesto, herbs, chili, mature bananas) or make delicious citrus marmalade from lemons, oranges and limes after you’ve used the juice - perhaps for our delicious NY dessert?
4. Renting is King (and Queen)
Buying new stuff is so last year! Embrace the new you and become the king and/or queen of renting. We all know it’s possible to rent a car, but nowadays there’s no limit to what you can rent. From baby equipment and boats to photo equipment and camping gear.
5. Embrace new culinary adventures
Our global food system is broken, and we as consumers can do a lot to support initiatives that try to fix it. Subscribe to EAT Grim and get a meal plan based on vegetables too ugly for the supermarkets and download TooGoodToGo and start saving meals. And of course you should start incorporating nutritious alternative protein sources like insects. Take a look at our shop here.
Sometimes it’s very demotivation to set too hardcore goals, because you easily feel like you fail all the time. So choose one or two things and make a few measurable goals. For instance, if you are a die-hard shopper, start with a small goal like “download an app for secondhand clothes” and “investigate where the best secondhand stores are and visit at least 1”. If that was easy peasy, then try making a more ambitious goal: “Spend half the money I usually spend on new clothes, on second hand clothes the next 6 months.”
We would love to hear what your sustainable New Year resolutions are and how it goes. Please reach out or use the hashtag #heyplanet, so we’ll be able to see your pics and regram.
If you want more free tips and tricks for a more sustainable life, then become a member of our Planetarian Club. It's completely free.