Welcome to the New Year! As 2020 begins, make sure you take the time to rest and recharge... There's a lot to do this year.
Sustainable living has been a growing movement for two years now, and we're making progress - zero-waste shops have opened all across the country as we change our eating habits, making supermarkets like Waitrose consider going packaging free; more of us are going 'flexitarian' and switching to more plant-based foods; not to mention the amazing activism we've seen on climate change and all our own individual changes to reduce waste in our life.
There's a long way to go, and change can start with the smallest steps.
Here are 50 ideas for a resolution to make this year. This is not to make you feel overwhelmed, but instead to give you a starting guide to making this planet a better place - pick just one or two changes you haven't made yet and see the benefits!
1. Switch to a renewable energy provider for your home.
2. Don't fly for a year - travel by land and sea instead.
3. Aim to walk 10,000 steps a day.
4. Attend a Climate Strike near you.
5. Plant a tree - in your garden or through a charity.
6. Take a bicycle maintenance class if you haven't yet.
7. Vote for parties committed to tackling the climate crisis.
8. If you eat it, swap beef for other meats.
9. Check labels and don't buy products made with palm oil (unless certified sustainable).
10. Talk about climate change - with your family, children, friends and colleagues.
11. Complete a waste audit to learn what you throw away most.
12. Take one plastic-packaged product you use regularly and find an alternative.
13. Start a compost bin or a worm bin if you don't have one.
14. Compost any biodegradable waste you have (tissues, hair, etc) - don't send it to landfill.
15. If you have periods, invest in a reusable period product.
16. Go for bars not bottles for your soap, shampoo, conditioner and shave gel.
17. Swap cling film for wax wraps, silicone bags or reusable containers.
18. Support businesses who offer refills and waste-free packaging.
19. Write to businesses who use unnecessary plastic packaging.
20. Bring a reusable water bottle wherever you go.
21. Support a local farmer's market where you can.
22. Find and support your nearest zero-waste bulk shop.
23. Grow your own food - start with something easy like chard or beans.
24. Eat plant-based foods and reduce the meat on your plate.
25. Try Veganuary.
26. Eat seasonally.
27. Find a sustainable swap for a less eco-friendly food. E.g. falafels for avocados, green veg for packaged salad.
28. Prepare lunch ahead instead of grabbing it on the go.
29. Try a new sustainable recipe each month - delicious and low impact!
30. Buy your fruit and veg loose - shop around supermarkets and local fruit stalls to see where is best.
31. Watch 'The True Cost' documentary to educate yourself about the impact of fast-fashion.
32. Take the 'Buy Nothing New' challenge for a year and embrace second-hand.
33. Sell or swap your unwanted clothing to make sure it's going to someone who wants it.
34. Find out where to drop off worn-out clothing near you. (Marks & Spencer's offers textile recycling).
35. Choose sustainable textiles like hemp, organic cotton and jute.
36. Avoid textiles made of synthetic materials which release microplastic with every wash.
37. Try out a clothing rental service - maybe a dress for an occasion or baby clothing.
38. Take part in Fashion Revolution Week on 20th-26th April and ask brands #whomademyclothes?
39. Invest in a Guppyfriend bag or Cora Ball to save microplastics when you wash your clothes.
40. Learn to sew or find a local tailor to help you alter clothing to fit better or try a new style.
41. When you're on the beach or in the countryside, bring a bag and clean up plastic waste you find.
42. Join forces with colleagues to tackle waste at work.
43. Visit your local repair cafe to fix your electronics for free or an item library to rent, not buy, one-off tools.
44. Join the Olio app to share leftover food with your neighbours, or give good-quality supplies to a food bank or homeless charity.
45. Create a community garden and let people help themselves to produce.
46. Give an hour of your time to a person who is feeling lonely.
48. Buy products and services from people who are local to you where you can.
49. Before you buy anything, ask - will it give me joy?
50. Save up for an experience over a new possession.
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