As the clock hits midnight and we reach the end of yet another year, a chorus of whispered (or drunkenly shouted) promises will no doubt be cast out to the universe.
Countless party-goers, empowered by the spirit of the holiday – or more likely the spirits in their glasses – will announce their hopes and ambitions for the next twelve months. Some might say they’ll quit alcohol or learn a new language, while others may finally commit to that long-avoided skydiving experience…but sadly, these resolutions will likely fall flat. And despite stumbling and slurring their way into January 1 with a fresh optimism…by as early as the next morning, many will have resigned to life as it was before.
So why not break the annual cycle, stop undertaking impossible life changes and use your resolution for something a little different this year? Rather than pursuing unachievable challenges and targets, you could make a small commitment to help the planet instead. This could be as simple as using a vegan-friendly milk alternative in your much-needed morning coffee or trading in fast fashion for a few cruelty-free choice wardrobe additions.
No matter what you choose, by swapping those quickly-abandoned staple pledges for more manageable green options, you could not only help the environment but also see your next yearly vow through to the end.
To help find a resolution that works for you, we’ve outlined a handful of planet-saving promises…take your pick.
SWITCH TO PLANT-BASED EATING
Cutting out meat altogether can certainly seem like a daunting challenge, but what about eating vegan for just a few days every week? New research revealed that if all UK adults went meat-free for two out of seven days, it would be the equivalent to planting almost 14 billion trees and would reduce the nation’s annual greenhouse emissions by 291 million metric tonnes. Of course, if you do feel like taking the leap and going vegan full-time then be our guest, but this will certainly help ease you into the lifestyle while relieving pressure on the planet.
SWAP OUT YOUR DAILY ESSENTIALS
Whether it’s moisturiser, hair serum, wrinkle treatments or odour-killing antiperspirants, we all have those key products for our daily self-care routine. But have you ever taken a moment to double-check the environmental impact of your essentials? One small and easy way you can pledge to protect the planet, is by swapping out any damaging or nature-harming products for
STOP WASTING & START RECYCLING
It might seem simple, but too many of us are still throwing our recyclables in with the general rub-bish…or worse, shoving anything and everything into the dedicated recycling bin. Not only is it easier than ever to properly dispose of waste products, but this is a really easy change to make if you want to help the environment. By familiarising yourself with what exactly can and can’t be recycled and making an effort to stick to it, you can help save Earth one plastic bottle and tin can at a time.
SHARE ADVOCACY POSTS
How many times have you seen an Instagram reel promoting a peaceful green-protest or a tweet highlighting the latest eco-atrocity and simply scrolled past? Even if you don’t fancy braving the rain, wind or snow with a placard in hand, you can still support the environmental movements you believe in through the power of social media. Under this resolution, you can make more of an effort to hit share on advocacy posts and help spread the message across your virtual network.
Much like sharing social media posts from green advocates, signing petitions is another easy way you can push the eco-message. It goes without saying, you should only do this for topics that you agree with, but with literally thousands of movements in need of support, there are plenty for you to choose from. This resolution asks that you take the time to sign petitions that you truly back, instead of just giving them a cursory glance or ignoring them completely
START USING REUSABLES
Plastic bottles, wasteful straws and damp mountains of paper towels are all a bane on the planet…and one that we can strive to avoid. By pledging to move away from single-use products and incorporating reusable alternatives into your day-to-day life, you can noticeably decrease your own footprint on the environment. There are countless options for you to choose from online, but if you want to take things one step further you can buy locally and stop your orders being transported by plane and car.
SUBSTITUTE CARS & CABS FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORT
We’re sure you’ve heard this one before, but by avoiding cars and taxis in favour of public transport options, you can reduce your emissions and fuel use. Most major cities have extensive bus, tram or tube services that can get you where you need to be at a lesser cost to the planet. If you want to minimise your environmental impact even more, you can also strive to walk or cycle where possible.
Though it can be tempting to kit yourself out with the latest fast fashion must-haves in an endless struggle to keep up with shifting trends …this is no way to tackle environmental concerns. By pledging to only shop second-hand – or buying timeless clothing items that you can keep coming back to – you could dress more sustainably and stop supporting an industry that continues to wear down the planet. As a bonus resolution, you could also donate your old clothes or sell them on secondhand sites instead of just throwing them away when you’re finished with them.