By Louisa Wood, Anything Goes Lifestyle Contributor
The UN has conducted multiple environmental studies, which have shown that this decade is our final opportunity to reduce greenhouse emissions, globally. Without action, climate change will continue to get worse, causing more extreme weather, like high temperatures, drought, wildfires, flood, tornadoes, and tsunamis.
As Anne-Marie Bonneau, @ZeroWasteChef on Twitter, said: We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.
For your 2022 New Year’s Resolutions, include some environmental considerations to do your bit.
Learn to sew
Around £140 million worth of clothing ends up in UK landfills every year. This is clothing that could still be used. If you are able to sew, you can ‘make do and mend’. Some items can be given more life by fixing them.
Other things, you could alter to fit better as your shape and style changes. You could even repurpose other items, making them in tote bags for example. If it’s really unsalvageable, consider recycling centres and charity shops.
On the topic of keeping things out of landfill, get yourself a BPA-free water bottle. Then, you can always stay hydrated without buying throwaway plastic bottles and keep yourself healthy.
Do the same with takeaway coffees by buying a resuable coffee cup with a lid.
If you love a straw with your cold drinks, have a metal one in your bag so you’re not accepting the one-use plastic ones.
600 million batteries are estimated to be thrown away every year in the UK. This is 20,000 tonnes of landfill. Using reusable batteries, or at the very least recycling your old ones, would help reduce this unimaginable number.
Eating less dairy and meat is often said to be a good way to reducing greenhouse gas emissions because of intensive farming practices.
This is only true if you don’t then end up buying out-of-season vegetables that have been grown across the world in vast plastic greenhouses that aren’t eco-friendly, tended by modern slaves who are beaten and live in appalling conditions, flown over, packaged in plastic to keep them fresh, and sold at a premium in huge, brightly lit shops.
Instead, you could support your local farmers so you’re reducing air miles and keeping local families in gainful employment.
Eating in season, local produce also means you’ll be getting fresher, healthier food.
Public transport is often an eco-friendlier option. However, it can depend where you live if it’s possible to use without having to set off 24 hours before you need to be somewhere.
You could look at e-bikes or e-scooters as another alternative to using the car.
If cars are your best option, try sharing a lift with others. There are even apps and websites to organise car-pooling. If driving yourself is a regular necessity, save up to invest in a new car, hybrid or e-car.
OIder cars were often not built with environmental concerns in mind. Newer cars even come with eco advice so you can learn to drive more efficiently.
Just by reducing your accelerating and hard braking, you will get more miles to the gallon, which in turn saves you money and how often you need to top up the tank.
Use Water Wisely
Some days, there’s just nothing better than a long soak in the bath. However, this uses an awful lot of water that then just goes down the plughole. When you can, grab a quick shower instead.
When brushing your teeth, you really don’t need to wet the toothbrush beforehand. Try it! You might be surprised.
You certainly don’t need the tap to stay on whilst you’re brushing. Just rinse the sink afterwards. You’ll be saving two minutes of fresh, running water.
Flushing the loo is a huge waste of water – thank the Victorians for that! Use a low-flow toilet to reduce the amount of water you use per flush.
Not only that, every drop that goes to water treatment plants is then purified, which uses even more energy. Reducing your water usage means you will be saving those precious droplets as well as minimising the amount of carbon dioxide created during the purification process.
How To Keep Your 2022 New Year’s Resolutions
New Year’s Resolutions can often be the sort of thing we decide to commit to in the weeks before NYE but only stick to for the first few days of the new year. Use these tips to stay on track for longer.
- Choose the right resolutions for your circumstances
- Don’t be over ambitious
- Make your resolutions SMART:
- Plan how you will carry out your new resolution
- Don’t beat yourself up if you slip up. Just reset and carry on.
Together, we can make a difference to protect our planet for our lives and the lives of those in the future.