With a new year right around the corner, new beginnings and fresh starts await! While most New Year’s resolutions are centred around personal improvement, the New Year is also the perfect time to think about ways to eco up your day-to-day. We can assure you that sticking to a resolution that gives back to the world is a wonderfully rewarding feeling.
If there is one thing this past year has taught us, it is that the time has come for climate action. To make the next decade count, we all need to do our bit - and of course, we will help you to get started! Here are some ideas of New Year’s resolutions that will help you play your part in protecting our precious planet. Let’s make this year your greenest yet!
1. Collect experiences, not things
Reimagine your relationship with stuff. While overconsumption of material things is still widely popular, we believe that the focus needs to shift from owning things to valuing experiences. A new dress or pair of shoes may make us grin from ear to ear at first, but that feeling of excitement quickly fades. The idea that we need to buy new things as a way of stating our happiness or success is a toxic trend - both for ourselves because it is addictive (the feelings never last so on we move to our next ‘hit’), and for the planet. If this resonates, check out all the research backing up the fact that buying experiences makes us a lot happier than buying stuff!
2. Get educated
Our next top tip for a more conscious year is to subscribe to a few well-chosen and well-informed eco-minded newsletters. It’s a small effort, but it makes all the difference when it comes to understanding and keeping oneself up to date with the state of the world. From understanding fashion’s circular economy, to zero waste tips and honest sustainability rankings - the more you know, the more motivation you will have to take action! Here are 3 green newsletters worthy of your time:
1. For in-depth environmental articles: Guardian Sustainable Business
2. For green and zero waste tips in the day-to-day: Pebble Magazine
3. For honest sustainability rankings on fashion brands and suggestions on how to shop more ethically: Good On You
3. Introduce Meat-free Mondays
Research shows that reducing our meat consumption is the alpha and omega when it comes to reducing your ecological impact (and improving our health, too!). However cutting all your meat consumption out overnight is probably not the way to go, so why not integrate a meat-free Monday into your weekly routine to start with? This will not only help to contribute to a greener planet but will incentivise you to discover all the deliciousness of plant-based meals. Don’t know where to start? Check out these 20 Deliciously Ella recipes that’ll inspire your plant-based eats. Willing to take the vegan plunge? Take a look at our 7 essential tips to go vegan.
4. Replace your takeaway habit
Stressful mornings, long working hours and busy schedules have resulted in an extremely excessive takeaway culture. A coffee on-the-go may seem harmless, but according to the UK Environmental Audit Committee, 2.5 billion takeaway coffee cups are used and thrown away in the UK every single year. That is enough coffee cups to stretch around the world five and a half times - and most are not recyclable. Not so innocent anymore, right? Don’t worry though, you don’t need to ditch the coffee (thank God!), just the cup. KeepCup has some great ones that will make you abandon the wasteful disposables in a second. Of course, this not only goes for coffee but for all packed foods. Make it a habit to cook a little larger meal the day before - and bring the leftovers for lunch the next day (saving you money in the process - if that’s not a good New Year resolution!)
5. Tell companies what you want
At BLANC, our customers are the ones who provide the single most important feedback we get - and the ones we listen to the most. They keep us on our toes, teach us things we did not know and challenge us to do better. It is easy for individuals to feel small in comparison to companies, but the truth is that most companies actually care a lot about what you have to say (you are voting with your wallet, after all, and if people stop buying a product or service, the business will take notice, trust us). Send an email to your favourite fashion brand and ask for some details about their supply chain, or tell your barista at your local coffee shop that you won’t accept any single-use plastic and could they kindly pass this on to Management? Make your voice heard - it does count!
6. Do it yourself
DIY your way through 2020! Doing things yourself will not only spark your creativity but it can also be very wallet-friendly. Not to mention that reusing and repurposing what you already have will lower your carbon footprint. DIY ranges from easy afternoon crafts, such as toilet paper roll dolls, to more advanced projects, such as coffee tables built out of old lego pieces. We recommend you to start small - making it hard for yourself on the first try will hardly make you want to do it again. We suggest maybe starting with pimping up your mason jars? Or why not regrow your veggies in home-made pots? Here are 7 great beginner level DIYs.
7. Plant up your house
Take a trip down to your closest flower shop on your way home from work to pick up some greenery to liven up your home. Plants are absolutely amazing and their benefits go far beyond the aesthetics. Research shows that indoor plants are great for your wellbeing and can actually lower stress levels and boost your mood. Another undeniable advantage is that plants are a natural air purifier - something which is very well needed especially in big, polluted cities like London. Particularly good air purifiers are Aloe Vera, Spider Plant, Peace Lily and Snake Plant. At BLANC, our offices are filled with beautiful greenery from the brilliant plant home delivery company Patch Plants!
8. Pay it forward
Tell a friend to tell a friend! To make the next decade count and fight climate change, we need to work together. Word of mouth is more powerful than one may think - plus, once you start adopting a more sustainable lifestyle, it’s hard not to talk about it. With the friends who already are eco-minded, you’ll be able to give and receive some valuable tips to navigate the sustainable lifestyle together. For friends who might not be as aware yet, gifts can be a fun way to make them join the conversation. Giving away a reusable bottle could maybe even change their habit of buying single-use plastic bottles!