Your Top 8 Eco-Resolutions for 2021

Has Lockdown 3.0 put your normal personal new year resolutions on hold?  We take a look at eight ways you can do your bit to help save the planet.

In 2019 the world stopped and took notice of Swedish teen Greta Thunberg.  Her eco-activism inspired school strikes and high-profile meetings with world leaders.

While 2020 (and now into 2021) focus has been on Covid-19, consuming less and being more environmentally aware should remain a priority.

Why not make your sure your list of resolutions is focused on sustainability for this year?

Take a No-Waste Pack

Encourage the whole family to be prepared and to take a refillable water bottle, coffee cup, and canvas bag with them when they go out. Cutting down on disposable coffee cups, plastic water bottles and bags will dramatically reduce the amount you add to landfill each week.

Skip Meat One Day a Week

Research shows the drastic effects of raising cattle and other livestock on the environment. Raising meat consumes both water and land. Why not start dropping meat from your family’s diet one day each week? Start with a meat-free Monday and remember every meatless meal you consume helps the environment.

Avoid Plastic

Plastic is terrible for our environment as it needs a huge amount of petroleum to produce it. It also never breaks down and adds to the water problem the world is currently facing. Set a goal to avoid plastic as much as possible. Buy your food in glass jars and investigate local shops that offer refill services for your shopping basics. You can also try to buy from companies that use environmentally-friendly packaging. Ask for change, call out shops and restaurants that use too much plastic on social media by tagging Greenpeace and use the hashtag #pointlessplastic.

Install Rain Barrels

Rain barrels are an easy way to save water. Head to a local home improvement store or surf online stores for a rain diverter. Install to gather the rainwater from your gutter system. You can use this water during the summer for your lawns, gardens or animals; it will also help reduce your water bill.

Start a Compost Bin

Composting is a great way to reduce the amount you throw away. Composters work better in the sun as they yield the best results at high temperatures. Ensure that the compost receives heat and water and make sure to rotate the contents in the compost bin occasionally. You can fill your compost bin with lawn clippings, brown paper bags, and organic food scraps. This will help you to reduce food waste and create nutrient-rich soil that you can use in your garden.

Avoid Wet Wipes 

Wipes that are flushed away are responsible for clogging up our sewers. Even if you don’t flush them, they are another singular-use disposable that is filling up our landfills every day. If you use them to take makeup off, could you make reusable wipes from soft cotton squares that you simply wash and reuse? 

Avoid Fast Fashion

Fast fashion is killing the planet. The resources needed to produce and dispose of all the clothing produced globally earns the fashion industry the title of the world’s number one pollutant. Start thinking about what you purchase. Can you buy second hand clothes or reduce the amount you are buying? Think about investing in a smaller capsule wardrobe, which contains interchangeable pieces instead of buying throwaway high fashion clothes.

Buy Seasonal and Local Foods

Consider your purchasing decisions around the food you buy for the family. Make it your new year’s resolution to only buy seasonal and local foods. If you can afford it, buy organic because fewer pollutants and pesticides are used in the production of organic food. Visit your local farmer’s market to buy soap, honey, and jewellery from the stallholders. Investigate the journey each food makes and buy goods with the shortest travel time. Do you really need asparagus or green beans from another continent?

If one girl protesting outside the Swedish parliament can start a global protest movement against climate change, we can all do our bit. Small actions undertaken by large numbers of people really can make a big difference.

Thank you to Claire Winter for and Families Magazine for this article.

This article was previously published in Families Magazine.

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