I was so excited for 2021, that I forgot now is the time to make resolutions, a chance to start afresh. “What’s your new year’s resolution?”. It is a tough question. Especially if you’ve not thought about it, so I thought I’d share 5 realistic and green new year’s resolutions to inspire you!
Why do we want to live more sustainably? To reduce our impact on the planet. Taking too much causes environmental issues such as habitat loss and a collapse in biodiversity. Many of the planet’s beautiful animals are suffering. I always think the saddest thing, is that they are completely unaware of why.
By making the smallest of changes we can make a huge difference in our carbon footprint! I can sometimes find new year’s resolutions and green living to be somewhat daunting and unrealistic. This is why I have shared what I believe are five manageable changes. Even if you just choose one of these green new year’s resolutions, you’re already on the right track to a happier planet!
5 Realistic & Green New Year’s Resolutions
1. Switch to oat milk in your tea or coffee in the morning
This is my green new year’s resolution! Cow’s produce a lot of greenhouse gases, a critical contributor to climate change. Whether it’s beef or dairy products, by cutting half our intake, we reduce the demand for dairy farms and therefore the number of cows needed.
I drink about four cups of tea per day, so I do not consume a lot of milk naturally, so swapping cow’s milk for oat milk is a no brainer. This is an amazingly simple switch that can have a big impact on the environment. AND oat milk tastes so much better. Nothing beats a good cuppa after a long day!
By making the swap just to your tea or coffee this green new year’s resolution is easily manageable and doesn’t cost a lot! Aldi sells oat milk for 95p, and that will keep me topped up with tea for a week. One step at a time, rather than cutting dairy out completely, cut a little bit out of one part of your daily routine.
2. Switch to solid products for a plastic-free shower
Shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel. Just three of the products I have in my shower and they’re all liquids. Fluids do not hold their shape, so need to be kept in a container. Take a quick look in your shower, all these containers are generally made of plastics.
Plastic pollution is a huge problem, especially for marine animals who are being poisoned by microplastics that find their way into the ocean. Don’t get me wrong, yes plastic is very useful, partly because it doesn’t disintegrate when it gets wet, which is also the biggest problem
Cutting plastic out of your life as a new year’s resolution would be unreasonable. Instead, let’s just start by getting rid of plastic in just our showers. I’ve recently been thrown into a world of shampoo, conditioner, and soap bars. The logic is simple because these products are solid, they need no plastic containers.
They might be a little more expensive, but they’re not watered down like their liquid counterparts so will last a lot longer. I got mine from Bottega Zero Waste. You might even find the bars are made of more natural ingredients which have other benefits for your body and the planet! Go plastic-free in your shower!
3. Buy preloved books from Charity Shops
I don’t think that the print industry is single-handedly behind deforestation, but when buying new books, you should always check for the FSC® certification on the back. This logo means the paper used is from responsibly sourced and managed forests.
However, you by-pass this issue when you buy secondhand books from charity shops. Reusing resources is a big part of sustainable living, but rather than buying everything second-hand, just committing to buying preloved books is a lot more realistic.
I’ve read nine books this year, and 7/9 were preloved. Not only will the Charity Shop sales go towards a good cause, but it will also force you to broaden your horizons. For example, I would never have picked up “Voices in the Ocean” or “The Hungry Tide” from a bookshop, but in a charity shop, you don’t have much choice.
Both these books drastically changed my perspective on animal conservation and without them, I may never have founded Pigments by Liv.
4. Drink more tap water
Drink more water is such a classic new year’s resolution, but it’s not necessarily a green new year’s resolution. Water is usually bottled in plastic or glass containers, both need to be recycled, which consumes a lot of resources!
In the UK tap water comes straight out of your kitchen sink, into a reusable container, and is ready to drink. No need for plastic and it won’t cost you £1.09 for a bottle from WH Smiths, which is why this resolution is more realistic and better for the planet!
As an encouragement, why not treat yourself to a Pigments by Liv reusable water bottle? They can hold both hot and cold liquids, so will keep your water nice and fresh! Plus, they can be a daily reminder of why you’ve ditched bottled water.
5. Grow a wild patch in your garden
This is the easiest green new year’s resolution you could make. By allowing a patch in your garden to grow wildflowers you are supporting a whole ecosystem of insects that couldn’t survive in urban areas. It doesn’t have to be a big area either, it can simply be a flowerpot.
All you have to do is sit back and watch that patch of grass grow nice and long. Like it always does, nature won’t take long to move back in. The Wildlife Trust suggests leaving any mowing to after August to let the wildflowers bloom, read their full advice here.
Bring on 2021!