New years are often new beginnings, with many committing to going to the gym more and the bar less. We’re only week two into 2020 though and things are only getting worse with the climate crisis. That's why the most important changes we all need to make this year are reducing our emissions, pollution and impact on the Earth.
Going green is actually pretty easy though and to make things even easier, we’ve put together 10 resolutions you can set to make 2020 your cleanest, greenest year ever!
1. Less meat (or go meatless!)
The single best thing you can do for the environment is reducing the amount of meat and animal products you consume. Vegetarians have a carbon footprint about half that of meat-eaters, meaning that every day you decide not to eat meat, you’re cutting around 8% of your weekly carbon footprint.
Resolution: This year, I will not eat meat on Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs/Fri/Sat/Sunday.
2. Refuse single-use
Coffee cups, plastic straws and takeaway containers are so 2019. If you don’t have a keep cup and a bunch of Tupperware already, now is the year to get around them.
Of course, it’s great that you’re keeping those materials out of landfill but, more importantly, you’re sending a message to businesses making and using single-use packaging that it’s not ok anymore
Resolution: This year, I will only use single-use plastic ... per week.
3. Conscious commuting
Now you don’t have to give up your car forever but by eliminating it from the bulk of your transportation requirements, you’ll be massively cutting your carbon footprint. Oh, and you’ll save heaps on fuel!
Resolution: This year, I will walk, cycle or use public transport on my commute on Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs/Friday.
4. Conscious consuming
Despite how it feels getting instant light and water at with a flick of the wrist, these resources have a negative impact on the environment and they’re non-renewable. This year, treat them that way - keep lights off, unplug electronics, 4-minute showers, line dry clothes, all the stuff you usually can't be bothered doing.
Resolution: This year, I will cut my utility bill by 10/20/50% by reducing consumption.
5. Seasonally, locally
The best food is food that’s grown nearby. With less transportation and refrigeration needed, farmer’s markets are the best for your grocery go-to and with more and more popping up, there’s probably one right around the corner.
Resolution: This year, I will shop at local produce markets for some/most/all of my groceries.
6. Forget fast fashion and no more new non-essentials
Let’s face it, we don’t really need a lot of the clothes, furniture and useless homewares from Target that we buy. Minimalism is in, so this year throw consumerism out.
Resolution: This year, I will only buy a new, non-essential item once per week/month/year.
7. Avoid the airport
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s the worst form of transportation for the environment!
Scary stat of the day - most flights produce the same amount of emissions per passenger than the entire annual emissions of a person in many developing countries. Time to take the train and/or embrace Skype.
Resolution: This year, I will only fly … times.
8. Activate your activism
With so much climate denialism still out there, we need to be just as loud. Whether it’s a letter to your local politician, a social media post, attending a protest or simply having a conversation, raising awareness of climate change is our first step to solving it.
Resolution: This year, I will perform climate activism once per day/week/month/year.
9. Cash-out carbon
Now this one isn’t always possible but if you’ve got some free cash lying around, there are countless environmental charities and organisations out there doing awesome, emissions-reducing work that you can sponsor.
Resolution: This year, I will give $... to offset my emissions.
10. Get crazy composting
Duh! Of course this is our favourite one! If the entire world composted, we could cut at least 5% of total global emissions and with our monitoring system coming out this year, it’s never been easier to start!
Resolution: This year, I will compost some/most/all of my organic waste.