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10 Simple Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions For All Of Us
A global pandemic combined with the ongoing climate crisis more often than not left us feeling disheartened with the state of our world and slightly powerless in 2020. At times like this we must not forget that each of us as individuals have the power to make changes for a better world by making more conscious decisions everyday. Here are our top 10 sustainable resolutions that we hope bring a little inspiration of how to do so!
1. Browse With Ecosia
This one has been top of our list the last couple of years, but with very good reason! Switching your search engine to Ecosia is so incredibly easy and something almost everyone can do. Using the profit they make from our web searches, Ecosia are committed to planting trees within the communities and areas of the world that need them the most.
Something many of us may take for granted, trees play a crucial role in the health of our planet, wildlife communities, and the economy. In areas of the world devastated by deforestation, planting trees means that local populations can restore their landscapes in order to grow abundant and healthy crops, providing food and jobs for the communities.
When it comes to the health of our planet, trees are absolutely critical in the role of reducing carbon dioxide in our atmosphere – because they absorb it back into the ground and release oxygen back into the air. As of the date of this editorial, Ecosia have planted over 100 million trees. Spread the word and make the switch!
2. Shop Local
We are always advocates of shopping locally. With the financial devastation caused as a result of the global pandemic, supporting small businesses has never been more important. By sourcing and offering local produce, these businesses avoid the need to import food and other goods from around the globe and therefore have a much lower carbon footprint.
Visiting local businesses is also a wonderful way to meet and engage with likeminded people in our communities. With so many of us spending a significant amount of time alone this year, we have personally seen the benefit that a little human interaction each day can have on our mental health.
3. Choose Organic Whenever Possible
Opting for organic is something we are extremely passionate about here at REV. Organic crops are grown with fewer pesticides, no artificial fertilisers, higher animal welfare standards, no routine use of antibiotics, no genetic modification, and no artificial preservatives or colours. These crops are made in a way that is better for people, animals and wildlife, and respect our natural environment [source: The Soil Association].
Choosing organic also goes beyond the food we eat! With our clothing made from natural fibres and beauty products made from botanical, plant based ingredients, organic should be relevant to almost everything we consume. Organic gives us the opportunity to live more harmoniously with our earth and helps to keep our soils healthy!
4. Seek Out Nature
“Nature can come into your life in minuscule ways and make a grand difference’’ – our podcast episode with model and sustainability activist Arizona Muse earlier on this year reminded us just how important spending time in nature is for our mental health. On Arizona’s recommendation we read The Nature Fix by Florence Williams and learnt all about the proven benefits that surrounding ourselves in nature has on our physical and mental wellbeing.
Not to mention, spending time in our natural world, taking in its beauty, can be the reminder we all sometimes need of what we are working so hard to protect. If, like us, you live in a city centre and find it more difficult to get out into vast outdoor spaces, we recommend visiting a nearby conservatory or greenhouse for a peaceful hour or two!
5. Find Your Nearest Zero Waste Store
With safety regulations put in place for the global pandemic, 2020 saw a surge in global plastic waste pollution – from disposable face masks and takeaway packaging to the fact coffee shops were no longer allowed to accept keep cups. Whilst we totally understand and support the need for health and safety, we do admit that news of the waste pollution crisis left us feeling disheartened.
With that said, now more than ever, we feel motivated to cut back on the amount of waste we produce as individuals and in our homes. Choosing to shop at zero waste or refill stores is a wonderful decision we can make to reduce our own personal waste, not to mention that this is often more economical! This also doesn’t have to be a specialist refill store – your local corner shop is likely to be selling package-free fruit and veg.
6. Curate Your Instagram Consciously
We’re talking ‘consciously’ in both senses of the word! The detrimental impacts that social media can have on our mental health is no secret. Actively choose to follow accounts who inspire and uplift you and unfollow those that do not. Even more importantly, remove those that could be negatively affecting your state of mind. We’ve listed some of our favourite individuals and accounts to follow below!
7. Get Growing
With many of us spending most of our time at home in the Spring of 2020, growing our own fruit, veggies and herbs became somewhat of a lockdown trend – but we encourage you to keep this going!
The good news is, you don’t necessarily need a garden or an allotment space to grow your own produce. If you’re in the city, lots of herbs, flowers, and even salads thrive growing in window sills. Or, simply choose to buy a herb plant rather than cuttings wrapped in plastic! Your local bees and butterflies will thank you for this too. Check out our piece about creating a bee and butterfly friendly garden at home here!
8. Remember To Ask
This one may seem a little obvious, but if you don’t ask, you don’t get! Asking as a consumer can be as simple as requesting your takeaway coffee without a plastic lid; or as impactful as writing to a company asking them to implement more environmentally friendly practices. Either way, you have planted a seed for a company to think more about what they can do to operate more sustainably!
Speaking from a business perspective, we at REV are so appreciative of the feedback and requests we receive from our customers! Not only can this be extremely insightful, but it encourages us to think critically about how we can operate in harmony with our planet.
9. Get Wise With Food Waste
A couple of years ago we were shocked to learn that food waste is one of the biggest threats to the health of our planet. According to OLIO, an area the size of China is used to grow the food each year which is ultimately never eaten. In addition to the questionable morality of this, an important environmental concern is also raised. When food waste ends up in landfill, methane is released as it decomposes. Methane is 23 times more dangerous than carbon dioxide in contributing to global warming [source: OLIO].
As shocking as these facts might be, there is some good news! Since a significant amount of food wasted is generated by us, in our homes, this means we have great power to make a difference simply by reducing and sustainably managing our own personal waste. Something that is possible for most of us to do is to start composting our food waste at home. If you don’t have a food waste bin, write to your local council to request one!
We also recommend trying out OLIO, a free sharing app which allows users to share and donate unwanted food and other household items with neighbours. You will even find local gardeners looking for extra compost! Read some more of our hacks for making use of household waste here.
10. Start With One Thing
“The consumer has a massive amount of power, more than we could possibly imagine. With how we influence the people around us, how we influence the company that we buy from, and how we influence the governments we vote for” – this quote from our podcast episode with Ocean Bottle founder, Will Pearson earlier on this year truly resonated with us. So much so, that in 2021 we want to encourage individual empowerment more than ever!
Inspired by our friend Giada Lubomirski of @ecoshaker, we also wanted to circulate the hashtag #startwithonething that encourages everyone to just pick one thing they will be changing this year and commit to it completely. These steps may seem small individually, but collectively they could make a huge impact!
Whether this means making a plan to vote, committing to zero waste shopping, getting involved in community led projects, or simply starting up a conversation about climate change with friends and family (more on this soon!), we must not forget that each of us as individuals have the power to make changes for a better world by making more conscious decisions everyday. This is magnified when we work together!