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It’s that time of year again where we make our resolutions for who we will be in the coming year— working out more, donating to charity, spending more time with family and the likes. But if you are the types who are looking to be eco-friendly, it can be overwhelming to set goals that will actually make a difference against climate change without falling victim to greenwashing and claims that are too good to be true.
Our planet is changing rapidly and entire species of plants and animals are going extinct before we ever get a chance to understand them. Due to our constant and growing demand, precious natural resources like fresh water, fertile soil, and forests are becoming depleted, destroyed or much harder to find.
The industrial toxins we are putting into our air, water, food, medicine, furniture, clothing, workplaces and homes are taking a massive toll on our public health—in the form of cancer, autoimmune disease, and more.
But it is up to us to make a difference. And here are some resolutions that can make you more eco-friendly this year and the next, helping you become an eco- warrior!
Eat Locally and Consciously
Being more conscious about what we eat is a pretty straight way to jumpstart your personal climate goals. Food waste is a massive problem across the world, not only because of the ethical implications of perfectly good meals hitting the landfill instead of someone’s plate, but also because of the carbon footprint and trash.
In fact, a lot of food that we eat, especially animal-based, has a pretty severe impact on the planet. Some ways to rethink your diet, without having to give up your favourite dishes, include rethinking how much protein you need and only buying minimally processed foods.
Also, put going to your local farmers market on your to-do list. Pay close attention to what’s in season and do a little research on the growers providing your favourite foods.
Curb Your Clothes Shopping
The horrors of fast fashion are pretty well known at this point: grueling labor conditions for workers, piles of unused clothing in the landfill and the sheer environmental toll of making things and shipping them worldwide. Still, the reality is that sometimes people need new clothes, and the few companies making environmentally friendly clothes aren’t always affordable for everyone.
So this year, fight back against the unsustainable fashion cycle by resisting the urge to “haul” or buy lots of clothing— no matter who the retailer is. If you only feel lukewarm about the blazer in your cart, be it still-with-tags or second-hand, remember it’ll be much more valuable to a shopper who truly needs it or wants it.
Build a Garden
The pandemic pushed a lot f people to grow their own food— but another way to flex those new gardening skills is by planting a mini carbon sink in your yard or neighbourhood green space. Do a bit of research on what shrubs, trees and grasses are native to your region.
You’ll want to choose species that are good at storing carbon in their leaves and roots and are beneficial for insects and other wildlife. Then visit local nurseries or growers to see what the availability is like.
Picking the right plants is also only one part of the carbon-sequestration equation. The way you tend to them will make a big difference as well.
Use non-chemical fertilizers like legumes and compost from your own kitchen scraps. Your garden will look, smell, and sound livelier as a result!
Yes, plastic bags are convenient but their convenience is costly to the environment. They are difficult to recycle and are often thrown away.
Plastic breaks down into microscopic pieces of plastic that are still non-biodegradable. Reusable bags can be a great alternative to plastic bags and are relatively cheap, last a long time, and help preserve the planet!
Plastic water bottles have become a standard commodity across the world- so much so that you hardly notice them any more. But you can make a significant difference if you use a reusable water bottle and avoid purchasing plastic bottles.
It saves you money in the long run and lets you choose the style and type of water bottle you want. This easy switch makes you stylish and saves the environment!
Be Smart About Your Cosmetics
Common everyday products such as face and body wash sometimes have something called microbeads, sulphates and parabens in them to help exfoliate your skin. These materials, when released into the ocean, cause harm to marine life and may work their way up through the food chain to harming the human populations as well.
Make more conscious choices and choose chemical- free cosmetics to avoid products that have harmful effects on the environment and you.
Use Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
To make it easier on the environment and the atmosphere as a whole, try buying eco-friendly cleaning supplies. From biodegradable degreasers, eco-friendly surface cleaners to natural dish detergent, there are plenty of options and popular demand has made them more affordable.
These chemicals are less damaging to the environment, and in turn are also safer for household use.
Upcycle and Donate
When cleaning out your residence and considering throwing away items, instead try donating them or giving them a new purpose! Recycling an item can be practical, fun and really cool! Donating items keeps them out of the landfill and can benefit the local community.
Of course, these are just some ideas and we are sure you have many more! This year, let us make resolutions that will change the world and make a big positive impact on climate change and the health of this planet. Happy new year!!