Reflecting and setting personal goals, new year resolutions can be daunting. The new year is also a great time to think about the steps you can take to positively impact our environment.
You might already be recycling at home, using reusable shopping bags, and donating unwanted clothes to charity. Check out these three easy changes you can explore to take it a step further to make a difference to our planet, and come back to as the year goes on to help maintain your new habits!
1. What you use
Plastics are entering the natural environment - approx. 5,000 items of marine plastic pollution have been found per mile of beach in the UK. - WRAP
There are so many everyday objects and tools we use which are single-use, it’s hard to know when there are alternative options available. Plastic pollution has become a big problem.
Avoiding single use and embracing reusable options including waterbottles, coffee cups, straws and washable face coverings are a good start.
It’s not always practical to carry around a coffee cup, I find the smaller cup sizes easier to pack away, plus a more realistic portion size. I absolutely love mine from Ecoffee Cup and Chilly's Bottles, pictured below. Having a colourful or patterned design that I love, helps me to remember them when I leave the house and keep the habit going.
In the kitchen buy washable, durable cloths. I also love the coconut fibre wash pad and bamboo washing up brush from Save Some Green, they are non-scratch and last the longest!
Last year I invested in reusable make-up pads and sanitary products from Battle Green, and I can’t see myself ever going back to disposable options. Instructions for care and hygiene are provided. Investing in a small zipped laundry bag helps to wash these smaller items, keeping them separated.
2. What you eat
Where you shop and what you buy can impact on not only the environment, but also your local community.
In season, locally grown food produces fresher produce and means less transportation. Luckily, I live close to an amazing store, HISBE in Brighton, with a refill station for dry cupboard foods, bodywash, laundry detergent... and the list goes on. More supermarkets are trialing the idea of refill stations and if you do buy from other supermarkets make the most of loose fruit and veg and use your reusable bags.
Eat less meat, research has found reducing animal sources from your diet, helps to minimize your carbon footprint. This is due to air and water pollution animal farming creates, the emissions caused by the transportation of meat, and the water and land consumption needed for these farms. If or when you do consume animal products, purchase locally supporting your local farmers providing free range produce.
3. What you wear
50 billion new garments were made in 2000; 15 years years later, that figure had approximately doubled - Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
Fast fashion, it is everywhere, it’s easy, it’s cheap. Affordable and ethical clothing shops are around and in our communities. Buy less, buy items you truly love, and cherish them for a long time.
Be kind to your clothes, washing on lower intensity and cooler settings. Use air drying techniques rather than tumbling.
Learn basic mending to make your clothes last. How many pieces of clothing have you thrown away after a strap comes loose or a button falls off? Instead save your garment and your money by learning a few basic mending tips, or take it to your local dress makers.
What tips an tricks do you have? Let us know @mindfulmanta.