It's that time of year again! 2022 was a year of ups and downs for our planet, but we're looking ahead to 2023 to be the year of change. We know, change requires more than just individual action, but there is no better place to start than your own home. Making small changes to help combat the climate crisis is the first step to saving our planet. So, why not join us in adopting these New Year's Resolutions and let's help make the world a better place for 2023...
We know, recycling is not a solution to all our waste problems (it's better to skip the single-use plastics altogether). But if you’re going to recycle, please ensure you do it correctly! Otherwise, you may end up doing more harm than good. Recycle Now has all the information you could possibly need including what can and can't be recycled, how to recycle specific items and where in your local area to find different recycling facilities. The best thing you can do is repurpose items rather than recycling them - try and reuse cardboard boxes, glass jars and even plastic bottles before you recycle them to help extend their life even further.
You might be regretting your food choices over the festive period but we're here to tell you to skip the crash diet all together (you look great!) and try plant-based eating instead. Animal agriculture has an enormous impact on climate change, contributing as much greenhouse gases as every car, plane, train, and ship on Earth. Going plant-based is one of the most powerful ways to reduce our personal carbon footprints. Not ready to go all the way? Just start with one meal, and gradually introduce more plant-based meals into your life. It's so much easier than you think!
Ditch the car
Where possible, avoiding driving or taking journeys in a car is a great way to cut down on your personal emissions. Try taking public transport such as buses or trains, or you could learn to cycle! Walking and running are also great options that will help you get in some gentle exercise every day, saving you money on a January gym membership that you're unlikely to use again. If you do need to drive, consider looking into car-sharing or upgrading to a hybrid or electric car.
Skip single use plastics
Did you know that plastic carrier bags are only used for an average of 15 to 20 minutes? Meanwhile they have an average lifespan of 500 to 1,000 years in landfill. That moment of convenience isn't very inconvenient for our planet! Just pop a reusable bag in your handbag or backpack, or keep one in your desk. We hang ours by our front doors so we never leave home without them! There's lots of choice nowadays of tote bags, bags-for-life, foldable shoppers and so much more. Shop around to find one that's right for you, or better yet, use something you already have at home.
Cut out fast fashion
Save money and save the planet by buying less and buying good quality. Fast fashion is one of the most wasteful industries on the planet. Research shows that a garbage truck’s worth of clothing and textiles is landfilled or incinerated every second. Every. Single. Second. There are thousands of tonnes of clothes currently sitting in landfill, producing greenhouse gases as they break down, wasting the vast amount of resources used to create them. Our current clothing industry is incredibly polluting, resource-intensive and wasteful as well as mostly unethical. Consider shopping second-hand to help keep perfectly good clothes out of landfill and even save yourself some cash! Charity shops, bootfairs and online platforms such as depop, Vinted and eBay are great for finding pre-loved fashionable treasures.
Register to vote
The best chance we have for preserving our planet comes with political change. Ensure you are registered to vote, research the candidates and their stance on environmental policies and most importantly show up and vote! Voting is one of the most powerful actions a single person can do and can lead to much greater change than anything else we have discussed here. Climate change will never be solved by recycling, or carrying a reusable bag. It’s going to require a huge political overhaul. Remember that these political leaders are elected by votes from individuals just like you and me.