12 ‘No New’ Year resolutions to Help Make a Difference to the Planet
Being green is at the forefront of everyone’s minds and with the count down occurring until we’re unable to reverse the environmental damage we’ve created, every year is crucial.
As an air ambulance charity, we understand the impact our helicopters have, and so we aim to offset the carbon footprint we create when saving lives with initiatives in other areas such as recycling, reuse and the products we release to the public urging support. You can find more about these here.
So, how can you make an impact for 2020?
Top ‘No New’ Shopping 2022 Resolutions
Say No to Fast Fashion
Did you know that the biggest cause of plastics in our oceans is from clothing? The increase in materials made with fibres that harm our waterways during washing means that buying clothes second hand could help to reduce the ‘fast’ manufacturing we’ve become used to.
With so many different ways to get your clothes, who needs to rely on next day delivery? Get down to your local charity shop and scout for some amazing buys. Many charities have incredible stock including designer items, everyday essentials and vintage buys that never go out of style which can be bought in store or online, making it accessible for everyone.
There’s also been an increase in preloved online stores such as Vinted, Schpock and Depop where people sell their own items for a fraction of the price new. With so many ways to get your clothes without there really is no reason to buy everything brand new and feed into the poor practices that fast fashion uses.
Say No to Fad Sales
Whether it’s the ‘ Unmissable Summer sale’, ‘Black Friday Bonanza’ or ‘End of Season Savers’, buying cheaper items through sale often comes at a price; to the environment. Many of these are online exclusives, which means drivers are out and about delivering parcels quicker than even Santa could manage. Although it’s great to buy online, don’t fall for the fads; the high street stores have amazing deals and yes, it may mean dragging yourself outside, but there are bargains to be had all year round, not just when it suits.
Say Yes to Clothes Swaps
Do you know someone who also has great style and similar sizes to yourself? Why not arrange a clothes swapping party to share some of your favourite looks! Not only are you getting some incredible new outfits, but you can reshare them time and time again. Style up a borrowed blouse with your favourite jeans, or perhaps share your fancy suit to save your friend from having to spend a fortune.
Did you know that 1 in 6 young people won’t re-wear an outfit that’s appeared on social? Having the option to borrow an article of clothing, you’ll find you shop a lot less, breaking that need to always having to buy something new.
Say No to New Electronics
If you’re due an upgrade on your gadgets this year then think about whether a new phone or tablet is truly necessary. With millions of electronics unused in UK homes, there’s a whole range of second hand phones, tablets and computers without a high price tag. Do your research on those sellers that cleanse and restore gadgets to their original format to ensure you’re getting a good-as-new gadget that will perform as you need.
New Years Resolutions for Reducing Wastage
Say No to Disposable Packaging
Throwaway containers add to landfill as there aren’t often enough recycling bins in public areas to separate the materials, or they can’t be recycled due to grease and food waste contamination. To avoid having to dispose of stuff, say no to packaging by taking your own. Whether it’s a reusable coffee cup, tote bag or refillable water bottle, every bit helps if you don’t have to rely on convenience.
There are so many styles, sizes and brands of reusable packaging these days that it’s easy to find an alternative to single use, but preparation is the biggest challenge. Keep your reusable items on you, so you can count on them when needed – who knows when a coffee-on-the-go is a must-have.
Say No to Throwing Away Unloved Items
If you have items you’ve fallen out of love with then it can be tempting to bin them, but this is not only wasteful but also means someone else doesn’t have the chance to give them a new lease of life. If you have items that are in good condition, whether it’s furniture, clothing, toys or kitchenware, then think where these could go to be of use. With upcycling being such a big craze at the moment, it’s incredible what people can do with things that are seemingly no good.
Say No to One-Use Gift Wrapping
Did you know that not all paper and gift wrap is recyclable? This means that many people are unknowingly contaminating their recycling with paper that can only go to landfill. Why not look at other alternatives to gift wrapping? We have some incredible sustainable gift wrap ideas that are perfect for all occasions and help you do your bit for the planet.
Say Yes to Buying Local Groceries
Convenience is a big part of our life which can affect the environment in a whole number of ways. When it comes to meal planning, buying local produce is a great way of helping the environment by reducing the volume of lorries on the road, importing out of season groceries and stopping the need for layers of packaging. Whether it’s from your local farm shop, market or even through growing your own food, the difference in choosing local produce over more convenient options is huge for both your own variety of shopping and the environment.
Other Eco Resolutions You May Not Have Thought Of
Say Yes to Your Library or Second Hand Books
Books are a form of escapism and incredibly important for all generations. If you’re an avid reader, then it may be worth considering signing up to your local library to get your hands on a whole range of books, from new releases to the Classics. Not only are you helping to keep local services open, but it’s also doing your bit for the environment. Of course, many people like to add to their collection of books, so buying these second hand from charity shops is a sure fire way to build up your collection, whilst also supporting the planet and a great cause.
Say Yes to Repurposing
With Christmas out the way, repurposing what you have is even more effective for reducing carbon footprints than buying secondhand. From old clothing to unused crockery and everything in between, there’s always some way of utilising what you have to make it as good as new. With ideas and inspiration being accessible on social channels such as Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube, get your creativity flowing and find out what you can make the most of before you throw it away.
There’s also the option of repurposing items for gifting. Use paper bags for wrapping paper, or turn old t-shirts into cute hair bandanas. Old cotton bed sheets can be cut up and used for the prettiest bunting at celebrations, or perhaps use chipped or broken teapots to make a novelty birdfeeder; trust us, they won’t mind it’s been used for years on end.
Say Yes to Home Grown Produce
You don’t have to be the most green-fingered of people to learn how to grow certain fruit and veggies. Being more self-sufficient when it comes to your food is certainly more rewarding than queuing at the checkout of your local shop but it does take a bit more work. Take a look at what to start out with if this is your first attempt at growing your own produce, or take on something more adventurous if all the easy work has been done and ‘wow’ people with some interesting seasonal fruit and vegetables that are less known.
Don’t have a garden? There are many ways to home grow fruit and veg if you don’t have acres of green space. Window boxes are the perfect solution to smaller spaces and can fit more in than you may think and even by growing your own herbs, you’re doing your bit and you’ll taste the difference too.
Say Yes to Sharing Your Eco Successes
We’re all on this planet together so your successes are everyone’s successes. Don’t be afraid to share what has worked well for you, ideas of ways you’re making a difference to do your bit for the environment, and also what hasn’t been worth the time. You never know who you may inspire and how that then pays forward to others giving it a go.
If you are taking part in any no-new initiatives in 2022, we’d love to hear what your eco-efforts include.