Admit it: you had great intentions to stick to your resolutions this year, but by the time February rolled around you were back to your usual antics. For 2014, why not make a few green resolutions? These will be easier to keep because they will enrich your life and make you feel better about the environment, too.
Green Resolution #1: Stop Buying Plastic
All that plastic is not good for the environment. Plastic bottles are a big concern – it takes around 1.5 million barrels of oil to make plastic bottles every year? Try to curb this by investing in a reusable bottle, such as the Flow Trivortex Water Bottle, which is made of eco-friendly stainless steel.
Plastic bags should also be ditched. Although they can be recycled, often not many are, which leaves them to decompose in dumps (which can take between 15 to 100 years!). Start using reusable shopping bags for all your retail therapy outings.
Green Resolution #2: Get On the Bike!
A study published in the journal of Environmental Science & Technology has shown that although planes cause more global warming in the short-term, an average car trip can increase global temperatures even more than a flight that would cover the same distance. Use your bike more than your car for shorter trips. This will also help you work off all those post-holiday kilos!
Green Resolution #3: Have a Weekly Meat-Free Day
If you’re not ready to completely erase meat from your diet, trying having just one meat-free day a week. This might not sound like a lot but it can make a huge difference. As noted on the Support Meat Free Mondays website, if every person in South Africa gave up meat for just one day every week, this action would be equal to the annual carbon that gets absorbed by 1 000 000 acres of pine forests!
Green Resolution #4: Hit the Switch!
There are really easy ways to lower your electricity usage and cut down your electricity bill in the process. For starters, switch off appliances when you’re not using them. Standby mode causes energy loss that could power up to 400,00 homes, as stated on the Carbon Info website. Use lower temperatures on your washing machine. Make sure your refrigerator is not near a hot appliance as this could cause it to have to work harder to keep your food at the right temperature. If you’re not in a room, switch off your lights – which should definitely be LED bulbs!
Green Resolution #5: Host a Swap Party
It’s not always easy to find time for your friends, but you can tie this resolution in with a fun green initiative: hosting parties where you all bring things you no longer want and then see if you can swap them. This is a great way to prevent waste. Whatever nobody wants goes into the charity pile!