Green Resolutions for the New Year!

As the year 2019 is coming to an end, people are making new resolutions for 2020. Most of us will have common goals of losing weight, eating right, budgeting or finding a new job. While you can have as many resolutions as you want, adding one more to the list that benefits our planet should not be a problem for anyone. Read on and pick any one resolution or even more that you think you can work on in 2020.

Use, reuse, buy reusables

This new year, take a pledge to ditch any plastic bags, bottles or single use plastic items. Invest in reusable shopping bags, bottles, straws, coffee mugs and carry them with you. The stores selling plastic bags for 5cents are still making a lot of money annually by selling unnecessary plastic to consumers. We do not need any more waste, the planet needs no more plastic.

Save Energy

We can reduce the amount of carbon emissions by saving some energy. Turn off unnecessary appliances, avoid doing laundry everyday, hang clothes outside instead of using a dryer, make use of natural sunlight. There are many more ways of saving energy. Once a week, turn off all lights for 1 hour to save energy. If you have the money, invest in a solar panel for your home.

Walk, Bike or use Public Transport

Car does save time but walking and biking have their own health benefits. If more people use public transport, the pollution in any given city would come down significantly. Car-pooling is a good option too. To keep the air we breathe clean, we must ditch the car for shorter distances or better use public transport or carpool.

Go Paperless

Many banks offer you the facility of going paperless when it comes to monthly statements. Similarly, wherever possible, try to avoid printing paper. Cutting down on paper consumption will not only save more trees but also reduce pollution and water consumption associated with transportation and manufacturing of paper. Going digital is the new trend. Embrace it this new year.

Shop Local, Cook at Home

2020 should be the year when you change the way you eat and shop. Shopping from your local farmer’s market eliminates the need of packaging and transporting that not only adds to the cost of the produce but also increases pollution and creates waste. It is also a wonderful way of giving back to the community you live in.
Similarly cooking more at home will reduce the waste generated by sourcing more and more ingredients in making a simple dish. Also, packing food in polystyrene container is a health hazard. Carry your own containers if you are taking out or if you want to bring home leftover food.

Cut back on Meat or become a Vegetarian/Vegan

This resolution could be a bit challenging for most of us.

There is growing evidence of the negative impact meat consumption has on our planet. Research says that giving up meat and dairy could be the best thing we could do for the planet. According to Peta, ‘Globally, animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gases than all the world’s transportation systems combined’.

A large number of people who are meat lovers find it hard to give up. If it is too hard to give up your favourite non-vegetarian food, try taking breaks. For example, meatless monday. Even if you can cutback on meat on 2 days of the week, you will do a favour to the environment.

Invest in a Kitchen Garden

Having a small kitchen garden will ensure that you grow your favourite fruits and vegetables organically. Plant-based food has lower carbon footprint as compared to meat. But if they have been sourced from a far off place, their carbon footprints increase as a result of packaging and transportation. A small kitchen garden can reduce pollution and give you the organic food at the convenience of your home. Hydroponics and Aquaponics are also quite trending when it comes to farming at home.

Use Green Products for your Home

Ditch the chemical cleaners and go for green products. There are plenty of organic ways also available online that require the use of simple products like vinegar, baking soda, lemon and salt. Let us all embrace the natural way of cleaning rather than investing in chemicals that are unhealthy for us.

Giving up a habit and bringing a big change in life is not simple but that’s what resolutions are for. Let’s ring in the New Year with some healthy and green habits!

Be the change you wish to see in the world! – Mahatama Gandhi

By Manali Arora

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