The start of a new year is the perfect time to reflect on positive changes we want to make to our lives. This year, embrace changes that will also have an impact on the world with 5 green resolutions for 2021.
Reduce your digital carbon footprint
2020 was the year we involuntarily reduced our carbon footprint with commutes abandoned and summer flights cancelled, but our digital carbon footprint has soared.
Our online habits are estimated to contribute to 3.7% of global greenhouse emissions. So what steps can we take to reduce our digital footprint?
Start by reducing the amount of emails you send by using Dropbox or other file sharing system to manage documents and collaborate on work. Turn your phone, computer and other devices off when not in use, rather than leave them in energy draining sleep mode. Most importantly, for our mental health as well the environmental impact, consciously choose to turn off your device when you find yourself mindlessly scrolling out of boredom.
Ditch fast fashion
It is a sad truth that fast fashion comes at a huge human and environmental cost. The fashion industry not only produces 10% of global carbon dioxide emissions and uses 1.5 trillion litres of water annually, but fast fashion is powered by cheap labour and an exploited workforce.
If you are looking for ways to beat the urge to shop and rediscover the love for clothes you already own, why not try Livia Firth’s #30wears challenge, follow Slow Fashion Challenge or explore the ethos behind #Project333.
Switch to a green search engine
There is a new generation of search engines that are committed to doing good by offsetting their carbon footprint or donating profits to environmental causes globally.
Ecosia is the most well-known green search engine. It runs on renewable energy and uses profits to plant trees. It has so far, planted more than 115,000,000 trees.
Ekoru uses Bing for its searches, but donates 60% of its profits to two ocean clean up non-profits who clean plastics from the oceans and reforest the ocean floor with sea grasses.
Eat less meat
We all know that global meat production carries a large environmental burden, using 77% of global farming land but only producing 37% of the world’s protein. The Committee on Climate Change has recommended that to help achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, each person in the UK needs to cut the meat and dairy they consume by 20%. The omnivores amongst us should embrace meat free days each week, which is no hardship with the abundance of lovely vegetarian and vegan recipes available. A great book to get you started with flexitarian inspiration is Part Time Vegetarian by Nicola Graimes.
Make your money work for good with an ethical bank
The term ethical bank may sound like an oxymoron, but there are a new generation of banks that aim to clean up the reputation of the finance industry with socially responsible investment and fair payment of tax. Make sure that your hard earned money is not financing an industry that conflicts with your beliefs; when researching for an ethical bank that suits you, look out for investments in fossil fuels, the oil and gas industry and the arms industry. Ethical Consumer have a great breakdown of UK high street banks and their ethical ranking (although full rankings are only available to subscribers). Triodos Bank and the Ecology Building Society are both widely recognised for their environmental ideology.
I’d love to hear about the green resolutions that you will be making in 2021 or if you have had success with any of these listed already.
To make the New Year even greener, I will be sending out 31 days of greenspiration in January with 31 ways to make your home and life more sustainable.
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