Eco-Thursdays: Green New Year’s Resolutions

Happy 2022 everyone!

With a new year underway, it is the season for setting a resolution for the next 12 months. Setting off a few days into January is no excuse not to set a goal or make a pledge, and here are our ideas for some green or eco resolutions you can make:

1. Go vegetarian!

Eating less meat (and/or dairy) is an easy way to reduce your individual environmental impact. Animal agriculture is responsible for 10%of the UK’s emissions, and the intensive farming practices involved in producing the feed for these animals is very damaging for soil quality and biodiversity. Going vegetarian, vegan, or even just flexitarian can be a good way to live by your environmental principles.

Veganuary has some great resources to support your transition, and here are some tasty, easy vegetarian dinner ideas to get you started.

2. Walk to work or school

Making a commitment to walk to your workplace or school (or take public transport if it’s too far to walk) is a great way to improve your health and reduce emissions. You could commit to making the journey by foot once or twice a week. Walking with a friend or family member is a great motivator, or you could find a weekly podcast to accompany your journey.

3. Join a local environmental group

Lots of schools and towns have local groups that run activities relating to the environment. This could be a conservation or biodiversity group in the area, planting trees

and improving green spaces, or a group running sessions with local politicians to let them hear residents views and introduce policy to protect the environment. Making a commitment to join one of these groups and attend once a week can be a great way to meet people and get involved in your local community.

4. Grow your own vegetables

Set a target to grow a particular type of vegetable this year to eat in season instead of buying it in. Salad leaves are a great option to fill sandwiches instead of shop-bought lettuce – many salad plants are ‘cut and come again’, meaning you can harvest the leaves and they’ll grow back without needing to plant more seeds! If you don’t have much outdoor space, growing windowsill herbs can be a great way to introduce fresh home-grown flavours into your cooking. Gardening is also good for your mental health.

5. Wear secondhand clothes

Whether you swap your old clothes with your friend’s, or buy clothes vintage and in charity shops, wearing secondhand outfits is a great way to be ethical in 2022. Fashion is damaging to the environment, in terms of the natural resources and emissions it involves, but less sustainable clothing (which is normally cheaper too) can also involve bad labour practices and exploitation of people. Buying affordable secondhand clothes in charity shops, or swapping clothes with your friends, is a cheap way to be sustainable and hold companies with damaging practices to account.