Happy New Year! Have you considered besides thinking of good to also consider green resolutions for the New Year? We can contribute daily to the environment and our future. Therefore we have collected some resolutions with a huge effect and easy to implement. Maybe you cannot realize all, but if everybody on this planet cares about some of them, a large step would be made for climate protection, environmental protection, industrial safety and the use of resources and animal welfare!
Resolution #1: Less is more
Most of us have more than we need, buzz word consumer society: Food, clothes, cosmetics, shoes and so on. Above all since years fashion distinguishes itself for its throw-away mentality: Per person the Germans, the US Americans and Swiss purchase an average of 60 new clothes per year, which is five per month. Needless and excessive consumption harms the ecological balance and doesn’t make us happier as the popular minimalism trend shows. Therefore, less is more, everything we buy has to be transported, must be produced anyhow and consumes resources. This implies long ways of delivery, energy and the consumption of limited resources. Hence, the first resolution is: Chooses more deliberately and a rather high quality, because with more long-lasting products at the end you finally use less. (And on top you save money 😉 )
Resolution #2: Second Hand
To stick to the subject: The consumption of second hand articles is beneficial for the environment! Though for the consumer the articles are new, for the production no new resources were required. Classics are second hand clothes and books. Meanwhile there are even professional traders who expel used technology devices in very good shape. Also this is worth considering when your smartphone or the television breaks.
Resolution #3: Repairing is Caring
To save resources we recommend the repair of our utensils thus avoid excessive consumption, because we do not have to buy anything new. Meanwhile there are many drop-in centers for “broken” tablets und other devices. In some towns there are even Repair Coffee Shops or similar in which you can do the repair together with others: on site you’ll find tools and valuable know-how from other repair-shop fans. Patching your clothes can be an occasion for creative DIY time because stitching fabrics as a layman, is not always successful. (Talking from own experience 🙂 )
Resolution #4: Less plastic
In many countries certain disposable products of plastic are already forbidden or banned. In 2018 the EU decided against plastic. A necessary step to avoid garbage in the near future. At the same time the consumption of plastic packaging has increased in Germany, particularly for fruits and vegetables.
Plastic is rather complicated regarding its features
Here are some facts:
– Very long duration up to decomposition – several 100 years
– Long-term pollution of oceans and nature
– Production of oil, a limited resource
– Limited recyclable, in comparison to glass
– Are often burnt
Therefore, the green resolution is: Renounce unnecessary plastics and consciously search alternatives free of plastic, e.g., re-use of plastic bags and paper bags, purchase at the weekly market or in Unpacked stores, use of vegetable nets, and, and , and.
Resolution #5: Avoid food waste
More than half of our food ends up as waste.* In countries of the first world this is daily routine. The waste of food has a huge influence on the environment: a high water consumption and greenhouse gas are the biggest polluters. In addition it is simply paradoxical that we throw away so much food that we could easily feed all starving people in the world. Therefore, the intention is a better planning than decontamination. Some Apps may help you. You can donate food you no longer need using apps like “No Food Waste.”
* According to the documentary film Taste the Waste. We collected tips for you on our “Green Bucket List“.
Resolution #6: Less meat
The market determines the demand – and as long as the society demands lots of cheap meat, many animals are bred accordingly and held under poor conditions. The keeping of pets uses large amounts of resources (feed, water, stream, drugs). On the other hand forests are cut down for pasture surfaces and the cultivation of feed. In addition, the cattle breeding in general generates greenhouse gas, animals like sheep and cows generate in particular methane due to their special digestive systems. Not to talk about the problem caused by the use of antibiotics. Therefore, it is a huge contribution if everybody reduces their meat consumption: Up to 80 % of the worldwide caused climate gases can be led back on the keeping of pets. If all people were vegetarians, these issues could be reduced about 63 % and with a completely vegan world about 70 %.
Resolution #7: Seasonal & regional food
Do good by choosing regional food. The regional cultivation avoids long ways of delivery and you support local farmers. Try to reduce the consumption of food which not growing in your region, e.g., avocado, pineapple or Nashi pear, so you avoid long transport ways and therefor they are not fresh. If you decide for seasonal fruit and vegetables, you receive fresh products with many nutrients.
Resolution #8: consciously choice of palm oil
Meanwhile palm oil seems to be in every product: whether food, cosmetics, cleaning agents, bio-candles or biofuel. When you purchase some of these products next time pay attention to the following ingredients: palm oil, palm kernel oil, palm butter and ingredients named Palmitate, which you recognize quite unambiguously. You find a list with the ingredients which are produced of palm oil at the Palm Oil Investigations. Palm oil has many valuable qualities, because it is taste-neutral and the palm kernels are rich so that various products can be obtained. However, the cultivation is critical because to huge areas within in the rain forests relevant for the climate have to be cleared thus living spaces are destroyed by animals. Therefore, it pay attention to sustainably harvested palm oil.
Resolution #9: Inquiry & critic
Remain critical towards your own as well as actions from others. Question why things are done the way they are done, talk to people about improvements – of course always in a constructive manner 😉 as nobody likes to be taught. Sometimes people are not aware and thankful for tips. And finally it is important to do things at ease. Sustainability implies a lot of creative and exciting approaches. let’s concentrate on the positive change.