Still deciding what your New Year's resolutions for 2021 could be? Here's some inspiration from us and our community members.
New Year’s resolutions are, at their core, setting yourself goals for the year ahead. A recent survey from Hubbub found that this year one in six of those polled are resolving to reduce their impact on the environment.
If you’re pondering what yours could be for 2021, then we’ve done a whip round to crowdsource some ideas from our team members and community members located around the planet.
Join a community group
We interviewed climate scientist Dr Diana Ivanova back in November. It’s a fascinating interview from someone on the front lines, and one of the things she said that helps her to feel like she’s making a difference regarding the environmental crisis (apart from being a scientist, of course) is taking part in local community projects and groups.
“When we focus on the global level it's really hard to see where we make a difference, and it's really hard to see the ripples of our actions. But, on a more local level, that's much more clear.”
Truth be told, civic engagement and activism on any level is incredibly powerful. As Diana points out, simple actions like signing petitions and sharing articles on social media, right through to lobbying politicians and, of course, voting are all effective ways to drive the environmental cause.
Eat less meat
This one came from Alfredo who heads up our much-loved customer service team, speaks an untold amount of languages, and is great to go-to for advice for just about anything. He’s based down in Buenos Aires and, being Argentinian, loves an asado (Argentinian barbecue) accompanied by a good bottle of Malbec.
But, being aware that eating meat, especially beef, isn’t the most sustainable of food choices he’s pledged to reduce his consumption. In fact, switching to a veggie or vegan diet is one of the most effective ways we can reduce our carbon footprint. Nice Alfredo!
Give composting a go
This one was contributed by Finn (me), content writer. I recently gained access to a bigger garden area and there’s an opportunity to experiment with growing some vegetables and herbs. Rather than buy fertiliser and pesticides, it’s more sustainable and more rewarding to make your own.
Composting reduces household waste and keeps food out of landfills (where it emits methane). For how to get started with composting, check out our handy guide with the Eden Project’s Catherine Cutler.
Try out mindfulness
Our friend and valued community member, Oneika Mays, works with prisoners in the notorious Rikers Island prison to help them use mindfulness meditation as part of their rehabilitation. Mindfulness techniques can be used to reduce stress and improve concentration. The trick is to be gentle with yourself.
“Being mindful is paying attention to what is going on right now and looking at it with compassionate eyes.”
For more info on mindfulness and how to get started, check out our introductory guide and interview with Oneika.
Put your money where your heart is
This one is inspired by Mikaela, our Head of Brand Expression and, quite frankly, a beam of sunshine. OK granted she already does this, but we were chatting a while back and she mentioned that before investing money into a savings fund she does due diligence to make sure that it won’t be put to unsustainable investments—for example fossil fuel extraction projects.
Green investing, buying sustainable products, or donating to charities, environmental groups and even certain politicians boosts the efforts of those who want to build a more sustainable future. Look out for a guide to this soon!
Say what? By this we mean switch to the principles of a circular economy, in which raw materials are reused and waste is designed out of the system. This is something Martin, our head product designer and resident coffee expert, feels passionately about. He’s already masterminded two of our circular products, and we’re excited to see what else he has in store for 2021.
Probably you’ve got a lot of stuff, do you really need to buy more? Is there anything you don’t use that others will want to? Overconsumption and having too much stuff can be stressful, and then there are the environmental consequences as well. Why not try taking a more minimal approach? This doesn’t have to mean reducing your world possessions to total 100, but how about not adding anything else in 2021?
We were all inspired by this story in the New York Times about a lady who in 2020 made a resolution to do just that, either repairing or borrowing if the need arose. She also got rid of an impressive 2000 items. If she found herself wanting something, she’d wait and see if the urge was still there in 2021. More often than not, it wasn’t.
Get rid of plastic
Think about how much plastic was exchanged over the holiday period. As our #agoodcommunity interviewee Rens Bekkers pointed out it’s hidden everywhere, like wrapping paper for instance, so sometimes you might not have even realised. Plastic is a problem because it winds up polluting delicate ecosystems. It’s up to manufacturers, as well as consumers, to find alternatives.
Like Rens and his company, we pledge to reduce the plastic we use in our products, and personally, to the absolute minimum—hopefully zero! Any we do use is from recycled sourced and then easy to recycle again.
Nurse my dog and take more walks
She says doesn’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, apparently, but, under great duress, we managed to extract one from Isabella—our creator of all things visual. “For the purpose of the editorial, I’ll say to nurse my dog back to health and then take more walks.”
Fair enough! Walking is both good for you and, when replacing a car journey, is better for the planet too. In fact, travelling differently, or less, is one of the most effective ways we can lower our greenhouse gas emissions.
So there you have it, some Green New Year’s Resolutions inspo. For motivation, keep in mind this guy made a drunken bet at his Christmas party to get in shape and, somewhat surprisingly, kept it. Props!