With 2019 just around the corner, the chances are that you’re reflecting on the year and thinking about ways in which you can make a real difference. We’re all becoming more environmentally conscious, and so one New Year’s Resolution idea is to do more to give back to the planet and reduce your carbon footprint to create a cleaner, greener world.
Below, we’ve rounded up five brilliant New Year’s Resolution ideas for you to try out in 2019.
Say no to fast fashion
If you’re used to shopping at high street fashion chains that offer clothing that’s so cheap it seems too good to be true, then consider switching up your spending this year and say no to fast fashion. We’ve talked endless times about how damaging the fashion industry can be to our planet, and if you’re buying clothes for a single season, only to throw them away or give them to a charity shop in a month’s time, then you should adapt your strategy and buy less.
Make it your New Year’s Resolution to spend less money on new bags, jumpers, tees, and jeans, and only buy eco-friendly clothing when you need something new. Cheap fashion garments are not only made from low-quality materials that stretch, fade and tear in no time at all, but they generate harmful toxins and emissions, as well as sweatshop manufacturing.
If you really want to reduce your impact on the environment, then challenge yourself to go the whole year without buying anything new. The chances are that you have so many coats, scarves, jumpers, dresses, and workwear that you could go months without washing, so see how far your clothing can stretch and save money - and the environment - in the process.
Stop buying bags
Since 2015, retailers in England have been required by law to charge 5p for all single-use plastic carrier bags, with proceeds going straight to good causes. In 2017-18, more than £51.6 million was raised, and whilst it’s great that we’re raising money for charities, the figure represents the equivalent of 1,032,000,000 plastic bags - that needs to change!
Plastic bags are the second-biggest form of litter in the UK, and bags are causing damage to wildlife in our forests, lakes, beaches, and oceans around the world. We use more than 12 million barrels of oil a year to create bags, and we throw more of them away than anything else. If you want to cut down on your plastic bag consumption, there are things you can do.
Buy a canvas or tote bag for your shopping, or a Bag for Life in your local supermarket that can be reused time and time again. When you order groceries online, ask for no bags, and remember that bags you already own can be recycled and repurposed into decorations. This is a simple New Year’s Resolution that we can all follow - there’s no excuse for plastic bags.
Give back to the planet
If you’re passionate about the environment, then make it your New Year’s Resolution to give something back to the planet. Spend more time cultivating your garden, planting shrubs and flowers that attract wildlife, and fresh fruits and vegetables that reduce your reliance on mass farming and supermarket aisles. If you’ve got a garden full of wildlife and greenery, you’ll not only be proud of your outdoor space, but you’ll be doing something good for the planet.
If you don’t have your own garden, or you’re limited on space, then consider volunteering at your local park or nature reserve to help them keep their natural beauty unspoiled. Weeding, litter picking and planting new flowers can be good fun and help you make new friends, too.
You could plant a tree, which not only produces more oxygen but helps you to make a mark on the world, but document a major life event, like the birth of a child or moving a new home.
Give your home a detox
Your home is your sanctuary, but when was the last time you took a step back and thought about ways to make your home greener? Another New Year’s Resolution idea would be to give your home a detox, using fewer toxic household cleaning products that are packed with chemicals, and finding safer, greener alternatives instead.
Bleach, detergents, and aerosols can reduce air quality in your home and cause headaches, so environmentally-friendly alternatives are not only greener, but they’re healthier, too.
Rely on natural ingredients such as water, white vinegar, soap, and baking soda, and use coconut oils to create cleaners, detergents, and disinfectants. Don’t use synthetic fragrances like cheap candles and air fresheners, and you’ll feel cleaner and healthier as a result.
Make your food count
Organic food may be a little more expensive but means your fruits, vegetables and other produce will be more nutritious, and you won’t need to worry about things such as GMOs and pesticides. Industrially farmed crops and livestock is damaging to the environment - it’s a major source of greenhouse gasses and water, and so choosing quality produce from local suppliers makes sense. You might have to put in some more effort, but you’ll be glad you did.
You should also consider cooking your own meals every night of the week - your health, finances and the planet will all be glad you did. Sure, eating out once in a while is good if you want to catch up with friends or have a night off from the kitchen, but fast food is often processed, packaged, and offers little nutritional value. What’s more, it’s bad for the environment. Cooking your own food means you’ll know you’re getting the good stuff, and you can batch-cook meals to get you through the week and reduce energy waste, too.
Whether you’re only just considering your environmental impact or you’re already an eco-warrior, we hope that the resolution ideas we have offered in today’s article will give you some food for thought. You don’t need to change your lifestyle to reduce your emissions - just make some simple life changes and enjoy the health, social and financial benefits.
From everyone at Ultra Tee, we thank you for following our blog through 2018, as we’ve shared eco-friendly fashion and lifestyle advice designed to make you think twice. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and look forward to serving you with more ethical fashion pieces in 2019 to help you look your best, whatever the occasion.