The New Year is here, and we all usually find ourselves discussing New Year's resolutions with family and friends. The tradition of setting these resolutions goes back millennia and has become pretty ingrained in our collective psyche. What changes do we want to make to our lives in 2022?
In 2022, you could choose to make resolutions that are not only good for you but great for the planet. Knowing that you are making a difference to a cause much bigger than yourself is more likely to keep you motivated and to see your resolutions through.
But where to start? There are so many simple things you can do to make a difference. Read on for our uncomplicated suggestions for eco-friendly resolutions to help the planet in 2022 that won't leave you overwhelmed.
If you don't already recycle, January 1st is an excellent time to start. Recycling has to be one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint.
When an item is produced, there are five major stages that impact the environment:
The extraction and processing of the raw material
Transport of this material
The manufacturing process
Transportation of the finished goods and end of life management.
Recycling eliminates two of the most harmful stages; raw material extraction and its transport, reducing the need for new materials.
Most of our rubbish that can be recycled has been made from metal, glass or plastic and we all know that the emissions and harm to the environment from the production of these are immense. Mining and processing raw materials contributes to half of our global emissions - think of all the machinery used for digging, mining and hauling.
Most Councils offer an easy curbside recycling pick up - check with your local council for details and then make the commitment to recycling one of your new year's resolutions.
Switch Up Your Commute
Anything you can do to reduce your transport carbon footprint is going to be massively beneficial to the environment.
Reducing carbon emissions, air pollution (resulting in better air quality) and road congestion are the three most important changes we can make by either walking, cycling or using public transport.
C2ES, the Centre for Climate and Energy Solutions, reports that transport accounts for 29% of world emissions. If we change our commuting patterns and increase our use of public transport, these emissions could be reduced by 37 million metric tonnes per year.
Try walking or cycling to school or work, if you can (saving money as well as your carbon footprint), use public transport one day a week or get a carpool together. Every journey makes a difference.
Turn Off The Lights
Turning off the lights when you're not in the room is such an easy thing to do and impacts the amount of energy you are using in your home or office.
500kg of CO2 is used if you leave a 100-watt incandescent bulb on for a year. Even if you have energy-saving light bulbs, there is still nothing better for saving energy than switching them off when not in use.
Change Your Thermostat
You immediately reduce your carbon emissions when you turn your thermostat down by just 2 degrees.
The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) told parliament the UK still stands a chance of staying below the recommended 1.5C temperature rise if we take action – including turning our thermostats down to 19 degrees. Even in winter.
So, unless you are a vulnerable person or live with one, you could get a jumper and some warm socks from your local charity shop, knit yourself a blanket (or ask a crafty friend to do it) and turn down the heat. We promise you'll soon get used to it.
Buy Fewer Clothes
We know this is a difficult one, but all it takes is a bit of self-restraint, but just check in with yourself before you buy something new. Do you actually need this?
Most of us have heard about the problems with fast fashion. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has calculated the fashion industry produces 10% of global carbon dioxide emissions every year and is estimated to use around 1.5 trillion litres of water annually. Concerns have also been rising about pollution, from chemical waste to microplastics, let alone the working conditions of the people who produce these garments.
Maybe you could start buying second-hand or scouring the charity shops for unique finds your new hobby or arrange a clothes swap with your friends. Or just limit yourself to buying one new thing a month. Again, it's simple changes that can make a big difference.
Buy Less Food
How often do you find yourself ordering too much food at a restaurant or for a takeaway? It all looks so good, and you think you'll definitely eat it all, but that rarely happens. Or go food shopping when you're hungry and end up filling your trolley with food you won't get around to eating?
It's easy to end up with more food than you can eat, and then it goes to waste. Food waste is a much bigger problem than most people realise. Wasted food creates around 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions - nearly four times more than all the world's airlines put together. (You can read our full blog on how to cut food waste here.)
Make one of your new year resolutions to buy less food, and you'll be making a difference every time you eat.
Swap Disposables For A Reusable Alternative
Using reusable products instead of single-use is crucial for affecting both climate change and plastic pollution.
Take the humble coffee cup for example. 2.5 billion coffee cups are used and thrown away each year in the UK - enough to stretch around the world roughly five and a half times - but less than 1 in 400 - just 0.25% - are recycled.
Investing in a reusable coffee cup is one of the easiest ways to do your bit and reduce plastic waste. Or choosing a reusable water bottle is clearly better for the environment in countless ways. They use less oil, release less carbon dioxide, they won't pack landfills, and they're good for water in general. It's a no-brainer!
The same is true for taking a reusable bag with you on your shopping trips.
Check out our website to explore our range of On-The-Go environmentally friendly items. From your morning coffee to a picnic in the park. We've got you covered.
There are so many simple ways to be more eco-friendly in 2022. Wild & Stone's mission is to create stylish, easy to adopt and usable alternatives to common plastic products around the home. We source all our products sustainably, from raw material to final delivery. Shop our wide range today.