It’s the day after New Year’s. Are you up yet?
As the effects of Budweiser and champagne wane, sobriety returns to your mind – well, it’s kicking and screaming in your mind. New Year’s parties are wild y’all!
Stumbling into the bathroom, a glance at your gung-ho New Year’s resolution list, which is serving as a neat coaster for an unfinished can of Budweiser, makes you groan. In your drunken haze, you made it eco-friendly too. “Hey, I’m not the only weak-willed one out there,” you mumble, mentally bracing yourself for another year of absolute failure.
Dear, at least you’ve got one thing right: you are not alone in your plight. According to an article from Forbes, only 50% of the people who make New Year’s resolutions end up fulfilling some of them, with 80% either abandoning or forgetting theirs completely.
But don’t throw in the towel just yet. Being eco-friendly is actually a lot more feasible than your other New Year’s resolutions if you go about it correctly. So, here are 5 tweaks to make to your list of eco-friendly New Year’s resolutions.
1. Vacationing Sustainably: “Nay” to cruising, “yay” to sightseeing.
With COVID-19 finally subsiding, traveling has finally become a possibility once again. Popular cruising destinations like the Bahamas, the Caribbean, and Hawaii are dropping their prices to celebrate the diminishing pandemic. It’s hard not to think about booking the next trip immediately this January.
However, if you plan to stay on your eco-friendly course, then it’s time to pick another form of vacationing. Cruising tends to release a three-times higher carbon footprint than other forms of travel on land. Another downside is that not many cruises are equipped with the latest sewage treatment systems, leading to poorly processed waste materials being dumped directly into the environment.
That doesn’t mean you have to rule out seaside vacationing for good. Instead of cruising, try employing other sustainable tourism ideas, like sight-seeing tours at these seaside hotspots. They can offer just as much fun and leisure, and you are also supporting the local businesses in the area. Plus, it’s a chance to immerse yourself in the local culture.
2. Being Artistically Green: Beautiful results via recycling.
Learning a new art-and-craft skill is perhaps one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions out there. That means it is also one of the most discarded ones. While many of us would very much love to master a few artistic skills in our lifetime, not everyone can manage this kind of commitment. Bigger priorities like jobs and families get in the way.
Even with the convenience of online courses, learning art-and-craft can still take up a lot of time. Thus, many people end up dropping this New Year’s resolution, mentally noting that they will get back when they can. And with a staggering 90% of the people signing up for online courses ending up dropping them, they never do.
Luckily, there are a lot of eco-friendly craft ideas out there for you to try out. This year, instead of going big like painting a mural, why not go for something more achievable, like recycling art? By reusing, repairing, and arranging your recyclables, you are hitting all the marks on your eco-friendly New Year’s resolution list. With recycled art becoming more popular, maybe you too can open your own recycled art exhibition someday.
3. Joining An Eco-Friendly Cause: Committing to the right one helps.
While putting down supporting an environmental cause on your New Year’s resolution list can earn you a few raised eyebrows, this is actually an easier goal to accomplish. All you have to do is Google a good one and sign up — it doesn’t get easier than that.
The problem with this New Year’s resolution is that the organization you are joining can get very scammy or very cultic. Many scammers are actively looking for wide-eyed samaritans to scam money from, disguising themselves as goodwill organizations. In fact, one in ten adults falls victim to a scam or fraud every year in the US.
A good example of a credible greening-the-planet project should look credible and well-organized, like this one. If you wish to fulfill your New Year’s resolution of joining a good cause, it’s best to answer these questions beforehand:
- Do the organizations have any activities near you?
- Do you have the time to honor the commitment you make?
- Are the organizations supporting something you care about?
While the first two will test your ability to not walk away because of time constraints, the last question is the most important, as it calls into question the motivation for your eco-friendly New Year’s resolutions. If the organization supports something you don’t agree with, you will quickly lose interest and the determination to follow through.
4. Going Vegan: Well, trying counts too!
Vegans and vegetarians get so much hate for going down the alternative route; really, you can hear the judgmental scowls when someone introduces themselves as a “vegan” or “vegetarian”. For many, veganism is still just a fetch — so stop trying to make it happen, Gretchen!
But it does happen, with an uproar of celebrities’ support and endorsement now more than ever. It turns out that being vegan is surprisingly good for your health. Vegan diets are often high in minerals and low in saturated fat, which can actively prevent heart health, protect against cancer, and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Even better, being vegan is humane to both animal welfare and the environment. For the environment, livestock production causes approximately 14.5% of all human-caused emissions of around 7.1 gigatonnes of CO2 emitted annually. Veganism aims to lower meat consumption, thus slowing down the need for inhumane and polluting factory farms.
Understandably, changing your whole diet within a year is difficult. For some, meat is just too tasty a habit to quit. But for many vegans and vegetarians, eating out once a week at a vegan restaurant to cut down on meat consumption is feasible. Alternatively, you can cook with a myriad of vegan recipes available online, especially on Pinterest.
5. Shopping Less: Or saving more by shopping with coupons
For those with poor impulse control, this one is rough. According to Oberlo, the average yearly spending on shopping in 2019 for a typical US consumer is $63,036. This works out to $5,253 each month, which leads to your savings account always being in the red. And you ask why your savings account never amounts to anything.
There are two ways to cut back on your spending: either you have to cut back on your shopping, or simply be smarter and shop with coupons. Liveabout reports that CPG coupon users save an average of $1,560 per year to $2,600 per year, and that is on groceries alone.
And since you pick sustainable shopping as one of your eco-friendly New Year’s Resolutions, why not do so responsibly as well? A 2015 study explicitly stated that the production and use of household goods and services were responsible for 60% of global carbon emissions. By shopping sustainably, you are saving both the environment and your savings account.
Thankfully, more business owners are teaming up with environmental projects to offset carbon emissions, with Tenere being a prime example. By shopping with Tenere, you are shopping sustainably.
By filling your New Year’s resolutions with impossible goals, you are only setting yourself up for failure. Instead of paving your road to hell with unfinished intentions, why not try some of these top 5 eco-friendly New Year’s resolutions? This year can be a roaring success for you.
Here’s to a greener and healthier 2022, without any unfinished New Year’s resolutions.