Our community has done so many things to live more sustainably, we thought we’d share 10 to inspire you for your New Year’s Resolutions in 2021. And what better resolutions could there be than to be healthy, save money and the environment at the same time? With some of these you can do all three!
Go back to work on a bike
You may have loved cycling during lockdown, now take it on your commute! If you pledge to cycle to work you get health benefits but there are also incredible benefits to the environment. Daily personal travel is 17% of your carbon footprint if you drive. 2021 could be the year that you prove your commitment to tackling climate change by getting out of the car and on the bike!
You can go electric with your choice of bike or just peddle every step of the way – check the links to get some great advice!
Start ethically investing
It’s all the rage. Environmental, social and governance investments have shot through the roof in 2021 to over 1 trillion dollars. The time is now to move your money to where your mouth is. Afterall around 30% emissions are related to infrastructure and companies which only your money can affect.
Why not start by setting up an ethical ISA with Abundance or energize Africa through an investment with Ethex. You could also move your pension to Impax or get advice from financial advisors that specialise in this space such as John Ditchfield or Hugo Sparks, members of Better Century.
Reduce consumption of meat/dairy
Reducing meat and dairy are sure ways to cut your carbon footprint by a quarter, whilst also reducing the amount of growing space to feed you. This environment win-win-win, which also reduces water consumption and tackles biodiversity loss, is heralded as one simple way is which everyone can help.
You needn’t be a vegetarian or vegan, you can just eat less meat and dairy. That’s a habit but is massively affected by purchasing choices. A good way to start is to pledge to cut meat out of a number of meals. Think about getting a veg box and learn new recipes.
Cut out single use plastic
With gyres collecting mile wide Islands of plastic waste in the ocean and with marine life being severely affected by plastic particulate in digestive systems, it’s time to cut down on single use plastic. It was a hugely popular movement after Blue Planet so 2021 could be the time to reinvigorate change by making simple resolutions – to cut out single use plastics.
The key ways our members have found to cut out single use plastics is to use new providers; like Milk and More who deliver milk and veg, The Funky Soap Shop that provides awesome soaps, shampoos and conditioners, or Green People, who do all types of beauty products and reusable cups and the suchlike. Why not pledge to reduce your single use plastic through our community pledge and get inspiration from dozens of others doing the same!
Switch energy supplier
Switching energy suppliers can (debatably) make a difference. Around 10% of your carbon footprint comes from electricity usage – so if you move to 100% renewable then you can make that reduction? Yes – if you pick the right supplier you are helping build renewable energy and are decarbonising our economy.
View our pages on renewable energy supply and learn about suppliers here. There are also some great initiatives like Ripple Energy which allow you to invest in a wind farm and pay much reduced rates for energy, or Octopus Energy where you maximise upon flexible rate renewable energy tariffs – slashing bills to those with electric vehicles or heat pumps.
Decarbonise your home
Heating your home is 15% of the average carbon footprint. Insulate it properly in the roof and put in some draught proofing, and you’ll save hundreds a year. Go further and insulate walls and hot water systems, upgrade windows, and install thermostatic radiator valves, and you’ll save 40% on bills and footprint. If you want to go the ‘whole hog’, then install a heat pump, and use just renewable electricity to heat your home, making it arguably zero carbon.
Whilst the Green Homes Grant will pay for two thirds of the bill of these measures, then it makes sense in 2021 to make this resolution. To learn more about energy efficiency and renewable heating, click on the links!
Buy eco clothing
Sustainable fashion is becoming very fashionable! It’s because of the incredible environmental impact fashion has through sourcing, processing and disposing of clothes. An average pair of jeans uses 7,000 litres of water in production, 60% of clothes are made from synthetic materials and the majority of clothes get thrown away with an average use of 5 wears.
If you buy eco clothing, it’s cool, it lasts and it is made from recycled or renewable sources. Why not just buy sustainable clothes in 2021! Check out Vivobarefoot for shoes, Bamboo clothing or Lofte Sustainable Luxury Clothing. There are loads of other community recommendations through our sustainable fashion tag.
Buy an electric car
Well, it’s the time isn’t it? New Diesel and Petrol car sales will be banned by 2030, you don’t want to be behind the curve. It’s time to trend set and buy a car that can dramatically reduce expenditure on motoring, whilst reducing carbon emissions. If you’re an average driver you’ll save around £1,000 a year moving to electric, and if you drive a lot more, then that number just keeps on going up.
With loads of options for financing and leasing electric vehicles, and with such dramatic savings, 2021 could be the year it makes sense for you. Read all you need to know on our eco resource, and find yourself a great vehicle for 2021!
Holiday without flying
Hopefully when we’ve all been vaccinated, we can move around freely once again. Instead of joining all the holiday makers abroad why not continue to enjoy your country in 2021 or go to Europe in an electric vehicle? There’s so many options available to you.
Check out EcoBnb for sustainable locations for staying in 2021, get a log cabin in the Cotswolds next to a lake, or check out Darwin Escapes across the UK.
Make your garden nature friendly
We’ve all loved our gardens during lockdown, now’s the time to make nature also love your garden, and for you to be surrounded by abundance of life! Whatever size your garden you can encourage nature to come there, by taking some simple steps; growing pollinator friendly plants, putting up a bird feeder, composing, making a hole in the fence for hedgehogs or making a small water source.
Make a resolution to bring wildlife to your garden this year by doing something. Here’s a great guide of things you can do to make your garden nature friendly!