Setting sustainable new year’s resolutions can be a fantastic way to introduce positive changes to your life. And with 21% of Brits choosing to be more environmentally-friendly last year, more and more people are practicing these habits.
But while setting new year's resolutions can be fun and exciting, we often go a little too big on our goals and then struggle to stick to them. This is why we’ve rounded up 6 of the easiest but effective resolutions you can start to introduce sustainability into your daily life.
Here are 6 sustainable new year resolutions you can take into 2024:
1. Reduce Food Waste
One of the easiest ways to live a more sustainable and eco-friendly life as we head into the new year is to reduce food waste. Food waste is a significant global issue with environmental, economic, and social implications. In fact, did you know the UK wastes 4.5 million tonnes of edible food every year? and almost three quarters of food we chuck away is food we could have eaten.
How to Reduce Food Waste at Home
Thankfully, reducing food waste at home is easy, and there are a number of things you can do to ensure the whole family only eats what they need.
Firstly, meal planning! The best way to start this is to look at what you already have in your kitchen (freezer, fridge and cupboards) and identify what meals you can make from this or meals those ingredients could contribute to. Then before you do a food shop, decide which meals you want to make for the week and make a list of what you need to buy. This way, you’re only buying ingredients and foods you need.
You can even be extra organised with a meal planning whiteboard to keep track of your shopping list items and meals for each day.
Another great way to reduce food waste is to freeze it. Most foods can be frozen right up until the use by date and then all you have to do is take it out the freezer so it can defrost when you want it. It’s also a simple way to store any leftovers so they don’t get chucked away.
2. Be Mindful of Energy Consumption in Your Home
You can also try to be more mindful of energy and water consumption in your home.
You may think leaving a light on uses little energy, but collectively it all adds up, especially if you’ve got multiple lights on around the house at one time. Turning off your lights when they’re not needed will help to reduce the use of non-renewable resources that are harmful to our environment. The same goes for any plugged in appliances that aren’t being used.
Being more considerate with water usage will also help you become more environmentally-friendly and sustainable. Did you know that the average household in the UK uses around 330 litres of water a day?
Take it upon yourself to reduce your water usage as part of your 2024 new year resolution, and start by fixing any tap or shower leaks, turning the tap off between uses (brushing teeth or washing face), and spending a shorter amount of time in the shower.
You might also want to consider fitting a more efficient shower head, or collecting rainwater from outside to flush your toilet,
3. Opt For Zero-Waste Dental Care
With one of the most consistent parts of our daily routine being dental care, this is a great place to start when it comes to making sustainable switches.
Did you know that worldwide over 1 billion plastic toothbrushes are chucked out every year, which end up polluting the earth in landfills or oceans. These stats are truly heart breaking, which is why more and more people are opting to use bamboo toothbrushes over the traditional plastic ones.
Brush Fresh’s Bamboo Toothbrushes are ideal if you’re looking to create a more eco-friendly dental care routine, and are specifically designed by our dentists. Compostable, biodegradable and zero-waste alternative to plastic, shop our eco-friendly bamboo toothbrushes here.
Another easy switch you can make in your dental care routine is using zero-waste toothpaste tablets, which are small tablets housed in recyclable packaging or reusable jars.
Toothpaste tablets are just as effective as conventional toothpaste in a tube, and fantastic if you’re going travelling, as you won’t have to carry around bulky toothpaste tubes. To use one, simply pop it in your mouth, chew it and brush with a wet toothbrush for a couple of minutes.
Our toothpaste tablets are perfect for everyday use and also contain fluoride, which is known for keeping your teeth clean and healthy. Shop our wide selection of vegan toothpaste tablets here.
4. Shop Zero-Waste
Another great sustainable new year resolution is to shop with zero-waste in mind.
Buying second hand is a fantastic way to give life to used items that would otherwise end up in landfill, whether it be clothes, shoes, jewellery, toys, the list goes on.
Online marketplaces such as Vinted and Depop, are increasing in popularity, with the $177bn global second hand clothing market expected to nearly double in size by 2027.
As well as buying items at a much cheaper price than in store, buying second hand helps combat the negative impact that the fashion and home industry has on the environment.
You can also use reusable alternatives to otherwise single-use items when shopping to reduce the amount of waste you generate. For example, using reusable shopping bags, reusable coffee mugs and carrying bamboo cutlery in your bag instead of using plastic utensils.
5. Reconsider Your Travel Habits
The majority of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions – a whopping 27% – come from transport, especially car emissions. The simple solution to tackling these figures and reducing your carbon footprint is to drive less.
So, when you can, try and swap the car for walking, cycling or using public transport. Alternatively, you could carpool with friends or colleagues to reduce the amount of vehicles on the road emitting harmful gases.
If you must travel by car, electric vehicles (EVs), hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and fuel-cell vehicles are the best options for the environment. These types of vehicles are the most fuel-efficient, with lower greenhouse gas emissions than their counterparts.
6. Eat Less Meat
Reducing the amount of meat we eat can make a big difference on the environment, as meat production significantly contributes to climate change, water depletion and habitat loss.
Here are some shocking meat production stats if you don’t believe us:
- An area of rainforest the size of a hundred football pitches is cut down every hour to create room for grazing cattle
- It can take 30 bathtubs of water to produce just one beef burger
- Meat accounts for nearly 60% of all greenhouse gases
Not only does eating less meat help the environment, but it also boosts our health. In fact, a study carried out by Oxford University found that eating meat no more than three times a week could prevent 31,000 deaths from heart disease, 9,000 deaths from cancer and 5,000 deaths from stroke. Scary, right?
Brush Fresh Co. is founded and run by a group of UK-based dentists, who specialise in environmentally-friendly and sustainable dental products. From biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes to zero waste toothbrush tablets, our product range has been designed to put both your dental health and the environment first.Written by Kate, on behalf of Brush Fresh Co - the UK's Dental Experts Providing eco-friendly dental care.