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12 Environmental Resolutions for 2020

BY Vicky Porter

Spirits are high and everyone is ready to start 2020 on a clean slate.  Some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions include healthier habits, spending more time with family, weight loss, career advancements and many more.  Often unrealistic goals can be so daunting that they are forgotten by February…
 
Perhaps it is time to simplify.  Making a few small lifestyle changes can be very rewarding, not only to you but to the environment.  Below we have listed a few resolutions that we hope will inspire you to start 2020 on a green note!
 
1.       Start A Compost Heap


Instead of throwing your food scraps away, why not start a compost heap?  That way you can nourish your own garden and reduce the amount of waste that you send to landfill.  Double win!


2.       Shop With Reusable Bags


We might not be able to rid the earth of plastic entirely, but we can make a big difference by limiting the use of it, especially single use plastic.  One example is the use of a plastic shopping bag.  There really is no need to if you remember to always carry a reusable shopping bag with you. 


3.       Harvest Rain Water


With water shedding looming, it would be wise to harvest rainwater.  Save up for a water tank, or capture it in a recycled container.  This water can be used for many activities around the home and office, and can even be treated to use as drinking water.


4.       Avoid Single Use Plastic


Single use plastics, or disposable plastics, are plastics that are only used once before they are thrown away.  Some of these items include plastic shopping bags, drinking straws, certain types of food packaging, coffee stirrers and many more.  Petroleum based plastics are not biodegradable.  Plastic degrades into micro particles of plastic that releases toxic chemicals that find their way into our soil and water supply.


5.       Don’t Buy What You Don’t Need


Consumerism is at an all-time high.  We have become accustomed to a fast paced lifestyle where goods are available on demand.  The problem with this is that the planet’s population is so high that is cannot sustain our consumption behaviour.  The more we buy, the more natural resources we use, the less we have.  Eventually we will have no resources to sustain our survival.


6.       Thrift Shop


Buy second-hand.  As a result of people buying too much of what they don’t need, the supply of second hand goods have increased.  Most towns have second hand shops, and often one can find quality goods for a steal of the original value. 


7.       Support Local


Whenever you buy a product, consider where it came from, and what natural resources were used to get it into your hands.  Read the packaging and research the retailers that you support.  Every time you buy something that hasn’t been produced locally, it means that the environment is carrying the cost.  Supporting local also stimulates the local economy, everybody wins!


8.       Use A Travel Mug


We get it.  Coffee is important (and we recognise the tea lovers too!).  That being said, it isn’t important that you drink your beverage from a single use takeaway cup.  Invest in a travel mug that you can keep with you wherever you go. 


9.       Get Your Hands Dirty


You don’t have to be an avid gardener.  South Africa has plenty indigenous plants that are water wise and will grow with minimal effort and attention.  The beloved Spekboom is a prime example.  If you have been blessed with green fingers, don’t waste them!  Grow your own food (and share your food and skills with your friends and family).


10.   Carpool


One of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint and save your hard earned money is to carpool.  Find out who lives on your route and arrange to carpool together.  Sure this means you might have to get up earlier… but it also means you have extra bucks at the end of the month!


11.   Recycle


Recycling your waste is a simple and effective way to lessen the burden on the ever increasing landfill space.  Recycling can even be a fun teambuilding activity in the home and in the office.  It is also important to research what local recycling companies accept and to make sure that your recycling is separated accordingly.


12.   Spread The Green Gospel


We live in a world where information is freely and readily available – valuable information that we can share at the click of a button.  You don’t need to be a qualified environmental engineer to teach your friends and family to go green.  You can simply share this article!
 

 January 01, 2020
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Vicky Porter

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