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Sustainable New Year's Resolutions

Would you like to reduce your impact on the environment? Why not start now by setting yourself some sustainable New Year’s Resolutions? But instead of overwhelming yourself, like so many of us have done before, start slow and steady as every little change will make a difference. Overhauling your lifestyle overnight is not easy so instead of trying to be perfect straight away, break your ideals down into manageable chunks that you can chip away at. Try to give yourself monthly goals or a different lifestyle choice to choose every month.

Here’s a few ideas:

Stop buying single use:
  • Invest in a reusable bottle and fill up at Refill stations nationwide – The average person in the UK uses 150 plastic bottles every year.
  • Buy a reusable cup and you may event benefit from discounted drinks – In the UK, approximately 7 million disposable cups are used every day.
  • Ditch the disposable straw, bag, cutlery, food container…
Reconsider your food habits:
  • Reduce your meat intake by eating more vegetarian or vegan meals – Livestock farming contributes approximately 20% of all man-made greenhouse gases. You can join the #Veganuary Challenge right now.
  • Reduce your food waste by planning your meals, freezing your food, cooking with leftovers, buying loose instead of in bulk and lots more –At least one-third of all edible food produced across the world is never eaten.
Think wisely when shopping:
  • Reduce single use packaging by using zero waste shops and buying loose items.
  • Only buy what you actually need and invest in clothes that will last longer – Textile production accounts for more global emissions every year than international flights and shipping combined.
  • Commit to buying reused, recycled or sustainably sourced items.
  • Shop seasonally and locally to reduce food miles.
  • Make your own cleaning products.
Other ideas:
  • Learn how to mend and upcycle and challenge yourself to only buy used items.
  • Buy renewable energy.
  • Get out of the car: commit to traveling by train, bus, bike or foot at least once a week to reduce air pollution and possibly even have a more relaxing journey.
Get involved in the local community:
  • Become a hero by adopting a road/path and litter picking to keep it clean.
  • Support a conservation group but volunteering to undertake practical work.
Be political
  • Making changes to your own lifestyle is fantastic but you could make an even bigger difference by writing to your MP or local council about climate change

Finally, remember, instead of trying to be perfect straight away, give yourself room to make mistakes and slowly make lasting lifestyle changes.

To find out more about what you can do on campus, at home and in the local community contact sustainability@warwick.ac.uk or follow @WarwickUniSust.