The best thing about New Year’s Eve is that it is that time of the year with the highest potential to change the world. The New Year’s resolutions. Every year we have a plenty of them and mostly, well, we fail.
But this year it is going to be different and we will overcome our weaker self! If you are still lacking an idea, here are 8 proposals that could make the next year your best and at the same time help the environment:
1. Exercise more
I know this is a typical one. But it is also the most efficient one to change yourself and your attitude. I assume I do not need to tell you that it is good for your shape, health and well-being. But in addition, it is also good for the environment because generally it makes you drive your car less, eat healthier and keeps you away from shopping excesses. If you plan a nice long run, a biking tour or a swim in the lake on Saturdays, I bet, you will be more than happy to read a nice book in the afternoon or meet your friends instead of joining the typical weekend shopping hype.
2. Get out there!
Experience nature! It does not matter if it is just your local forest or an outdoor holiday in the mountains instead of the boring all inclusive-get fat vacations. Getting out there will make you happy. It will give you release and it will protect you from an early stroke. In addition it automatically supports your inner green self. If you experience how good nature is for you, you will start being good to nature as well.
3. Stop smoking
Sorry, this is a second cliché, but a good one. Apart from making you stink, ill and increasing your hangover, smoking is also not very environmentally friendly. Cigarette butts are not bio-degradable and highly toxic, especially if they end up in water bodies: as little as one single cigarette butt per liter of water results in a high rate of fish kill. Furthermore, tobacco agriculture contributes to woodland clearances and tobacco is very difficult to cultivate. Compared to other crops, there are much more fertilizers and pesticides necessary to achieve an appropriate yield, which leads to pollution of soils and ground water, a dead useless land after only a few years and severe health issues for the farmers. So, stop smoking and contribute to environmental protection.
4. Stop buying ahead
Maybe it is still a relic of the last war that in Germany (but probably not only there) people make a habit of collecting provisions like a hamster. This results in long supermarket queues, states of emergency before public holidays, way too full kitchen shelves and a lot of waste. The calculation is simple: the more you buy ahead, the more you will throw away. You cannot use or eat everything at once anyway! Fresh things cannot last forever and concerning the rest: you will survive without 10 tins of beans at home, I promise! Therefore, start buying small amounts and in the end you will save waste and money.
5. Learn something new
Learning is something we should never stop doing, no matter what age, job or social situation. It keeps us fit and it connects people. Plan to learn something new you are interested in, no matter if it is purely intellectual or rather physical. People who are willing to learn are more open-minded, able to accept criticism and to put things in question. They are able to face and push themselves in a better direction. Learning always comes along with awareness. And awareness is a crucial feature for respecting our environment.
6. Plant you balcony/garden/ backyard
Or if you don’t have any of that, plant your window bench with useful plants or local flowers. It gives good vibes, cleans the air and supports pollination. Furthermore, it provides you home-grown food. It might not be enough to create a full meal, but everything you grow at home (herbs, tomatoes, salad…), you do not need to buy in a supermarket. It makes you a little bit less dependent and it tastes so much better if you know where it comes from!
7. Break society rules
I do not necessarily mean criminal disobedience. What I mean is rather to break these unwritten rules devised by society that make people feel forced to follow them, although they will not make them happy. Release yourself from these artificial bonds and develop the way you like. The pressure to swim with the tide makes a lot of us unsatisfied and ill. ‘Study something useful, get a car, get married, have a baby, build a house and keep on being successful…!’ It might be the right thing for some people, but surely not for all of us. It is a pressure that destroys individualism and additionally pushes the materialistic vein of people. If we define ourselves by success and property, we want to gain more of it.
8. Be less materialistic
Depending on your circumstances, a good start would be point number 7. But maybe you are already on the right track for your personal happiness. Then try to figure out what is really necessary to keep you satisfied and get away from carrying along too much more. If you learn how to let things go, you will feel that it makes life so much easier. Decisions become easier, certain worries disappear and suddenly you do not need more money. Life is not about possessing, it is about gaining experiences. This attitude towards life will make you rock the coming year and it is much more sustainable than buying stupid stuff.