When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, most people focus on taking better care of themselves – but what about taking better care of the planet?
Making a bigger effort to be environmentally conscious is a great goal to have in 2022, and your efforts will have widespread benefits. Not only will you be doing your part in protecting the planet, but you’ll benefit your own health and finances in the process too.
Sometimes, this can be easier said than done. It’s difficult to know what steps to take in order to make an improvement in your life, so we’ve gathered a few tips and ideas for your green journey this year.
Switch to Solar
One way to make a major impact is by switching over to clean energy sources. The most accessible and most effective option here is to use solar power. While installing solar panels for your home is quite an investment, you’ll be saving money in the long term.
The benefits of using clean energy go beyond the reduction of your carbon footprint too – you can take a look at the state of Oregon solar incentives and, further, get off the grid and eliminate your electricity bill entirely.
This form of energy is also simple to install and completely silent, making it hassle-free and worth every penny.
Opt for EV
In 2022, we’ll be seeing an onslaught of new and improved electric vehicle options for every budget. Making this switch the next time you need to purchase a car can and will make a serious impact on the planet, your immediate environment, and your own personal life.
While these cars are still going to be more expensive than your average internal combustion engine cars, we’d argue that they’re worth the extra expense. Not only will you be spending far less to power your car (free if you go solar!), but you’ll be spending less on maintenance costs as well because of how these cars operate.
The more people switch to electric vehicles, the less noise, and air pollution we’ll experience in our communities, the fewer emissions we’ll have damaging our planet, and the less we and the earth will struggle in coming years.
We, as humans, are constantly bombarded with the need to buy more stuff. We’re tempted to buy new clothing, new home items, new furniture, new technology and devices, new everything.
A great way to be more eco-minded is to buy far, far less stuff. When it comes down to it, the more stuff we buy, the more stuff we will inevitably have to get rid of. This stuff is what ends up in landfills, in oceans, cluttering our planet and unable to break down.
When in need of new things, try to consider if you could first repair what you already own, shop for second-hand items, opt for products made with more sustainable materials or whether or not you even really need that new item.
Buying less is better for your pocket and can help develop a more grateful and content mindset.
Change Your Plate
It’s been established that the meat industry has a strong impact on the planet, and the more meat (and dairy) we consume, the heavier our carbon footprint.
This is a simple and healthy change to make in 2022: being more mindful of what and how much food we consume and waste on a daily basis can make a serious difference in the long run. Adding just a few vegetarian or vegan meals to your week, and making the most of your leftovers, might not feel like a big step but it can have a great outcome for you and the planet.
Eat more seasonally, support local farmers, and generally eat more vegetables – your pocket, planet and body will all thank you for it.
Watch Your Waste
Speaking of food waste, this year you might want to pay more attention to all of your waste in general. This includes wasted food and water but also encompasses everything that you throw away.
Try to opt for grocery items that aren’t wrapped in plastic, bring along reusable shopping bags, and try to shop at stores that allow you to refill your own grains and spices and don’t require you to buy plastic packets and bottles for everything you take home.
The less plastic your food comes in, the less wasteful you’ll be, and these options are usually cheaper too since you don’t pay for packaging!
Challenge yourself to a low-waste or zero-waste month, to figure out some tricks that you can take with you into the rest of the year to help you keep waste to a minimum.
Take Your Own Takeaway
Smaller changes might feel less impactful, but keep in mind that every little contribution is important in this global struggle we’re all facing. Simple swaps like bringing your own lunchbox or container to your local takeaway spot can help reduce your plastic waste by quite a margin.
It might feel silly but asking for your meal to be placed in your own container is a great step that more people should be taking. Make an effort to turn down unnecessary straws, plastic cutlery and bags, and remember to bring your takeaway coffee cup too on your morning coffee runs.
For some of us, there’s nothing quite like putting pen to paper or picking up a physical book and feeling the pages in your hand. However, the amount of trees (and water, and energy) that are sacrificed to fuel our annual paper trails is astounding.
In 2022, try to switch over to reading eBooks, and try your hand at digital planning instead of purchasing a physical planner or using random notebooks for all your to-do lists.
There are plenty of apps available to make this possible, helping you to optimise your life with the simplicity of your smartphone. This is, after all, the future and we all want to make sure we’re keeping up!