According to data, 66% of Brits will be making a New Year’s resolution for 2024, resulting in around 35 million people taking part in this annual tradition. With more of us looking to improve our impact on the environment, resolutions can be a great opportunity to focus on what you can do to help combat climate change.
Vikki Makinson, head of marketing and communications at Oceans, says: “Whether it is focusing on your health or looking to start a new hobby, there are plenty of resolutions that could have the added benefit of reducing your carbon footprint. So, spend some time figuring out what you want the future to look like and start shaping your 2024 now.”
1. Get crafty
Looking for a new hobby for the new year? Why not turn your hands to crafts? Explore your creative side by embracing the arts, whether it is creating sculptures or simply making your own scrunchies. There are plenty of craft tutorials across the internet to keep you entertained.
This can be a great way to reuse items you’ve got lying around the house. Try making your own home décor with plastic-free toilet paper rolls you have stocked by the loo or old glass jars that can be reused and decorated for the perfect, personalised gift for Valentine’s Day, birthdays, or more. Reduce your single-use plastics by putting them to use again or simply researching products with different packaging that can also go towards your craftsmanship!
This way, you can develop a new skill, share it with your friends and family, and contribute towards a cleaner, healthier environment.
2. Walk more
It is no surprise that driving our vehicles is damaging the environment, some more than others. Larger vehicles produce 85% more carbon emissions per km than smaller vehicles, but one definite way to help reduce your emissions is by ditching the car for good and hitting the road on foot instead.
If you’re looking to improve your health in the New Year, then walking (and running) can be a great way to enjoy nature, step away from your car, and improve your cardiovascular health. This doesn’t mean you have to walk everywhere, but simply swapping your morning commute for a walk, trying your local shops as opposed to those that require a drive, or enjoying some “me time” in nature can be a great way to give back to the environment and yourself next year.
3. Take part in Dry January
Another resolution that saw over 175,000 participants last year is Dry January. This New Year’s resolution sees people going teetotal for the duration of the first 31 days of the year. Not only is this great for your mental and physical health, but it can also benefit your wallet and the environment too.
According to the University of Manchester, the alcohol industry contributes 1.5 gigatons of greenhouse gases to the environment annually. By swearing off alcohol for the duration of January, you will be able to reduce your contribution to the effects of these emissions. Try swapping your usual weekly tipple for a softer drink, just for the beginning of the year. If you’re enjoying going dry, then you can also try sober spring or sober October too.
4. Buy second-hand
Thinking of adding a bit of charity to your 2024 budget while also helping the environment and saving your pennies? Buying second-hand could be the right resolution for you. Practice buying more second-hand items in 2024 for a brilliant shopping experience.
This can actually become a fun activity for you and your family too, with some TikTokers enjoying filming their bargain finds in second-hand and charity shops, such as as @charityshopgirlcsg, which has 1.4 million likes. Take the family and see what bargains you can grab throughout 2024.
Whether you’re looking for a vintage piece of clothing or a unique piece of pottery, finding second-hand items in shops or online can be a great alternative to buying fast fashion or commercial pieces. And it can make your home feel extra special, as you have something a bit more unique in it.
Changing your lifestyle to be greener in 2024 has never been so easy. In fact, many of our common resolutions can actually help us become more eco-conscious in the year going forward and make sure we are making a conscious effort to help the environment. From adopting new hobbies to exercising more, helping the environment can help you too.