New Year's Resolutions
But what about everyday resolutions?
January is the traditional time to consider positive changes to your lifestyle and everyday habits. We make New Year’s resolutions with the best intentions, but too often by February we have already forgotten about them and have fallen back into old ways. So how about forgetting the short term regime and adopting a lifetime change that benefits everyone?
Where to start?
If you engage in the world and are conscious of global issues, it is understandable to feel overwhelmed and helpless by the sheer amount of resolve and collaboration that is needed to make changes. Relax! You are not alone. It is not all up to you, this is a collective issue and needs collective action. A good way for you to begin to engage is to think about where your biggest impact may be and make small adjustments around it. For example, do you drive short distances to the local shops, buy fresh produce wrapped in plastic or waste food by buying more than you need? Identifying habits that impact our environment on a day to day level and resolving to change them can make an enormous difference – the journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step. Feel empowered! You will elicit a definite impact on your own life, and the life of our planet. Winners all round.
Sustainability and ethical awareness are now bang on trend, with customers demanding more transparency on how, where and of what their purchases are made and sourced. Supporting local businesses is an increasing choice for many British consumers as we once more question the impact of supermarkets and revert to the more traditional shopping on the local high street.
For those who want to go plastic-free in 2018, there are small changes you can make to ease your way into it. With breaking news of the governments 25p ‘latte levy’ added to the cost of your takeout coffee, invest in a reusable coffee mug, such as the super trendy Keep Cup. Most coffee chains will even offer you a discount for doing so. Completing a shopping trip without picking up some plastic may seem ambitious, but again the answer is to shop local and loose. Take your own reusable containers and fill up.
Ethical fashion is becoming more and more the norm for consumers. Fashion Revolution's successful ‘Who made my clothes?’ campaign asked important questions surrounding human rights for garment workers, safety in the workplace, fair pay and clean working conditions. The environmental impact and the unacceptable nature of fast fashion being continually brought to the forefront. Ethics and sustainability are the new buzz words, so now is the perfect time to dig deep, and get involved. Buying with a conscience is the way forward. Quality, not quantity.
Wherever your concerns lie, do your research. There will always be information online, and you may be surprised to hear about initiatives and products already in place to help you succeed with your new lifestyle changes. For the more sociable amongst us, have a look for local groups of like-minded people, activity days and volunteering opportunities.
Doing your research and being knowledgeable about your ethics is important. As climate psychologist Prof. Paul Hoggett of UWE says, “Being able to hold a frank and informed conversation with someone is the best way to persuade others to be more ethical in their approach to their day to day life.”
New Year’s Resolutions are the perfect kick start to deciding what you want to change in 2018. Be realistic and methodical, and take it day by day; by doing so, you’re much more likely to keep to your new plans after January has ended.
*Indirect quote from Paul Hoggett's talk "Behaviour Change and the Climate Change Conversation" at The Tobacco Factory, Bristol, on 12th September 2017.