In 2019, everything changed- it felt like across the world, individuals, brands and governments finally began to prioritise our climate crisis and our degrading planet. That being said, it’s still not enough. But before sinking into another bout of eco-anxiety, know that there is hope – as more individuals make small but meaningful changes to their daily lives, we can make a major difference. We don’t know about you, but that definitely gets the Green Queen team excited about the changes we can take on for the new year to tackle our Global Goals head on. If you need some inspiration, here are 10 ideas to minimise your impact on the environment.
1. Slash Meat & Dairy Consumption
Most of us know by now how damaging animal agriculture is to the environment, from spewing out huge carbon emissions to contaminating our water, air and soil. To lessen your carbon footprint this year, why not try to cut down on your meat and dairy consumption? You can start small by adopting Meatless Mondays, or try out Veganuary for the entire first month of the year. Either way, make the commitment to kickstart a long-lasting habit that can make a huge difference to our planet.
2. Bring Your Own Reusable Shopping Bags, Straws, Cutlery, Coffee Cups
It might feel like a broken record, but how many times have we forgotten to bring out our reusable items or made an “one-time exception” to use a single-use bag? Make it a rule this year to remember to bring out your cutlery set, containers and lunch boxes, and refuse every single disposable foodware item! This is a simple action that can reduce ocean pollution, protect sea life, fight landfill waste, cut down our dependence on fossil fuels.
3. Make It Your Goal To Swap Out A Disposable Every Month Of The Year
From toothpaste to menstrual products, there are loads of everyday products that we use that are still disposable. While choosing to ditch every disposable item you can possibly find in your inventory might be a little overwhelming, make it a resolution to try your best to swap out one item for a more eco-friendly alternative every month of the new year. If you need some inspiration, we have a few ideas for daily product swaps!
4. Choose To Walk, Cycle & Tram Whenever Possible
Another sustainable habit is to choose to take the lowest carbon footprint form of transport whenever possible. You could set a time limit, such as always choosing to walk as long as your destination is within a 30 minute reach, for example. Or you can make a plan to start leaving your home an extra 10 minutes early to opt for the tram on your daily commute to work.
5. Participate In A Charitable Or Eco Volunteering Activity Once A Month
To make the world a kinder and greener place, make it your goal this year to join in on a charitable activity or volunteer at an eco event on the regular. From committing to one Saturday a month to serve at a local food bank to participating in a regular beach cleanup, there is a an activity out there for everyone. Just a few hours of your time has the power to make a big difference.
6. Pick Up One Piece Of Litter Each Day
Tell yourself that you will pick up one piece of trash littered on the street every single day. Unfortunately, we do live in a city where there are pieces of litter scattered in almost every street, beach or road. So whether it is during your morning run or on the way home, pick up some rubbish, and discard it properly – either in a trashcan or in the nearest recycling bin.
7. Detoxify Your Home & Personal Care Items
In 2020, only use eco-friendly and non-toxic personal care and household cleaning products that are sustainably packaged. Many conventional skincare and makeup brands are full of toxic chemical ingredients that not only pollute our environment but our own bodies too. Most household cleaners not only contain harmful substances that pollute your indoor air and contaminates waterways, they are usually packaged in single-use disposable bottles that simply get thrown out. So make it your goal to opt for natural, synthetic-free brands of household cleaning and personal care products, many of which can be picked up at your local refill store. Or you can even make your own packaging-free natural products at home!
8. Never Buy New Fashion
Fashion is the second most polluting industry on earth, contributing huge amounts of carbon emissions, landfill waste, water, soil and air pollution. This year, champion sustainable fashion! Ditch buying unnecessary new garments, accessories and shoes and opt for secondhand, upcycled and recycled pieces that will last you a long time. Try out rental fashion, perhaps, if you need an outfit for a special occasion.
9. Buy Only Local & Regional Produce
Imagine all the air miles and carbon emissions involved with flying produce in from Europe or North and South America! To reduce your footprint from imported foods, make it your 2020 resolution to purchase only fresh vegetables and fruit from local farms and regional Asian-grown produce. Not only will you cut down the carbon of your plate, you’ll also benefit from enjoying the most fresh, seasonal ingredients!
10. Cut Down Food Waste
Did you know that food waste makes up the largest type of municipal solid waste thrown into our landfills every day in Hong Kong? Do your bit to cut down the astonishing 3,337 tonnes of uneaten and unwanted food that is disposed of on the daily by making sure you only buy what you can consume, takeaway what you can’t finish or donate your leftovers to a local food bank. Here are some more tips to get you started on fighting food waste at home.
Lead image courtesy of File Images.