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Article: Start the new year sustainably

Nachhaltig ins neue Jahr starten | paigh | Fair & gemütlich

Start the new year sustainably

You want to do more for the environment next year, but don't know where to start? New Year's resolutions can help you do that. Here are a few tips on how you can make a sustainable start to the new year.

Making intentions realizable

Do you know why many resolutions don't work or are forgotten after a month at the latest? It's because New Year's resolutions are often not formulated in a meaningful way. Because in order for us to achieve goals, they must be concretely realizable. Generalised resolutions such as "I'm going to lose weight", "I'm going to do more sports" or "I'm not going to produce any more rubbish" are so unspecific and exaggerated that they quickly discourage us. The goal seems unattainable and cannot be measured. It is therefore important that we formulate our resolutions in a concrete and small-step manner.

A "I do more sports" can then become, for example, a "I go to the gym for an hour every Monday" or a "I attend a yoga class twice a week". This more specific formulation makes the intention verifiable and is more tangible the first, general formulation. This also applies, of course, to resolutions on sustainability and environmental protection. For a few, the resolution "I will be vegan/vegetarian from 1.1. For the very most however that represents easily an excessive demand. Which resolution you can formulate instead of it for itself, you experience further down in this post office.

Overstraining can also be caused by taking on too much at once. It is absolutely great if you are so motivated that you would like to implement five New Year's resolutions at once. However, in most cases this is very time-consuming and requires not only time but also great stamina. How about starting with a single resolution in January? You can always add new resolutions during the course of the year. Climbing the steps of a staircase bit by bit is better than jumping from the first step to the last and falling all the way down

Let us now move on to concrete sustainable intentions:

Sustainable New Year's resolutions

1. Use less disposable products & produce less waste

The Big Four are history to me

With the "big 4" are meant plastic straws, plastic bottles, plastic bags and disposable coffee cups. Removing these items from life makes a huge difference to the environment. For us as individuals, this intention remains concrete enough to make it happen. However, it requires a little preparation. After all, if you want to do without disposable cups, you should own a reusable coffee cup. Buying the four items in reusable form is definitely worth the investment. Jute bags, metal drinking bottles and reusable cups are now available in various beautiful designs. Reusable straws are available in the form of a key ring, for example. So you can have it with you at all times. It can also be worthwhile to look for used products on the Internet or at flea markets.

2. Consume less animal products

I eat less meat / Meat
no longer comes into my shopping cart / I
eat meat once a week / I
only eat animal products outside and cook vegan food at home

This resolution is the concrete version of the "I'm going vegetarian/vegan" resolution mentioned earlier. If you would like to implement it in your life, look for a formulation/version that feels right for you. As I said, you can always expand the project later. For the beginning it might be enough to introduce a "meatless Friday". Or to do without red meat when shopping for the week. Even if the intention might not be "good enough" for others - do your thing! Every change in the right direction counts and is great!

Frau spaziert im Schnee an einem See entlang
Photo by Drew Coffman on Unsplash
3. More walking again

I walk the walk to work /
Every Monday I go by bike instead of car /
I use the way to my relatives or friends as a walk

There are many reasons for walking. Besides the obvious environmental aspect, you are also doing yourself and your health a favour. You have to plan more time, but you also slow down wonderfully and experience the pleasant feeling of having moved. Here too, the resolution is flexibly adjustable and should of course be tailored to your possibilities

4. Produce less food waste

I make my own compost /
If I throw food away, it's because there's no other option /
Every Sunday I plan the next week's meals /
I only buy as much as I can consume

About one third of the food produced ends up in the garbage. Intense, isn't it? When food waste ends up in a landfill, methane is produced when it rots. This greenhouse gas has a significant impact on our climate. Therefore, it makes sense to think about what happens to your own food waste and to reduce it if possible

5. Expand your own sustainability awareness

Every Sunday I read an article about climate or sustainability /
Every month I implement a new zero-waste habit /
Once a month I go to an event or meeting where I can learn more about zero waste and sustainability

Those who deal with issues such as sustainability and the environment are much more likely to change their own behaviour. The things and impulses with which we surround ourselves every day take up a large part of our thoughts. Of course it is always somehow "better" to take concrete action. But by dealing with important issues we gradually develop a stronger awareness of these things, which is also very important. A lot of things gradually become a matter of course for us, so that we then automatically implement them..

What sustainable New Year's resolutions do you have? What do you want to contribute in the coming year?

If you want to learn more about sustainability, mindfulness or healthy eating, take a look here over.

Schneemann als Beispiel für Neujahrsvorsätze wieder mehr Zeit in der Natur verbringen
Photo by Michal B. on Unsplash

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