Environmental New Year’s Resolutions for 2014

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Every year we make the same old resolutions. As the clock chimes on January 1st the booming sound of a billion empty promises will echo across the earth, “I’m going to work harder”, “I’m going to work less”, “I’m going to drink less”, I’m going to drink more”, ok maybe not the last one but even so the point remains that many of these resolutions (in fact the majority of them) will be broken by the end of the month and are (let’s be honest here) of very little consequence anyway.

There are resolutions you can make however that will not only require very little effort but will go a small way towards saving our planet. This may sound a little far fetched by the figures speak louder than words ever could. A recent IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report has found that if our attitudes to our environment don’t change soon we could be looking at catastrophic results in our life times with sea levels expected to rise by between 0.28m and 0.98 metres in the next 80 years.

Though the impetus for change is largely on the shoulders of global conglomerates and governments, if we all pitch in and start living more environmentally friendly existences in 2014 it will make a huge difference. Below, we’ll take you through just a few potential resolutions relating to how you can live a more environmentally conscious life over the next year and beyond that.

Next year I’ll recycle more

Until recently, recycling was seen as a bit of a farce but as the years wore on and the landfills continued to swell it became much less of a joke. Now it’s far more convenient to recycle and there is absolutely no stigma attached to it so in the majority of cases there is no reason why you shouldn’t recycle if the option is available to you. Many homes in the UK are now even issued with recycling bins that are collected bi-weekly along with their regular bins but if you live in the city it’s still easier than it ever has been to recycle. Even local garbage tips will have as many recycling options available as they do options for disposal so making the resolution to recycle more is probably the most logical and simple.

Next year I’ll drive less

As a species we have become incredibly lazy, to the extent that many of us will think nothing of climbing in our cars to drive to the corner shop and pick up a carton of milk. Simply making the pledge to walk or cycle wherever possible will make a huge difference to your carbon footprint, maybe not daily or even weekly but certainly over a year.

Next year I’ll use less electricity and water

Electricity and water are two things we tend to take for granted and as such we are all guilty of perhaps using more than our fair share. It takes very little effort to make a big difference though by simply remaining vigilant. Electricity especially is a commodity we’re using more of now than ever before due to a perpetual increase in technology. For example always make sure lights are turned off when you leave a room, turn off power sockets when they’re not in use and make the switch to energy efficient light bulbs. Also with your computers, tablets and smartphone devices, if they are in standby mode and being charged, unplug them as they will still be drawing power. This will not only benefit the environment, but your wallet too. Also try running more showers and less baths, only washing full loads in the dishwasher and washing machine and turning off the tap whilst you’re brushing your teeth. These are all ‘habit’ that you’ll need to almost trick yourself into adapting but once you have adapted, you’ll find it difficult to fall back into your old, wasteful ways.

Next year I’ll join an environmental organisation

If you’re really committed then you may want to consider signing up for membership with one of the countries many environmental groups. Of course this requires a little more commitment than simply remembering to turn the lights in the kitchen off when you’ve finished dinner, but the rewards can be more than worthwhile.

These are merely suggestions (feel free to add your own ideas to the list as it is by no means extensive) but as you can no doubt see, the majority of these resolutions require very minor lifestyle changes. Sometimes a little can go a long though.

So this year when you’re thinking through your potential resolutions for 2014, don’t waste your effort on some misguided vanity project. After all, what’s more important, looking a little better in your bikini this Summer or helping make our planet a more sustainable place for our children and our children’s children to live, work and thrive?

About the Author

Crispin Jones is a freelance business blogger with an interest in saving energy. Crispin is currently working with Juice Electrical Supplies – an online supplier of energy saving products. Have a look at their most recent infographic about the cost of gaming.

Updated: January 14, 2014 — 9:59 am