We have deliberately not written about New Year’s Resolutions in 2024, because, really, January is maybe not the best month to think about all the things you could be doing, but aren’t – it’s cold, dark, chances are you’re feeling skint. Whoever thought this was the month to give yourself a hard time?
No, we much prefer to have these great plans in September. It’s still got that back-to-school feeling about it, hasn’t it? Even for those of us who left school a long, long time ago! Chances are you have enjoyed the summer months and are feeling relatively relaxed. A much better frame of mind in which to start a new regime or two.
Having said that, we sometimes feel that there is no time to waste when it comes to mitigating the damage we are doing to our planet, so while we couldn’t possibly pile on the pressure in January, we don’t feel quite so bad giving ourselves a nudge in February!
When it comes to the climate crisis, it’s not that we don’t know what we should, and shouldn’t be doing, it’s just sometimes hard to stick to our intentions.
The Gap Between Our Aspirations and Our Actions
I will stop buying coffee in disposable cups
Easy enough, but then you find your train has been delayed and, though you never intended to buy a coffee today, you really need one now
The solution: Always have a re-useable cup with you
I will never again buy a plastic bag in the supermarket
You diligently take one or two with you each time you go for a planned shop, but what about the time you nip in to buy only a loaf of bread, but find amazing goodies in the reduced section that you really can’t not buy
As above: you need to have a folded-up bag, on your person at all times
NB. Putting these first two together might mean you need to carry a bigger bag!
I will designate at least one day a week ‘car-free’
But my child has just been invited to a party. It’s too far to walk and is not accessible by public transport
Find out who else is going to the party and arrange a car-share
I will rewild my garden
My partner hates the idea!
Compromise: Have a small wild area, or make a mini pond
I want to grow my own veg
But I don’t have a garden
You will be amazed at the amount you can grow in pots at your door or on your windowsills
I will use cloth nappies for my baby
But it’s been raining for days, there are now nappies drying all over the house plus a pile of stinky ones waiting to be washed
Or – I am visiting my family and have been told there’s no way I am putting THOSE in their washing machine
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Use disposables when you need to, but each time you use a cloth nappy just think to yourself – at least that’s one less nappy heading to landfill
I will take no flights this year
But my sister lives in Australia
Again, be kind to yourself. The important thing here is that you are making a conscious decision to fly, not just booking a flight without a second thought
It’s not too hard to close that gap!