And so, the festive season is over for another year! Across the nation, decorations are hibernating in attics once again. Christmas jumpers are tucked away out of sight until next December. Mince pies have been replaced with Easter eggs on supermarket shelves.
For many of us, January is a time for reflecting on the past year and setting ourselves new goals for the next 12 months.
Last year, leading climate scientists warned of a “climate change catastrophe” if we don’t make some big changes in society. The changes required may be huge, but even the smallest individual efforts are useful in the fight for a sustainable future. There are some subtle changes that we can all adopt into our daily routines to help make a difference.
Struggling for inspiration? Fear not, as here at Colville Leather, we’ve rounded up five sustainable New Year’s resolutions for 2019 ...
1. Bring your own bottle
We’ve all heard the hard-hitting headlines about the global plastic epidemic upon us. We’ve all seen those haunting images of the world’s oceans brimming with plastic waste. The problems caused by single-use plastics are affecting every corner of the globe, with urgent and radical action required.
Plastic bottles are among the worst offenders when it comes to plastic pollution. In just one minute, people around the globe are buying a million plastic bottles. And less than half of these bottles are being recycled. Being up against such huge figures, you may be wondering if you can actually make a difference as an individual. Yes, you can! Simply being aware of your personal plastic bottle consumption and taking steps to reduce it is a simple and achievable start.
So, our first sustainable resolution for 2019 is to invest in a refillable water bottle. Not only will this cut your plastic use, it will save you money too. Here are some eco-friendly reusable bottle options to inspire you:
Chilly’s are on a mission to accelerate the everyday use of reusable products. Their bottles are made from high-quality, BPA-free stainless-steel, and offer a high-performance alternative to a traditional flask.
Designed for healthy hydration on the go, a Soma glass bottle is lightweight, durable and truly sustainable. Even the cap is made from renewably-sourced natural bamboo!
2. Cut down on your meat consumption
According to scientists, cutting-down on meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce our environmental impact on the planet. Research has shown that while these food types provide just 18% of calories and 37% of protein, they use a huge 83% of farmland and produce 60% of greenhouse gas emissions within the agricultural industry.
The thought of going completely vegan may be rather daunting, but fear not. You don’t have to cut meat entirely out of your diet to start making a difference. Why not start small and resolve to take part in ‘Meat-Free Mondays’ this year? Simply by having at least one meat-free day each week, you can do your bit to help slow climate change and conserve precious natural resources. You could also see benefits for your health and wallet!
There are lots of sources of inspiration for meat-free meals across the internet. For lots of ethical, plant-based food inspiration, check out Omnom Magazine, a sustainable lifestyle publication that encourages a return to mindful, slow living.
3. No more tumble drying
Other than production, the laundry process is where our clothing impacts the environment most. Did you know that in fact, laundry is responsible for around 25% of the carbon footprint of clothing?
Leaving your wet clothes to air-dry rather than using the tumble dryer is a simple way to live more sustainably in 2019. It’s an easy way to reduce both your household energy consumption and the burning of fossil fuels.
Not only will this new year’s resolution help you protect the environment, it’s also kinder on your clothes. Numerous visits to the tumble dryer can put a strain on your garments, with some sensitive fabrics at risk of irreversible damage. Hanging your clothes to dry naturally is much more gentle.
And of course, it goes without saying that by abandoning the tumble dryer, your wallet will be thanking you. Not only will your electricity bill be reduced, but there’s no need to spend money on things like fabric softeners and dryer sheets - little things that add up when purchased regularly!
4. Use plastic-free toiletries
Another resolution to help cut down on your personal plastic footprint, this time focusing on plastic-free toiletries. Not only are many toiletry products wrapped in unnecessary plastic packaging, but pesky plastics are infiltrating the ingredients of everyday essentials like shampoos and soaps. This means that plastic is being washed down our drains and into the oceans with every shower.
Lots of brands are now joining the plastic-free movement that’s sweeping the globe, which means you don’t need to look too far to find some all-natural, eco-friendly toiletries. Check out this plastic-free Earth Conscious Natural Deodorant Stick, for example, made from 100% natural ingredients. This award-winning deodorant works to prevent odour, whilst being kind to your body and the environment.
For some more plastic-free toiletry inspiration, here’s a helpful round-up of some tried and tested products.
5. Say no to fast fashion
It can be hard to resist the call of the high street, especially with January sales advertised in every window. We’re encouraged to buy cheaply and replace quickly; a never-ending sequence that defines the world of fast fashion.
This year, why not pledge to ditch the fast fashion and shop more sustainably? Here are some simple things you can do in 2019 to embrace slow fashion:
Shop less, choose better. Invest in quality, timeless pieces that will see you through the seasons.
Shop local. Support local artisans who are passionate about using traditional techniques to produce handmade, sustainable goods.
Show your clothes some TLC. Adopt a more mindful approach to laundry to extend the lifespan of your clothes.
Drop off any unwanted garments at a clothing collection point. Retailers like M&S and H&M are leading the way on the high street with their clothing collection and recycling schemes.