I already published my first new year pledge post, but it’s still the first week of January so I’m not stopping there.
Whilst I don’t buy in to the whole ‘New Year, New you’ thing, I do kinda love the whole fresh start, a clean page on a new diary and chance to think about some things you’d like to better in the blank space that lies ahead of you.
So much of my mindset has shifted towards a more environmentally friendly way of living, and the rise in evidence for the damage being done to our planet is just too real to ignore, so here’s how I plan to reduce my carbon footprint for the year ahead.
Eat less meat…and dairy for that matter
Okay, so Veganuary didn’t start great – with Dad Muddling Through putting milk in my coffee and me shoveling a handful of celebrations in my mouth, and that was before breakfast on New Years Day. I was almost ready to give up at the first hurdle. I began to think it was just way too hard, and perhaps, for me it is.
Until that is, that I sat down and invested 90 minutes in a documentary on Netflix called ‘Cowspiracy‘ and that utterly appalled my defeatist attitude. So perhaps I cannot eliminate all complex animal based products, but there are some pretty big wins we could achieve as a family. An 80/20 approach perhaps could be a pretty good place to start.
Like giving up beef, or red meat in general – even giving up meat full stop. Like switching dairy based butter for plant based spread (would anyone even notice?). Like reducing the amount of milk we waste – the girls have a beaker by their bed every night which mostly ends up down the sink in the morning.
Could I encourage the rest of the family to give the soya milk I have come to prefer, another go?
The stats are shocking – and if you’d like to find out more about how animal agriculture is the number one cause of deforestation, greenhouse gases, species extinction and habitat destruction, then I recommend giving Cowspiracy a watch.
Travel by sea
We are planning our family holiday this year and have made one big change – we are travelling by boat, to Jersey, where we will spend our annual family week of fun, sea and sand together. Just please, British weather don’t let us down as the crossings are cancelled in rough seas…and then, I’m not sure what happens?
Make one car work
In 2019 we came close, so close, to buying a second car. It was beginning to seem like the answer to our logistical nightmares of juggling two working parents and two school kids, and the ferrying here and there that entails.
As it so happened, the major issue was solved with just a tiny tweak and open minded approach, which made us question whether we really needed to double our carbon emissions at all…
Which brings me to the next goal – to put our best foot forward and walk more. Unashamedly egged on by the step counting running watch I got for Christmas, it’s made me think so much more about keeping the family active, and investing time over convenience wherever possible – it’s a win:win for the environment and our health.
Buy less crap
January has typically been a month I hang my head in shame by month end. After a overwhelming few days of generosity and gifts overflowing from our house, I have in the past taken to hitting the sales to buy all the stuff I convinced myself I needed. Clothes, household stuff, more clothes, stationary, tat… January is a shoppers heaven for adverts that leave you feeling you have to have it all. But not this year.
In 2020 I am determined to be more thoughtful about the purchases I make – to think and think again about whether I really need that [insert item here] and so far I’ve made it to the 6th Jan without a single purchase. I’ve put things back down in the shop, I’ve clicked the X on shopping baskets and I’ve messaged sellers with queries rather than hit BUY. The result – a healthier bank balance and a feeling of lightness that there is no January consumer guilt here. And that’s a big statement given the amount of time I spend scrolling / admiring clothes in virtual shop windows. Long may that last into 2020.
Shop second hand
Despite pledging to be more mindful in the purchases, if clothes are your thing, then it’s pretty hard to turn your back on buying full stop. The answer? Slow fashion my friend… Depop, e Bay, the good old oxfam shop. I have to say I have bought some incredible buys in 2019 from pre-loved or vintage stores and the bargains are even more spesh because I saved them from the bin. Definitely something I want to do more of in the decade ahead.
So, that’s my sustainability goals for 2020… I’m determined that with some changes our little family among our seven billion neighbours can do our bit.
What about you?