A new year is the perfect opportunity to reevaluate what you can do to have a more positive impact on both the planet and yourself. Especially now it’s important to put our health first, and to look at ways to improve the world. Take better care of yourself, make eco-friendly choices and broaden your horizons in 2021!
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
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After such a heavy year, it’s good to take care of body and mind. Setting these resolutions can help.
1 Start a daily mindful meditation practise. Take a moment a day to be present. You can use apps like Headspace or YouTube videos, listen to calming music or rain sounds. Meditation comes in many forms: if you can’t get yourself to sit still for a long time, you can use exercise or cold showers as a form of meditation. Writing down your thoughts is also helpful, it can help to track what you’re doing and feeling in such a strange time. There are many ways of bringing mindfulness into your life, so there’s always something that fits you.
‘If you’re too busy to meditate, that’s a sign you should meditate’.
2 Go outside more. By appreciating your surroundings you can get outside of your head. Taking a walk and breathing in fresh air is a great way to ground yourself, to exercise a bit, and to do something away from home. Walking or cycling in nature on your commute also reduces carbon emissions.
Please do keep in mind the social distancing measures.
3 Reduce your screen time: It can be easy to get sucked into your phone and forget everything else. The best way to fight this is by putting your phone somewhere you can’t reach on certain moments in the day, like when you need to go to sleep, make it a habit to leave your phone in an outlet that isn’t close to your bed. This will make waking up phoneless easier too.
4 Learn about minimalism and how to include it in your life. Minimalism is about enjoying what serves you and dumping what doesn’t. To use your energy for you, and not for things. But you can also remove mental clutter with minimalism techniques. To let your time serve you instead of having it slip away. The book Goodbye Things by Fumio Sasaki and the Life-changing Magic of Tidying up by Marie Kondo can help. There are also many great YouTube channels like Heal Your Living.
CHALLENGE YOUR SHOPPING HABITS
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It’s easy to continue shopping the way we’ve always done, however, making your purchases more sustainable is better for body, mind and planet.
5 Shop local or thrift. Go for an ethical, slow fashion brand and support fair treatment of workers, small businesses, initiatives to improve the world. Put your money where your mind is. You can also get a lot of clothes second hand with apps like Vinted or Depop.
6 DIY. Learn to sew, embroider or knit. A skill like this is very valuable since it can always come in handy. Even knowing a tiny bit of sewing can make you able to fix small things in your clothes so that you can keep using them. You can make masks from leftover scraps of fabric. With embroidering, you can give new life to old clothes, and knitting can make you a scarf or hat. There's a lot of things you can make yourself, like body butter, lip balm, deodorant, or even toothpaste! Take a look at this list of DIY cosmetics for more. You can make your own cleaning product by infusing vinegar with citrus peels. With this DIY you can repurpose citrus peels and it smells amazing too.
7 Eat more plants: Learn to cook vegetarian & vegan dishes, which is another valuable skill. Not only do you save money, but you can boost your skills and have fun making delicious vegetarian dishes. By cooking more you can order less food, which reduces plastic, and it’s a fun thing to do at home. Try replacing meat wherever you can and looking up vegetarian or vegan recipes with lots of greens. These days you can find a lot of vegan meat that tastes just like the real thing.
TAKE A STAND
Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash
Bring about change in climate change!
8 Learn about a different perspective. Challenge your point of view by reading books or watching documentaries. Broaden your horizons! Expand your way of thinking. Learn about different cultures at home. Or learn about climate justice!
9 Use your voice. Talk about climate change with friends and family. Use your knowledge to inform others and inspire them to make more eco-friendly choices. Support environmental organisations or NGO's to help the wellbeing of people and nature. Vote at every opportunity and create change and growth in the world!
GO PLASTIC FREE
Make small changes that have a big impact by making zero waste swaps.
10 Take a reusable bag, bottle, masks, food wrap and bamboo utensils wherever you go. Not only does this decrease your plastic consumption, but it also can be a lifesaver when you buy food that doesn’t come with utensils, or unexpectedly have to carry something that doesn’t fit in your regular bag. Tip: wash these items right after coming home, so you always have enough, and you don’t have to use single-use stuff.
We hope we brought you some inspiration for the new year. Let us know your New Year's resolutions in the comments!
Written by Talitha van der Meer