Instead of making the same New Year’s resolutions as every other year, why not try something different by making them green in 2016. From ocean conservation and the protection of turtles in Palm Beach to caring for the welfare of South Africa’s leopards, we at Red Carnation make it our mission to protect and preserve the planet’s riches. But small changes in your daily routine can also make a real difference. Follow our guide to an eco-friendly 2016 with these green New Year’s resolutions.
The Food You Eat
How much food waste do you have at home? Altogether, the UK throws away seven million tonnes of food and drink every year. By controlling food portions and only buying what we need, we can cut this down dramatically. For food that’s fresher, buy local; produce that hasn’t taken a trip around the world has more nutrients, and reduces the energy used in storage and transportation.
Recycle and Reuse
Recycling can encompass more than just using the correct bins for paper, glass, plastic and metal. Re-usable shopping bags preserve landfill space and help prevent global warming, while other items at home can be disposed of more creatively. Why not use an old T-Shirt as a cleaning rag. Alternatively, donate your items to charity or upload them to Freecycle.com.
Before buying something brand new, consider stopping by a second-hand store to find something that’s just new to you. Websites such as ebay.com, gumtree.com and pre-loved.co.uk are an easy way to start. Think twice about buying bottled water, too. More than 17-million gallons of oil are used each year to produce these plastic bottles, which is enough to fuel a million cars for the entire year. Instead, carry a reusable bottle and refill it with water from the tap.
Tailor your beauty routine to benefit the planet by using ethically sourced products and towel drying hair. Reducing drying time by just five minutes a day saves almost 45 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year, which can help reverse global warming. Taking shorter showers meanwhile will not only prevent dry skin, it’ll also cut down on energy bills, which is a great reason to turn off the water when brushing your teeth, too. To stay active while living a greener life, take the stairs when possible and instead of driving, try walking, taking the bus or riding your bike.
A Tech Life
To save the energy you use with gadgets and home appliances, avoid charging your phone overnight and wash laundry on a 30-degree heat. Remember to turn off light switches when leaving the room, switch light bulbs to energy sufficient ones, and before turning on the central heating, see if you can stay warm in a jumper. Become more ‘e-friendly’ by signing up for online bills and bank statements, and remove your name from unwanted postal updates.
Get out into the World
The trees around us produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide, helping to clean our planet’s air and soil. In fact, without trees, we would not be able to exist here on Earth. Give a little something back to the planet by planting a tree in your garden or with a local initiative. Red Carnation’s We Care initiative helps conserve the planet by supporting projects such as The Cape Leopard Trust in South Africa and The Loggerhead Marine Life Centre in Florida, as well as having a policy for recycling, solar energy and breathing life into urban environments with greenery in each and every one of our hotels.
Stay at Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve on South Africa’s Western Cape to gain an insight into The Cape Leopard Trust, and stay at The Chesterfield Palm Beach to visit The Loggerhead Marine Life Centre.
Header image © iStock / Mariusmff