How many times have you already been asked what your New Year's Resolutions are? Are you someone, like me, who doesn't believe in making resolutions? I am not keen on the idea of setting up challenges for ourselves only to feel worse about not reaching them than we did about the thing we're trying to give up/improve/change in the first place.
Our mission at Eco Passion is of course to increase awareness about green issues and the alternative products available to live a lower-waste and plastic-free existence where possible. So I am not going to challenge you to reach a certain goal, or to give up a certain product, or even to be vegan on the basis of mass meat farming and the impact that has on our environment (though of course having a go at #veganuary would be a worthy challenge ;)) - but the point is more to increase your awareness of what you use in your daily life and in what areas you can reduce your waste, as well as what impacts you can have as an individual. We have found that once you start to make small changes, it filters down into many other areas of your life and lifestyle.
I've put together a couple of useful pointers here:
1. Educate yourself and others
I don't just mean read the things that pop up in your Facebook feed or other social media networks (though they can often be a great source of information), but really do your research. If you want to learn about what is really happening to our environment, or about industrial composting and where it's available, or about the breakdown times of various materials (even replacements to plastic like stainless steel or silicon and some types of rubber will have an impact on the environment if thrown away or discarded incorrectly) - then do your research, read published and endorsed books and science journals as well as scientific papers you can find online. We're so lucky to live in a time when information is at our fingertips and we don't have to rely on encyclopedias or writing letters, just be rigorous about the sources you use.
2. Making changes around your home
If you're reading this, there is a chance you already have some awareness of the importance of reducing your waste, reducing your use of plastic, recycling, home composting and generally reducing your carbon footprint. But it is likely even if you have started, that you can do more. Is now the time to have that water filter installed on your tap so you can finally give up buying bottled water? Is now the time you finally organise your kitchen bins to make recycling an easy habit rather than a big effort? How about getting that hook onto the back of your front door to remind you to take your reusable bags to the shops? Or could it be that you improve your insulation this winter so you can use less electricity heating your home? Maybe if you're a homeowner you could look into the installation of solar panels so you can reduce your carbon footprint even more? And for plastic-free replacements to products you use around your home, be sure to check out our online store
3. Make a bigger impact
Many people are disheartened about the fact that as individuals there is a limit to what we feel we can do to make real changes where it matters. It's one thing to carry your reusable bags to the supermarket or even shop for your loose fruit and veg at the market and not the supermarket, but would it not have more impact if you could influence the supermarkets themselves to change? There is nothing to stop us all making contact with our local supermarkets and asking them to make changes. For example, at Mercadona here in Spain, all the eggs they sell come in plastic packaging - if we all asked them to change to carton containers, maybe we could make a difference. Their range of vegetarian and vegan food has increased and improved no end, so it's not unreasonable to expect them to respond to requests for less plastic and less packaging in general. Their customer service section on their website is even available in English, so why not use your voice and help make changes on a greater level. Have a look at this page and you can choose to use their contact form, call and speak in person, or comment via social media: https://info.mercadona.es/en/customer-service
Why not make 2019 the year you really make a difference to the future of our precious planet.