Friday, March 24, 2023

Starting Right: Checklist For A Sustainable 2022

If you’re starting 2022 lamenting last year’s unmet environmental goals, fret not.

The simple truth is everyone breaks New Year resolutions. In fact, one recent study found that most of us ditch our resolutions by the third week of January!

There are numerous reasons for this. But one of the main ones is that, despite the best of intentions, our pledges were way too ambitious.

Think back to your resolutions for 2021. Were they too hard to sustain? Perhaps you didn’t even know where or how to begin in the first place?

So with that in mind, how about making 2022 the year of achievable eco pledges?

Some of these may seem minor. However, as an organisation that has long championed sustainability, we at QNET can say with certainty that there are no small gestures when it comes to Mother Earth.

Cut out meat from your diet

Were you one of those who promised to go vegetarian last year only to quickly fall off the wagon at the first sign of your favourite meat dish?

Don’t worry. Many, even committed vegans, slip up. But the key is not giving up at the first sign of failure. While nixing meat can be hard, it’s certainly worth it.

Only, why not try to begin slower this year?

Focus on reducing your meat intake in stages by first removing it from your diet for a couple of days a week. Next, swap out the dairy in your coffee and tea with soy or nut milk.

Once you get used to these, you can gradually begin increasing the frequency of your plant-based meals. You’ll soon be on your way to a healthier, meat-free world in no time.

Ditch the plastic

The science is clear. Plastic is killing the Earth!

Worse, because plastic takes hundreds of years to decompose, it’s going to keep wreaking havoc for generations to come.

So this year, why not resolve to reduce the amount of plastic you use daily?

You can start by ditching single-use plastic straws and produce bags. Opt instead for reusable straws and cool, sustainable totes.

Also, consider saying a big, fat “NO” to bottled water and resolve to carry refillable water bottles with you.

Choose sustainable (or second-hand) fashion

On the subject of reducing plastics, why not give fast fashion — cheap clothing that doesn’t last, is made unethically and hogs landfills — a pass as well?

Instead, pledge to buy your threads only from brands with strong ethical and sustainable stands. And if that sounds too difficult, you could always choose to make your purchases from vintage or second-hand stores.

Second-hand clothes shopping does sometimes get a bad rap. But one of its undeniable benefits is that reusing clothes effectively results in less waste and carbon emissions.

You could also try recycling your fashion, like these celebs!

As a bonus, preloved and vintage clothes are not only fashionable, they’re easier on the wallet too!

Turn off the tap

No, we aren’t suggesting not bathing or washing your hands!

Indeed, with COVID-19 variants continuing to pop up, it’s important that cleanliness and hygiene are maintained.

That being said, why not resolve to be less indulgent with your showers and to turn off the water while cleaning your teeth?

Cutting down on bath time may seem inconsequential given how much water is wasted through industrial and farming practices. Nevertheless, the stats suggest you’ll be making a big difference by simply turning off the tap.

According to one international water body, by shaving just a minute off your shower time, you could save the Earth 2,600 litres of water a year!

Leave the car at home

We know. Getting around can be tough without your own transport.

But did you know that a single-vehicle staying off the road for just two days a week can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 700kg a year?

The solution, thus, is to leave your car in the driveway once in a while. You can opt instead to carpool, hail a ride or use public transport. And if you’re feeling particularly motivated, you can even walk or cycle.

Sure, those last options may feel like more work than necessary. However, if you plan well, you can turn your commutes into workouts.

In time, even the smallest of steps in the right direction can lead to big changes that matter.

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