The start of the year usually ushers in a start of a whole set of everything. A reboot for some, a new beginning for others, and a fresh start for many. For the next 365 days, individuals are rethinking – if not thinking for the first time –and resetting their goals and objectives – personal, social or professional –to whether continue the ones drawn the past year that were only half accomplished if not at all, or completely discard the old ones as they humbly submit to the reality that they are impossible to accomplish, achieve, or acquire. Whatever the reasons, this annual occurrence of a new year’s resolution is possibly the next most popular list of goals after the liberally used bucket list. However one attempts to define their resolutions, no one is to judge as they are personal to the one making the list.
It would be within reason to suggest for some environment consciousness factor be added in resolutions, not only to make a personal mark, but make a global impact one resolution at a time, one person at a time. Think about it, goals that are not only personally beneficial, but environmentally beneficial as well. This can spike that fulfillment bar a notch higher because of the relevance factor. s
It is not as intimidating or profound as it sounds. It’s actually very simple and this article is geared towards opening your minds to how easy it can be to make your own mark. Let’s start by targeting one conscious effort each month and hopefully it gets ingrained in your day to day system.
The first month of the year is also critically the month that follows one that entailed tons of eating, drinking and merry making. Along with all those activities are thousands of calories consumed and tens of pounds gained. Make January the month where you start a program that will get you back in shape. Another reason to do this is it is 3 months before summer and you really don’t want those muffin tops hanging over your board shorts or your bikiniin full visibility.No gym is necessarily required especially if you inject the environment factor in this resolution. You can start by taking more walks instead of rides and if you do ride, make it a ride with pedals, meaning a bike. Find an excuse to move those legs like walk your dog or your neighbor’s dog, pay the bills in the nearest pay center, park your car farther than normal and take advantage of that opportunity to walk, walk to the market or the pharmacy or to the park, walk to your friend’s place. Walk to your take out place and forget about getting your food delivered. If you are a member of a gym, walk to the gym can serve as your warm up. Walk, walk, walk. Get a Fitbit or install an app in your device that counts steps. Monitor your steps with at least 10,000 steps as your daily target. Don’t stop until you reach your targeted number of steps and as you achieve it, increase your target.
With the recent increase in gasoline prices, see this as an opportunity to minimize pollution, offset the added cost and start a car pool plan. Find a buddy thatyou canshare a ride or alternate driving with when going to work.If you are an Uber or Grab user, it would not hurt to request a pool instead of your own car once in a while. Not only is this more economical, it can also be a way to make new friends. Car pooling needless to say can also address the ever increasing problems of parking, as it reduces the number of cars requiring a slot. So find a car pool friend now, or even better, make a new friend through car pooling.
And then there is the start of summer. Here’s hoping you didn’t stop your walking resolution after January. Notice any changes in your legs or midsection? If yes, then keep up the good work and start strutting that bikini body. All those summer outings will require some grocery shopping for food and drinks. Before you go and start purchasing all those ‘reinforcements’, make sure you carry an eco bag with you all the time. You’ll never know when you’re going to need it for some spur of the moment get away. Tuck it in your purse or brief case and use it to chuck your groceries in. Do this even if the place provides paper and not plastic bags. That will be one less tree cut down if this conscious effort is done in hoards.
In the day and age of portable devices, there is no other way to go but digital. Watch a movie or a TV series from your tablet or your phone, listen to music, read a book or the latest news, shop online – however this will contradict January resolution so keep the shopping limited to items not locally available. In other words, invest in Netflix instead of DVDs, e-books instead of hardbound or paperbacks, e-news instead of broadsheets. If cost is an issue, there are a number of free sites and apps while those that charge offer free trials for the first month. Imagine the amount of paper, plastic and other non-biodregradable junk prevented from being thrown out. Put your devices into more relevant use other than just for social media and games.
Since we already kick-started the move to reduce the consumption of non-biodregradable materials, let’s take this resolution a tad further. Eliminate all plastics in your day to day routine. Bring a water tumbler to replace plastic (and paper) cups. Store stainless cutlery in your work place and refrain from using plastic spoons and forks. Bring a food container when you go for take out (again walk and pick up your take out, not have them delivered). When in a quick-service restaurant, return the condiment sachets that you won’t consume and return or refuse the stirrers provided along with the sugar and creamer sachets when you take your ordered coffee black. Better yet, bring your own coffee mug when you purchase a brewing cup of caffeine.This can significantly reduce the accumulation of consumable junk.
Still on reducing consumable junk, every year we resolve to quit eating junk foods. They are just bad for your healh and not to mention your figure. But because they are stored in aluminum foil and plastic wrappers, they are bad for the environment too. If what we resist continues to persist, we end up giving in. . BUT… we should at least not throw the empty packs and instead collect them for delivery to an establishment that upcycles residuals into furniture weaves. Yes, the weaving is actually quite cool when used as a seat or a headboard or a back rest. The furniture pieces are not bad either. Visit www.junknot.com to see the pieces.
The start of the rainy season often makes one go order drinks that warm the body. We’ve covered how coffee drinkers can contribute to saving the environment, how about the wine drinkers? It’s simple. Collect the corks and the bottles. Donate them to establishments that upcycle them into decorative, functional and useful items. You’ll be amazed at what bottles and corks can transform into in the hands of a creative environmentalist.
As the rainy season continues, the days are shorter and the nights are longer. Lights will be needed for a longer period and this can hurt the electric bill. It’s time to change those old bulbs to energy efficient LED bulbs. These LED bulbs may come out expensive in the onset but the energy and cost efficiency are reaped in the very long term. For one, there will be a substantial reduction in your electric bill in the first month of usage. Next, these bulbs last for years hence making the cost of changing bulbs frequently reduced.
Not a lot of people know this -unless you’re a diver – but September is the designated clean up month in most dive resorts, especially those located in Anilao. For one whole month, the dive resorts task divers, dive masters, dive instructors, and course directors to clean up the underwater world. Tons and tons of waste get collected from this effort. Imagine if done every month. Does this really have to be done only on September? If every diver collects garbage each time they go under, there is more for the country to boast about being a diver’s paradise than just corals and marine life.
Imagine more results ifthe same effort and commitment is done on solid ground. You don’t have to be a diver to start a clean up drive especially one done on the streets. And you don’t need a whole load of people to get it done. You only need yourself, a pair of cleaning gloves and if possible a garbage bag for maximum results. Pick up every rubbish you find along the way and discard properly. Reprimand and educate those that mindlessly throw their rubbish anywhere they find convenient. When driving, keep your rubbish in your car and wait to throw them until you find a bin. If you can segregate them on the spot, even better.
Smoker? How many times have you included in your resolutions to quit smoking? Every year? Every month? Or even every Monday? And the thought of going cold turkey is just revolting because you prefer to do it gradually by reducing the number of sticks per day, per week, per month, per year until the end of the year comes and you are still smoking the same number of sticks as the start of the year. Well, if you can’t quit, at least quit throwing your cigarette butts wherever you please. Walk to the nearest bin and ditch it there (this actually helps you continue your January resolution).
If you’re a non-smoker, you can still help. When you see someone throwing their cigarette butts somewhere other than the appropriate trash bin, remind them kindly to pick it up and throw it in the designated bin instead.
No bet Christmas shopping has started and the time of gift giving will soon commence. Along with gift shopping, some wardrobe editing may be or have been in place. Free up some closet space for the new items by discarding old ones. The rule of thumb is, if you have not used a clothing item for at least a year, you will not likely use it again. So collect the discarded clothes and donate them to charity or give them away to less fortunate but grateful recipients. Jazz them up even by perhaps redesigning them. Go to YouTube and you will find a number of hack tips in jazzing up old pieces of clothing. Old shirts made into bags, old underwear turned into tank tops, scarves turned into necklaces or ponchos, old socks into hair ties, old pair of jeans turned into really cool shorts, and many more. You might end up keeping them after seeing what you’ve turned them into.
Of course, after all that gift shopping and clothes hacking come the packing and wrapping. Usually, how the gift is wrapped elicits more excitement than the gift itself… initially. Stop buying gift wrappers. Instead, wrap your gifts with old newspaper or magazine pages. Use your creativity with recyclable materials. Think about it. The gift wrap gets torn and thrown regardless of how elegantly wrapped it was. By giving gifts wrapped in recycled paper, you are quietly sending a loud message that you care for the environment, and then may work some realization and influence on your friends.
So there you go. Twelve months with one environment-friendly resolution for each month. Take note, each month’s resolution need not end with the month or the year. Make saving the environment a part of your new year’s resolution.Have a happy earth saving new year!