By Jade Ellis

January is a month full of promises that we make to ourselves.

We promise to exercise more, spend more time with our friends and family, more time on self-care. However, sometimes it is useful to not only look at ourselves, but also at the world around us. With a huge influx of natural disasters, it is so important to start becoming aware.

Global warming leads to emission of greenhouse gases, rising temperatures of the oceans and the earth’s surface, melting of polar ice caps, sea levels and unnatural patterns of flash floods or excessive snow. There is an excessive amount of waste being dumped in oceans and in underdeveloped countries. Plastic, cheap packaging and electronic waste is now becoming threat to our wellbeing.

It feels like 2018 should be the year that we all start to care more about these issues and do our bit to help future generations. It is time to start some sustainable resolutions. Here are some promises that we can make to our planet this year. Why not try and be kinder to the world around you?

1.    Be a conscious consumer

Make it your mission to only consume from ethical and sustainable brands!Make sure the brand uses sustainable and biodegradable materials, hasethical production and are cruelty free. We can start by unfollowing unethical brands, or unsubscribing from their emails - this can make a huge influence on how we spend our money. Look at more hashtags like #greenbeauty#ecolivingand aspire to follow these examples!

Fast fashion is not only detrimental to the environment but is also a highly unethical business, known for the violation of the health and safety regulations. To avoid this, you can shop locally, help out small businesses, look for eco-friendly fabrics, and shop more in second-hand and vintage stores.

You’ll feel so much better about your purchases, help others, the environment, and also look great whilst doing so!

2.    Go plastic free 

Try to challenge yourself and go plastic free for a week! Once you start doing this, you will realise how much plastic surrounds us. It’s everywhere. From our water bottles, sandwich wrappers, containers, straws, utensils...

More than eight million tonnes of rubbish and plastic is being dumped into oceans every year. It is estimated that there will be more plastic than fish by 2050! The world is now slowly starting to wake up to this problem.

Here are some small everyday changes which we can start now to make a difference!

  • Start bringing your own cotton tote bag everywhere you go. As well as a reusable coffee up and water bottle.
  • Avoid buying produce in plastic. You can buy the loose fruit and vegetables and wash them yourself at home.
  • Refuse to use plastic straws or utensils and purchase reusable ones.

These are small changes but if we all tried, we could make a big difference together. We hope we can inspire a few to help the planet!

3.    Eat plants

It is no big secret that eating a plant based diet can reduce your carbon footprint. Even by just reducing your meat intake can have make a big difference for the planet.

The term ‘flexitarian’ means flexible vegetarianism - a person who eats mostly vegetable based meals, but also allows themselves animal based meals when they want. ‘Meat-free Mondays’ is something which has increased in popularity. Do as much as you can, and if that means cutting out meat and dairy two times a week, you are still doing something to benefit the world. 

Recently a number of supermarkets have launched brands of 100% plant based meals! According to the Vegan society, the number of full time vegans in the UK has grown fourfold in the past 10 years.

Cowspiracy is an incredible documentary which really shines a light on the impact of a vegan diet being able to benefit the planet. Here are some facts about how plant based living can benefit the planet…

  • It takes 1,000 gallons of water to make 1 gallon of milk.
  • By cutting animals and animal products out of your diet, you can help reduce 51% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions produced every year.
  • 2,500 dairy cows produce the same amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people.
  • 1.5 acres can produce 37,000 pounds of plant-based food. 1.5 acres can only produce 375 pounds of meat.

4.    Do the best you can

With the massive amount of information out there on how to live eco-friendly, it is easy to get a little overwhelmed. Mistakes are bound to happen and no one can be perfect. The point is progression and wanting to do better. We should all do what we can and not stress if we happen to slip up! So see what you can do this year, try your best to benefit not only yourself, but the world around you.