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With 2021 knocking on our door, let’s focus on making the new year the most sustainable one yet. As another year is nearly behind us (and, oh boy, has it been a crazy one), it’s a good time to think about our environmental impact and how we can live a more sustainable lifestyle in the new year – whether you’re only just getting into sustainability, or have been reducing your impact for years now.
Let’s step into 2021 sustainably – and to help you do that, we’ve prepared this article divided into two sections. In the first, we’ll share a few of our favourite tips for sustainable New Year’s celebrations. In the second, let’s talk about how you could live a more sustainable lifestyle in 2021!
Sustainable New Year’s Eve celebration
New Year’s Eve is usually marked with an abundance of fireworks, party decorations and champagne. You don’t have to change your habits too much to be more sustainable – but there are a few quick and easy ways to make a difference.
Skip the fireworks
Okay, this is perhaps the biggest change you may want to make to reduce your impact. However, it’s also perhaps the most important one, because fireworks are terrible for the environment and wildlife. They cause extensive air pollution, leaving harmful toxins and heavy metals in the air for the next few days. Some of these toxins will disappear, while others will stay in the environment for years to come, poisoning all they come in contact with.
If you’re a lover of fireworks, why not give organized fireworks displays a try instead?
Sustainable New Year’s outfit
Your outfit will depend on how you celebrate New Year’s – but many of us want to get dressed in sparkly clothing we would otherwise have no use for. If that’s the case for you, you can easily reduce your impact by thrifting the outfit rather than buying new. Eventually, also think about whether there are some clothes already in your closet that could satisfy the need.
Rethink your decorations
Instead of plastic décor and helium balloons for your celebrations, why not try more sustainable alternatives? You can reuse your Christmas lights, prepare some newspaper confetti or fabric bunting.
A local toast
What will you be toasting with at midnight? Choose locally-sourced drinks whenever you can, rather than buying something made across half the world! Sure, champagne does have the special, festive feel to it – but why not try something different this year (unless you can find any locally-made sparkling wine – or actually live in Champagne, France)?
Start a sustainable lifestyle in 2021
Now that you’ve celebrated New Year’s eve sustainably, it’s time to think about limiting your impact in 2021. How can you make a lasting, impactful difference?
One step at a time
When we first try to live a more sustainable lifestyle, many of us tend to bite off more than we can chew. It’s important to take sustainable lifestyle one step at a time so that you won’t get overwhelmed.
Don’t try to go zero waste or vegan overnight – while both are great ideals to aspire to, you’ll likely be absolutely miserable if you try to tackle it all at once. Begin with something that feels easy to do to build momentum, and then stack new habits on top of that.
Educate yourself and practise what you preach
One of the most important things when it comes to living a sustainable lifestyle is educating yourself on the matter. Documentaries are a great way to start, as they show you the information in an understandable yet impactful manner.
Now that you have all the information, it’s time to put it to practice and share it with others. Remember to practice what you preach as well – if you’re always telling people about how to live more sustainably without following your own advice, they likely won’t listen to you.
Stick with it
Last but certainly not least, stick with your sustainable lifestyle. This is not like going on a diet – sustainability is a lifestyle change that will help us live in a greener world. We can’t achieve that with quick fixes, quitting when it feels uncomfortable.
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