2018 is almost here–which means it’s time to begin our usual introspection that comes with the phrase “new year, new you.” This year, we must reflect on our role as citizens of this planet and set goals that align with our values.
It’s really easy to feel hopeless when it comes to climate change and environmental sustainability. But we have to believe our own power – the power of the people and the power of our daily choices. The more committed we are to protecting our planet, to supporting the right brands and companies and to reducing our carbon footprint, the more resistance we display during the time of Trump and his ideologies.
A better world begins with us, but first, we have to visualize the world we want so that we can help create it. This year, set realistic and tangible goals for a healthier planet. Here’s how you can start:
1. Educate yourself and make goals
When you read the words “climate change” and “environmental sustainability,” do you know what they really mean? Are you aware of the amount of waste America produces? How about the details of the Paris agreement?
I understand the science can feel out of reach, but part of it is because the media has made us believe that this climate change is intangible. But that’s not true. Our daily decisions and the ways in which we choose to travel, eat and consume all make a difference. So educate yourself and familiarize yourself with the facts.
First, create a reading list of all the information you want to delve into. Then, based on your reading and research, write down in detail the green goals you wish to achieve.
2. A 2018 challenge
There’s nothing more fun than challenges. Why not make environmental sustainability a friendly competition among friends or family? Try a month of following a plant-based diet to see who lasts longest or see who can last a year without shopping for apparel.
January is often a time where a lot of people revitalize their exercise programs, so why not challenge yourself to get out and to connect with nature? Get close and know what it is you’re trying to protect. The world’s beauty will keep you going when the decisions to lead a healthy lifestyle gets tough.
Once again, write it down and make it specific. What will you do? How long and with who?
2. Establish new environment-friendly habits
The best part of challenges (other than getting super competitive) is that you can then create long-lasting habits that will shape your lifestyle. They say if you follow routine a month, then it becomes a habit.
So this New Year, let’s create positive habits and get rid of the ones that don’t serve us or the planet. Ever thought of reducing your waste and sending less to landfill? How about going plastic-free? The possibilities are endless. Write them down and hold yourself accountable.
Once you write down your goals, make sure you revisit your list every few months to track your progress. This also serves as motivation and a way to check for possible gaps that could benefit from improvement.
Living more sustainably and with greater compassion for the planet is contingent on creating positive habits that are compatible with the health of our home, Mother Earth. This new year, begin by setting those positive habits into place.
Happy New Year’s everyone! Here’s to a beautiful, healthy and green 2018!