Whenever the new year draws near, we tend to look back at what we've experienced in the one coming to an end...and what we've experienced in 2020 should make us think. This is the moment to take action so that it doesn’t happen again. And one of the best ways of contributing to this effort is “to make peace with nature,” to quote António Guterres, the UN Secretary General.
Acting in support of the planet rather than against it does not require great sacrifices or giving up anything all that substantial. Often it is simply about incorporating a series of small actions into our everyday life and habits, which can have a powerful effect in fighting the climate crisis and protecting the environment.
There are many things we can do at home, in the workplace, or wherever we happen to be. These are just five examples, five New Year's resolutions to help the planet in 2021.
A summer evening in the vineyards
Be more energy efficient
Saving isn't synonymous with not consuming, but doing so more reasonably and sustainably. No one is saying we should live in the dark, freeze in our homes, or stop using technology. It is about using energy better and more efficiently, saving whenever possible and not being wasteful.
Hands cupping soil in the vineyard
Find better ways of getting around
For many, the ability to get around has taken on new value. The lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic have made us appreciate travel, going to other places. Take pleasure in a healthier, safer, and more sustainable way of getting around. Walk or ride a bike. Get to know what public transport options are available. Suggest that your family take a train on their next excursion. The way in which you get around has an impact on your health and that of the planet.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
The best waste is none at all. This should be the guiding principle in how we relate to garbage: reduction. Pick the product with the least packaging, take your own shopping bags with you, avoid unnecessary packaging, and buy bulk, package-free goods whenever possible. Put your imagination to work and find clever ways of reusing things. And remember to separate your household waste and deposit it in the corresponding containers. By doing so, you are contributing to the circular use of materials so that they don’t get dumped in nature.
Consider size, textile, color, and durability
Clothing has an ever-shrinking life cycle. The environmental price we pay for so-called “fast fashion” is ever higher. The mass production and low cost of the clothes we wear means that textile waste already represents 7% of our household garbage. Don't get caught up in compulsive consumption. Learn about where the textiles come from and the conditions under which the clothes were made. Together we can move towards more sustainable fashion that treats people fairly and with respect.
Save water so we don't run out
Climate change is threatening water security around the world, even in large cities in the most developed countries. This is why we all have to educate ourselves about how to save water. There is a long list of water-saving habits we can adopt: getting that dripping tap fixed, attaching aerator nozzles to our faucets, installing dual-flush toilets, saving the cold water from the shower in a bucket, or setting the dishwasher or washing machine to the eco mode cycle. Remember, every drop counts.
Bird flying over the vineyards