Green resolutions for the New Year

From avoiding cheap, trendy clothes to using your own cutlery when travelling, reducing and reusing are the key to embracing a more sustainable lifestyle in 2020, according to UNEP Young Champions.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is an expert in all things environmental, including eco-friendly lifestyles. In an article for the New Year, UNEP offers up five New Year’s resolutions with a green twist.

“Why not take this new year to reboot what you want out of life. Consider what is really important to you, what you really want and need,” says UNEP Sustainable Lifestyles Officer Garrette Clark.

“Think about experiences, being close to family and friends, and buying products that contribute to these goals and that may last longer, can be used multiple times, or enhance everyone’s well-being.”

Here are five tips from UNEP Young Champions:

1. Think about what you’re buying. This includes being conscious of what you be, as well as being aware of how and where your purchases were produced. Apps like Evocco, founded by Young Champion Hugh Weldon, can help by educating users about the environmental impact of their food purchases.

2. Go slow by avoiding fast fashion. Don’t buy cheap, trendy clothing that use environmentally harmful materials, quickly fall apart and end up in landfills. Instead, consider options like the 100% sustainable clothing line Green Hug, founded by Young Champion Jorge Eduardo Lomeli Carrillo, which makes clothes out of garbage, consisting of 50% PET bottles and 50% recycled clothing.

3. Use plastic-free personal care products. Step up the fight against microplastics by using plastic-free face wash, day cream, makeup, deodorant, shampoo and other personal care products. Eco-friendly alternatives, such as Savvy Element, by Young Champion finalist Batoul El Hakim, designs safe and green chemical solutions using active ingredients and materials that are native to their country of origin, extracted and produced using eco-friendly, low-energy and low-water intensive techniques.

4. Bring your own reusable shopping bag. Single-use plastic bags are a thing of the past. Today, savvy shoppers can choose from a wide range of reusable shopping bags, including biodegradable paper bags, designed by Young Champion Alhaji Siraji Bah, made out of banana leaves.

5. Have utensils? Bring them! Like single-use plastic bags, disposable plastic utensils and plastic bottles have no place in 2020. Pack your own when you travel or know you’ll be eating out or ask restaurants for sustainable alternatives, such as the 100% biodegradable, bio-edible bowls and cutlery designed by Ipsita Gupta, Young Champion regional finalist for Asia-Pacific.

Image credit: Maria Ilves via Unsplash

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