“New Year, new me” – how many times did you say this before deciding to give up carbs, Facebook, and reality TV and went to the grocery store to buy a salad or the gym to buy a year-long subscription? Well, now think back to the times your New Year’s resolutions have proven to be short-lived. That’s OK – there are millions of us out there with similar issues, and the reason for this is that we know that if we fail to keep our resolutions, the only ones affected will be us. What I propose this time, though, is another type of resolution, one that doesn’t need to be made on New Year’s Eve – and keeping which will affect the entire world. Here are some things you should be giving up this year to turn your planet into a better, more livable place.
In the years that have passed since the invention of plastic in the mid-19th century, we managed to build our lives around it. We use it to store our food, to eat it, drink it, we even wrap our plastic waste in plastic bags before putting them into the trash bin (also made of plastic). Except for those fashion items from recycled materials, but that’s a story for another day. Plastic is an amazing material that can be endlessly shaped, used, and recycled – it’s light, flexible, and versatile. Unfortunately, we don’t recycle nearly enough of it – according to the Earth Day Network, far less than half of the plastic products (most of them single-use) manufactured in the world are recycled.
Your first New Year’s (or otherwise) resolution for 2018 should be to avoid single-use plastic use as much as you can. Instead, use either compostable alternatives or biodegradable ones – you will contribute to the world becoming cleaner.
Instead of buying single-use alkaline batteries, invest in a set of high-quality rechargeable ones, and a good charger. Even aside from the fact that they are the much more environmentally sound choice (alkaline batteries can cause problems if they end up in the landfill), it’s also a more pocket-friendly choice.
According to Panasonic, the average American family consumes around 70 alkaline batteries per year. At the same time, the average rechargeable battery can be reused up to 1000 times (this, of course, depending on its quality, the way you use it, and its capacity), which makes a much better long-term investment.
Making these your New Year’s (or otherwise) resolutions, you’ll probably sleep better knowing that you did your part, choosing to be friendlier with your home planet instead of choosing convenience. While these may seem minor things to you, they do make a difference – that, of course, if enough others resolve to do the same.