As we look to 2021, Transition Town Letchworth have been debating the New Year’s resolutions that each of us could choose to help repair our climate. The good thing is that many of these resolutions, which we share in this article, will benefit our health and well-being, as well as repair the earth for future generations to enjoy.
A good place to start, given the winter season, is a resolution to regularly monitor your electricity, gas and water usage and take action to reduce this usage. Simple lifestyle changes can make a difference, such as, turning off lights when leaving rooms, putting on a jumper before pushing up the thermostat, closing the curtains (behind the radiator) at dusk or taking a short shower instead of a bath. You could borrow Transition Town Letchworth’s infra-red camera to detect heat loss, it can show up problem areas that may have low, or no-cost, fixes.
How about a resolution to reduce the carbon footprint of your diet? You could resolve to eat your favourite vegetarian dishes more often, cutting down on meat (especially red meat) and dairy products; and eat more seasonal, locally grown food. You could start growing some of your own food.
Why not resolve to reduce your fossil-fuelled transport miles? For shorter trips, you could plan so that there is time to walk or cycle; work out how to combine trips to cut down overall travel miles and journey times; or, once COVID restrictions are lifted, share a ride with colleagues and friends. One of the biggest carbon saving resolutions you could make, assuming it is possible to holiday abroad again in 2021, is to join the thousands of people who have pledged to avoid flying next year.
How about making a resolution to reduce the amount of ‘new stuff’ in your life? Resolve to buy less in 2021, perhaps by resurrecting items that have been forgotten in the back of your wardrobe instead, or by thinking again about whether you really need that new kitchen, bathroom or piece of furniture? You could even set yourself a personal challenge to fill your residual waste bin less, could you put your bin out every four weeks, instead of two?
If your New Year’s resolutions can include a few of these ideas, you will be making a contribution to repairing our climate for future generations, because we know the planet will adapt to survive mankind’s excesses, but mankind probably can’t!
If you are interested in more ideas like this then take a look at Transition Town Letchworth’s ‘Transition Streets’ programme.