The Ultimate Guide to Achieving New Year's Goals
At the start of each new year, we make resolutions to bring about change in our lives. Our resolutions usually include changes that will affect us personally like losing weight, getting a new job, starting a family, saving for that dream holiday or even leaving a marriage.
While these resolutions are important, what about making resolutions that can have a positive impact on our community or even the world?
We look at New Year resolutions that can make a difference to the lives of others and the greater world.
1. Give back some of your time
Volunteer your services, effort and time to an underprivileged community or organisation in need. Giving them a few hours of your time each week or month is not only satisfying and rewarding but also strengthens your community and improves a functioning society! And that’s good for everyone!
2. Be more eco-friendly at home
Embrace a lifestyle that is environmentally conscious to protect and conserve our natural resources. Being environmentally friendly is about making small but significant steps for our planet to be a better place to live in.
Start by conserving more water, which means taking shorter showers and baths, not letting the tap run endlessly and watering your garden early in the morning or in the evening, rather then in the middle of the day.
Consume less electricity by switching off lights and appliances that aren’t been used, use energy efficient light bulbs, insulate your geyser and air dry laundry instead of using a tumble drier.
Recycle paper, plastic and cardboard and re-use glass jars, containers or clothing instead of throwing them out. When throwing things away, remember that there really is no ‘away’. Garbage lands up on landfills and does not go ‘away’! Resolve to recycle, recycle, recycle!
3. Re-look at your travel habits
Do you and your hubby drive everywhere? Drive less and try other eco-friendly alternatives such as walking, cycling or using public transport. Driving and flying are two modes of transport which are not good for the environment. Find ways to save on petrol, invest in fuel efficient vehicles and if possible, try to travel less.
4. Plant more trees
Planting trees is an important activity to help our planet – we need them to survive. Trees are so useful for the environment because they provide oxygen, clean the air, give shelter to animals and birds and prevent soil erosion. By planting more trees, you are helping to reduce energy consumption and protect your environment.
5. Eat locally
Learn to be more aware of where your food comes from. By eating food that is locally sourced, you are choosing not to eat what has been shipped for millions of kilometres, thereby reducing the amount of energy conserved.
It is also an excellent way to support local farmers and markets and cut down on packaging used by so many supermarkets. Local produce is also believed to be more nutritious.
Even better, grow your own veggies and herbs in your garden. Just think how wonderful it would be to have fresh produce for salads that you have grown yourself and herbs from your own garden to flavour your food?
6. Random acts of kindness
Make it your goal this year to perform random acts of kindness for someone else. It doesn’t have to be expensive or involve huge, spectacular deeds. Sometimes it’s the small acts of kindness that mean the most!
Try things such as buying a homeless person a meal, helping an old person cross the road, offering to babysitting for a single mom or giving a colleague who travels by public transport a lift home.
Composting is another beneficial way to change the environmental climate. This is basically a simple process whereby organic matter such as fruit and veggies, leaves, egg shells, coffee, tea bags are converted in a compost heap to form a rich, natural fertilizer for plants.
Compost provides all the essential nutrients to help flowers, plants and vegetables to grow effectively. It helps to prevent soil erosion, reduces amount of waste that is sent to landfills, reduces toxins and pollution and promotes healthy, rich soil.
8. Reduce use of toxic chemicals
Cut down on using harmful chemicals such as household disinfectants and cleaners, soap, shampoos, deodorants, body lotions, paint and pesticides which can cause indoor air pollution when you are exposed to them.
Choose non-toxic products that contain natural ingredients – these products are both safe and gentle for you and the environment. Use common household materials such as baking soda, vinegar or lemon to clean surfaces, floors and windows in the home.
9. Shop online
Are you tired of shopping at malls and supermarkets? Make a change and start buying online more. It’s convenient and uses less energy and fewer carbon dioxide emissions than when shopping in-stores.
Online shopping is definitely greener and more eco-friendly. Most online stores also offer great deals for delivery, so be sure to shop around.
10. Educating others
It is very important that we educate others about protecting and conserving our environment. Start with your own families and teach them basic things such as not to litter, to put their trash in a bin and to practice conservation in your home.
Join environmentally campaigns or promote them on social media to educate people about our beautiful planet.
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