6 truly sustainable resolutions for the new year
This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)
As soon as the big feasting is over at Christmas, we sit down the resolutions for the new year. Except for the compliance, it’s the same thing every time. Two-thirds of what we put into our heads will be dropped again. Especially when it comes to combating weight that we gained during the winter season. This is exactly why this blog post should not deal for once with how the excess belly fat disappears most quickly (and if you are interested in it anyway, I recommend this blog post here).
Too often our New Year’s resolutions revolve around our own microcosm. But how would it be if we let our projects benefit the climate this year – and then again the people?
What we eat does not only affect our health, well-being and figure. No: Our diet also has an impact on the environment, society and animal welfare. With a more conscious diet we can make a big contribution. By choosing healthy, environmentally friendly food produced under fair conditions, we automatically reduce our ecological footprint. It also simply feels better to know exactly where the food that ends up on the plate comes from.
Did you know that 28 percent of the environmental impact in Switzerland is caused by nutrition alone? Reason enough to summarize a few simple everyday and shopping tips that will help you start the new year ecologically. In addition to nutrition, there are many other small things that have a big impact. But now more…
1. Throw away less
In Switzerland, almost one-third of foodstuffs end up in waste. And it is not the retailers or restaurants that are largely to blame for this, but us. We as consumers, who often shop too much and then throw away food. Either because it gets bad, we forget it in the refrigerator or we cook too much and don’t want to get rid of our leftovers. Each person throws an average of 320 grams per day. This corresponds to almost an entire meal.
It helps to think about what you need before buying. The good old list still serves its purpose here. And once the food is at home, it’s all about storing it in a sensible way. If you put the products in the refrigerator in such a way that you can see them all at a glance, you rather avoid throwing something away. The right doses also help to ensure that opened food is consumed more quickly. Tip: Storage in transparent Tupperware or glasses gives you a better overview of everything in the refrigerator.
Incidentally, even if a foodstuff has expired according to its packaging, this does not mean that it is no longer edible. The date only guarantees that the product will taste exactly the same until then as it was packaged. So the rule here is: rather smell and taste it. A yoghurt, for example, can still be enjoyed wonderfully after a week over the shelf life.
2. Reduce consumption of animal products
A dish with meat contains three times more greenhouse gases than a vegetable meal. By reducing meat and fish consumption, much can be done for the environment. The problem is that half of the power feed fed comes from abroad. For Swiss animal feed, arable land is required abroad which is about as large as the arable land available in Switzerland. For the large-scale cultivation of soybeans, rainforests are cut down and small farmers are driven off their land.
If you are concerned that you cannot cover your protein balance by consuming less meat, we recommend that you include more vegetable protein sources such as tofu, beans and chickpeas in your diet.
3. Seasonal and local shopping
Knowing where the food that ends up on the plate simply feels better and tastes better. In addition, long transport distances can be avoided. Aircraft transports in particular are a major burden on the climate. Supporting local providers makes sense here. Here too, however, it should be noted that the products are in season. Regionality alone does not guarantee sustainability. Growing food in heated greenhouses can also have a negative impact on the product’s life cycle assessment.
4. Walk more on foot
At a time when we are mostly sitting in our everyday life, we rarely walk. Especially the way to shopping is therefore ideal for reintegrating more movement into the daily routine. This also saves fuel and thus unnecessary CO2 pollution. Did you know that you can pick up fruit and vegetables directly from many farmers?
5. Say goodbye to fast fashion
Shopping is an established hobby for many people. Especially clothes are bought back too quickly. There are no longer only four seasons left. It seems that every week a new trend comes on, which we all have to follow. Why don’t you ask yourself in the new year with every purchase if you really need it? And if the answer is “Yes”, then first look around to see if you can get the item from a fair and sustainable label. 10 reasons why it makes sense to buy fair fashion (or nothing at all) can be found here in my blogpost.
6. No to plastic and yes to recycling
Not every fruit needs an extra plastic bag. It makes more sense to always have a bag with you. This way you are prepared for every purchase. You also save a lot of packaging when you cook fresh every day. It’s healthier anyway. And in the event of plastic packaging, make sure to buy as large packs as possible of basic foodstuffs. After all, this saves the many small packaging units.
By the way, did you know that Farmy the organic farm shop is completely plastic-free? The “plastic bags”, for example, are made of corn starch and can be easily composted. In addition, all the packaging material can simply be returned with the next delivery. The packaging material is collected and if possible reused or recycled.
For the plastic that still gets produced, there are specially designed bags in Switzerland (see picture below). In this way, plastic can be reasonably recycled. In other EU countries, it has been normal to separate waste already.
Are you ready?
So let us all try to pay even more attention to how and where we shop in the new year. Each of us decides from day to day what footprint he/she leaves on the planet. Of course, this doesn’t all work right away. Sustainability also always has something to do with renunciation. Overnight, no one has ever become an expert. But even small steps can make a big difference in the large amount. Start where it hurts least and gradually learn where you can contribute.
I wish you all a good – and hopefully (even more) sustainable – start into the new year. Love, Anina