6 New Year's resolutions to do your bit for the planet

17 January 2019

It's traditional on the dawn of a new year to consider how you can be a little better this time around. But instead of focusing just on dieting, exercising or more saving, why not also put your energy towards helping to preserve the beautiful planet that we call our home?

Here are some simple top tips to help you do your bit to keep our environment clean and inhabitable.

1. Stop using single use plastics

While it can sometimes be difficult to navigate this goal when every product in the supermarket seems to be covered in the stuff, there are some solid consumer choices you can make.

Refrain from using plastic straws. With over 500,000,000 straws enter the waste stream every day clogging up our oceans and damage precious marine wildlife, is it really that bad to sip your Coke without? Similarly, buying bottled water in the modern age is almost always avoidable. We're lucky enough to live in a country with drinkable tap water. Get yourself a reusable water bottle and keep it to hand whenever you leave the house.

Do you really need a straw?
Do you really need a straw?

2. Use more public transport

In our car based society it's easy to just hop in and pop to the shops or to work on your own schedule. But there's no getting round it, cars are a major contributor to air pollution, and as a result, rising global temperatures. Cars emit four major groups of pollutants:

  1. Carbon monoxide is produced when the carbon in fuel doesn't burn completely.
  2. Exhaust pipes emit hydrocarbons, a toxic compound of hydrogen and carbon.
  3. Nitrogen oxides (NOx) is emitted as a result of the reaction between nitrogen and oxygen react when fuel burns.
  4. Particulate matter (small particles of foreign substances) is released and contributes to atmospheric haze which can damage people's lungs.

By taking more public transport you can offset some of this pollution while still getting from A to B in a reasonable time frame. And hey, if you also want to shed some of that Christmas dinner, you can always get the bike out.

3. Try to buy local

Not only is this supporting your local economy it can also dramatically reduce the amount of resources used to transport food around the world. Meeting local farmers also means you can make informed choices about where your food comes from, and how it's grown. For example, which chemicals are used and whether the meat is free range.

4. Eat less meat

The growing consensus amongst climate change scientists is that avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest thing that individuals can do to tackle climate change. Red meat production in particular involves intensive farming practices and methane release.

This can be a tough change to a western diet that has traditionally centred around meat, but the good news is that a diet high in vegetables and grain is known to be much better for your health. And in the age of the internet there's no shortage of great vegetarian recipes to fill the meat void.

A great way to start reducing your meat intake without removing it all together is to adopt a flexitarian diet where you may have meat only one or two days a week. Even this small reduction to your intake can really help the planet.

Meat farming creates greenhouse gases and damage to the environment.
Meat farming creates greenhouse gases and damage to the environment.

5. Think about responsible investing

Responsible investing offers the opportunity to invest in vetted sustainable companies that also offer good long term returns. To learn more about how this could be used in your financial plan, get in touch with an authorised financial planner.

6. Spend more time outdoors

While this one may not directly help our planet, spending more time out in the great outdoors is a wonderful way to reconnect with your environment. Whether it's walking the dog more regularly or taking the family out for weekends in the park, spending time in nature is not only good for you - it can develop a passion for conserving this beautiful world that we live in.

If you're looking for a superannuation provider that cares just as much about our world as you do, get in touch with LGS today. We are leading the way for responsible investment in Australia and work continually to reduce our own footprint and get involved in green causes.

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