It’s worth taking a moment or two this year to make sure that you house is as energy efficient as it can be. Just think of how you can spend the money you save! Find out more about how to save energy, including insulation, heating, renewables, and switching at the Energy Savings Trust.
Switching to a green energy supplier could be a quick and easy way to do something good for your pocket, your city and the planet. Find out more about switching energy supplier.
2. Learn a new skill
Is there something that you’ve always wanted to be able to do? Play piano, code a website, learn Spanish, make your own solar panels? Empower yourself and make 2016 the year you do it.
There are lots of opportunities to take free courses online as well as meetups to share tips with new friends. You can also swap your skills with someone else; can you teach how to bake in exchange for guitar lessons?
Volunteering is good for you. It’s official. Studies from University of Exeter showed that volunteers had lower levels of depression, increased life satisfaction and enhanced well-being. (Huffington Post) Check out Do-It or Ecojam for opportunities.
Our volunteers really help to spread the word about clean energy and we really appreciate their time and effort. It’s also an opportunity for them to learn new skills and join a team of like-minded people. If you live in or around Bristol and care about making a difference, we’d love to hear from you. Find out more about our current opportunities.
4. Divest / Invest
The choices you make with your money and investments can make a big impact on your future and the future of our planet. At COP 21 in Paris, it was agreed to halt global warming at 1.5 degrees, which will necessitate a shift from fossil fuels. As Kumi Naidoo from Greenpeace says, “fossil fuels are on the wrong side of history”.
A 2015 Citibank report shows that taking action now against climate change would save $1.8 million by 2040. However, high street banks, educational institutions, pension funds, local authorities are still investing in fossil fuels. It’s time to be on the right side of history.
Here are our top tips to help go fossil free: http://www.bristolenergy.coop/help-us-go-fossil-free.html
5. Get back to nature
There’s a growing body of evidence that reinforces what we know already; that getting into nature makes us happier. (Washington Post) We all feel better after a walk in the fresh air, so this is an easy resolution to make. Dedicate one day a week to get out in nature, whether that’s spending time in a city farm, seaside stroll or mountain hike.
Need inspiration? Here are some ideas from the Wildlife Trusts, National Trust and Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens.
Vegetarianism or veganism is not for everyone, but reducing your meat intake could help you inject creativity into your 2016 menu and reduce climate change. Livestock accounts for 14.5% of the climate changing emissions and meat and dairy consumption is rising in the developing world. (The Independent)
You could also save money. The average UK family spends £15.60 a week on meat and fish, with £7.60 being spent on fresh fruit and veg. (Meat Free Monday) There are lots of ideas for veggie recipes in Meat Free Monday or Jamie Oliver’s website. Watch this Ted Talk about being a Weekday Vegetarian.
7. Fast fashion is out, pre-loved is in
Feel like a new look this year? Why not restyle with vintage or preloved clothes? The textile industry is one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, and nearly 11 million tons of non-biogradable clothing is disposed by the US alone every year. (Women in Clean Tech and Sustainability) Apart from the environmental costs, high street clothing chains are global, meaning you’ll be wearing the same thing as 1000s of others. We like to do things differently - now’s time to get your own look!
What is your alternative New Year’s resolution? Let us know via Twitter and Facebook.