Reboot your 2019 ethical lifestyle resolutions

For many people, the New Year signifies change, a chance to quit bad habits…or to start doing something positive. For years I have set unrealistic goals, and after breaking them just a few weeks in have given up on making so-called ‘resolutions’.

Some people may find it relatively easy to change their lifestyle, however for many of us, lifestyle changes (especially the more difficult ones) may need a different approach. What if 2019 was the start of a journey of slowly making changes in our lives, one at a time, so that at the end of the year we could look back and be pleased with the difference we’ve made.

Here are 4 ideas to try and reduce your impact on the planet this year.


What’s the problem?

Transport is a huge contributor to climate change. The decisions we make, often on a daily basis, have a huge impact. Whether we walk or cycle to the shops…or hop in the car. It matters.  

Those larger decisions we make, such as where to go on holiday, also matter significantly! Flying is a substantial proportion of the UK’s carbon emissions…one flight from London to Singapore is roughly 2.98 tonnes of CO2. This is staggering when considering that the average carbon total of someone living in India is 1.7 tonnes, and Bangladesh 0.3 tonnes PER YEAR! That means…1 flight to Thailand would be roughly the same amount of emissions as it would take the average Bangladeshi 9 years to produce!

What can I do?

Try walking or cycling instead of driving to work/uni. Or if you live further away, try and take public transport instead of driving. If you’re able, why not suggest a holiday in the UK to your family or friends this year?


What’s the problem?

The meat industry has a significant impact on the planet and is one of the areas of our lifestyle that can make the biggest difference. It produces an enormous amount of pollution and, in a world of over 7 billion people where many do not have enough to eat, 1/3 of global cereal production is fed to animals!

What can I do?

Why not commit this year to reducing your meat consumption. This could be not eating meat once a week, or cutting out just red meat (the most harmful to the planet) altogether? This will save a significant amount of greenhouse gases (not to mention your bank account…and probably your waistline).


What’s the problem?

A big win for reducing your impact on the planet (with minimal effort) is to switch your energy to renewable. Companies like bulb are brilliant and make it so easy to switch…it’s sometimes cheaper too!

What can I do?

If you’re a student or can choose your energy supplier, why not make the switch! If you do not get to decide your energy supplier, why not make an impact wherever you are and find out if you school, uni or church could switch to renewable energy?


What’s the problem?

For the level the average American consumes (and the UK isn’t much better) we would need an extra 4 planets to accommodate consumption habits! It’s safe to say that this is neither sustainable nor showing care for our planet and the people whose lives are impacted by our constant need for ‘stuff’.

What can I do?

I recently watched this TED talk that really helped me rethink about how I consume. I wouldn’t describe myself as someone who spends a lot of money, however, when I read that the person giving this talk didn’t spend money for a whole year, it really made me think! Why not watch the talk, and try not spending any money (apart from food obviously) for a whole week, month…or even longer like she has done.


What if we as a generation were to share in the struggles of trying to live a more just life. A life that doesn’t destroy our planet, or harm people’s lives. This life of consuming ethically can often be hard; tiring or inconvenient. This year, we may very well not be able to achieve everything we want to…but we can make a start. A good start. Maybe this can be the year that we finally make those changes in our lifestyle we have been thinking about over the last year.

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering…Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it” — Romans 12:1

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