It goes with saying that the New Year brings joy to people all around, but did you have any idea that it also brings in a lot of waste?

That’s right – right from the leftover food that you have stored in your fridge to the bin bags of non-recyclable wrap, that’s a lot of waste.

Today, it’s the 21st century and sustainability is a big deal, and the great news is that more than 70 percent of people worldwide are planning to have an ethical year in the coming months, according to a poll of 2, 000 people made by Visa. It’s great news that more than 50 percent of people agree that the coming year is the perfect time for them to reflect on pressing issues such as climate change – in fact, studies have shown that at least 30 people are prepared to spend as much as they can to ensure that the coming year is more sustainable.

And the best part is you don’t have to turn your whole lifestyle up and down to have a sustainable year – there are small actions that you can contribute to, and which when done en masse can have a big impact.

Think about shopping locally

Recent studies show that more than 70 percent of people sources ingredients from local shops, while only a mere thirty percent plans to buy from the high street. Take a few minutes off your daily busy routine, and hit the nearby markets to see what goodies can you buy – plus supporting local businesses is always a great idea to give your hometown a boost.

That said, if your hometown doesn’t have a shopping option, you can opt for eco-friendly gifts online or say, vintage gifts from charity shops.

Making use of recyclable wrapping paper

It’s great to hear that people are looking to use recycled wrapping paper to wrap gifts, while others are looking to use newspapers, instead of using wrapping paper at all.

You should know that wrapping paper that comes with shiny and metallic textures, and even glitter, they are usually non-recyclable. Instead what you should do is to buy plain brown wrapping paper and use ribbons, and which can then, be re-used by the recipient.

Want to know if the paper is recyclable – try scrunching it, if it opens up, then, it probably can’t be recycled.

How about ditching the greeting cards?

According to the survey made by Visa, more than 50 percent of people worldwide won’t be sending greeting cards this year – even though they are nice to receive, they are of not much help to the planet, especially if they come in glitter.

However, if you still plan to send greeting cards this year, you can consider opting for recyclable greeting cards or better than that, e-Cards.

Being a better traveler

Want to reduce your carbon footprint this year?

You can do so by traveling less – even if you have to travel, then, you can consider doing so by opting for public transport whenever you can – instead of taking the car now and then.

Creating your decorations your way

It is quite impressive that many people are resorting to creating their decorations – plus it’s also a great option if you have kids.

Why not embrace your creative streak this year?

Making your gifts

Did you know that people prefer hand-made gifts more than the store-bought ones because, with hand-made gifts, the labor is love is there, and which the store-bought versions simply can’t compete?

So, this coming year, whether it’s a framed drawing, a knitted scarf or even homemade jam, you are suggested to let your creative juices flow, and create something with love rather than going for something similar and plastic-ey.

Eating less meat

Right from the pork chops at a party to the egg muffins and salmon, and add to that pigs and turkeys on events – it can be a downright feast worthy of bragging, but do you know that having meat can double the greenhouse gas emissions as compared to a vegan feast with plant-based trimmings?

This coming year, it’s recommended that you eat less meat – also, if you have a dinner and want to stick to the meat tradition, you can consider opting a vegan version to other festive meals.

Know this that even a little effort counts.

Consider reducing your food waste

Have an event or say, an occasion coming up? It’s recommended that you only shop for things that you are going to need – rather than going for buying varieties of cheese that you can feed the whole street.

Even if you plan to buy too much, here’s what you can do – surely, you are going to have leftovers, so, consider making meals out of them to last you through a few days. And if your bought items are non-perishables, consider sending them to your local food bank instead of letting them go to waste.

Choosing to use wisely

This point is related to Christmas – even if Christmas is gone, and before you know it, it will soon be upon us – so, why not do the following?

Christmas trees when cut, they don’t have that much of a negative impact if it’s grown by a local dealer, as there’s no need for hefty transport, and with the options of recycling varying greatly as time goes on, it is thought that around ten million trees are thought to end up in landfill each year.

You can consider renting a Christmas tree – if you couldn’t find one, or you can also opt for a potted tree rather than going for a cut one, and which you can then use for many years to come.

Why buy a jumper if you don’t need one?

Forget Christmas jumpers, we are talking about ones that you keep on buying during winters – just because the color or pattern is good, it’s not an excuse to keep on buying jumpers if you don’t plan to wear it.

Recent studies found out that people bought 10 million jumpers this winter, with many more still to be added to the list, and the bad news is that there are already 50 million jumpers still stashed away in your wardrobes from the past winters.

Hence, it suggested that we either head to a charity shop to buy something preloved or better yet, not buy at all, considering the ones that we still have. And even if you do plan to buy new ones, it’s advised that you donate the previous jumpers to people who are in need.

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