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The 12 Christmas Pledges

After months of adverts telling you to buy the latest gadgets, songs reminding you it’s time to be cheerful, mountains of food and probably too much wine, the big day has come and gone, again! And now it’s time for the onslaught of “new-year-new-me” status’.

So why not jump onto the resolution band wagon, and do some good for the planet this new year?

We’ve come up with twelve resolutions to help you live a more sustainable 2020. If you decide to take one, add it to this list so others can see what you're doing and get some inspiration.


In 2019, our Plastic Rivers Report found that plastic bottles were the most common form of plastic pollution in UK rivers and stream! Takeaway cups were also in the top ten, with an estimated 2.5 billion coffee cups used each year, 99% are currently not recycled.

Air pollution is a massive problem. It is estimated that up to 36,000 early deaths a year can be attributed to air pollution! Combine your shopping journeys and try to do fewer but bigger shopping trips. This will also free up your time for fun activities!

And while you’re planning your shopping journeys, make a list of what you actually need! Planning your meals ahead of time means you’ll be more efficient with the food you have and leave you wasting less. Use up your leftovers, bulk prep your meals and freeze anything you won’t be able to use straight away. Save the planet, and your money!

My mum always told me that a sale buy wasn’t a bargain unless I actually needed it. Buying some thing just because it’s a good deal, isn’t saving you money or helping the planet. Globally, fast fashion is a big problem producing 20 per cent of global wastewater and 10 per cent of global carbon emissions - more than all international flights and maritime shipping. So think before you buy!

Following on from that, could you find what you’re looking for in a second-hand or independent shop? Charity shops are full of great pieces just waiting for the right home. Read our top tips for second-hand shopping!

In 2019 the IPCC report was published. Git found that global food production and consumption system contributes 21-37% of greenhouse gas emissions. A main recommendation was to move towards a more plant-based diet. So why not plan ahead and try with one day a week? You’ll love some of the veggie options out there, and to get you started, why not have a look at all the things you can do with pumpkin.

Having a hands-on science experience is a great way to help with the wider climate issue and get an understanding of your local area. If you’re in the Thames Valley area, Paris, Dublin or Luxembourg, then keep an eye out for our Spring WaterBlitz and sign up to take part. Past citizen-scientists, like John, have achieved great things in their local areas!

Most people associate acting for nature with the spring and summer months, and tend to spend less time outdoors during autumn and winter. But these are crucial times to support wildlife. Sign up to Naturehood and start helping the wildlife in your neighbourhood!

Renewable energy sources were once thought of as an expensive option, however, as demand for them has grown the price has fallen! If you’re in a position to change the energy company you use, green companies are the way to go.

A recent study has found that five people die each week in Bristol as a result of high levels of air pollution. Walking, cycling or taking public transport can make a huge difference to pollution levels. If you can, try a different way of commuting to work, even just for one day a week!

As awareness over single-use plastic has grown, so have the number of companies offering alternatives! From naked-packaging, to refillable bottles, sustainable beauty products are becoming more mainstream. Many high-street shops also have recycling points in store. You’ll find a TerraCycle point in your local Body Shop

Harsh chemicals and bleach have become almost universal in household cleaning, however, there are alternatives. Brands like Ecover and Eco Zone and widely available in supermarkets, so you won’t have to fully change your shopping habits. Or you can take one step further and make your own! Lemon juice, white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda will be your new best friends!

Will you take on a new year pledge? We'd love to hear - add your pledge to this list and see what actions others will be taking, too!

Elizabeth Hunston, Communications Coordinator, and Katie Scott, Supporter Development Manager, Earthwatch Europe 




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