It’s that time of year when we look back at the past year and come up with a plan to make the New Year even better.
Resolutions have been a part of our hopes and dreams each new year. But how many of us come up with our resolutions for all the right reasons? So as, to ensure we keep them all year through. Resolutions are usually full of more hope than reason. It is my view that the more doable, attainable and inspirational the resolution, the more achievable it is. This way we accomplish something instead of nothing and are better off for it.
This new year let’s focus on resolutions that are not only possible but more importantly, green so as to inspire others.
1. Go Meat Free on a Monday every Monday.
Like so many who are not a Vegetarian, Vegan or a Raw Foodie it is understandable that after a lifetime of eating meat, it is difficult to stop. Personally, I never recommend that anyone stops cold turkey, no pun intended, unless it is a desired temporary diet change. However, if it is a change that you wish to make for the long term, as in, for the rest of your life, as in, never consuming animals again, I think the process of giving up eating animals should be a slow but sure change.
Perhaps giving up meat is not a need or a want for you today, perhaps it will never be, fair enough. But if you want to do something that you believe will change the world, something life changing, and profound consider going meat free every Monday. We can each make a difference, and big or small – a difference is a difference.
Giving up meat for one day a week will make a difference. Giving up meat for one day a week in 2013 will make that difference happen sooner rather than later. I won’t go into the pros and pros of giving up meat, there are enough advocates and articles shouting at you about that already. But this is a thought, and a very green, animal-friendly, earth-friendly choice in resolutions for 2013, that should at least make your maybe list.
2. Go Dairy Free.
Likewise, giving up all forms of dairy would not only be making a green change but also making a significant change to your health. The health benefits of a dairy-free diet are tried, true, proven and never-ending.
Again, not the easiest thing to do. I once heard of a little indulgent trick that makes the process of changing the type of milk you use easier. Firstly, consider that Humans are the only animal that drink the milk from another animal. Milk, that is intended for their own young and no other. Then, the first time you swap cow’s milk for whatever milk substitute you choose, you most probably will not enjoy, to say the least, because it’s different, and well it’s just not cow’s milk. But I promise that if you stick with it, it gets better. So give it a solid five tries, by the fifth try you will be more comfortable with the new taste.
And to make it easier I always advise my inspired friends to choose a sweetened, vanilla flavoured almond milk with their favorite, be it ever so sugary cereal, to be their transformational inspiration. Then move on to even healthier milk substitutes (like unsweetened) and cereals with less or no sugar.
You really can’t go wrong if you make the change the right, easy way. Cow’s milk will eventually become disgusting to your taste-buds, and stomach. This is another green resolution that will not only change your life, but that of countless, uncomfortable, suffering mother cows out there.
3. Be Conflict Free.
Well this one can apply to everyday living. But for 2013 we can simply commit to being more conscious about what we purchase, specifically when it comes to cell phones, tablets, laptops etc.
There is actually a lot of sadness and violence involved in procuring some of the raw materials needed to manufacture these devices. More so to keep up with the demand we create. A new phone, tablet, and laptop is launched every week. And every week innocent women and children suffer directly because of it.
If we can simply commit to not upgrading our phones and other electronic devices in 2013 we can certainly bring some decrease however small to the violence affecting millions in the Congo today. We can do this just by focusing on what we really want and what we really need. A simple, green resolution that no doubt impacts so many lives, in such a positive way. Think about it.
4. Learn a Language.
If we change who we are in a positive way, we change the world around us in a positive way too. That is a fact few would attempt to deny.
There are several quotes I have come across that praise travelling. One of my favourites is “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” ~ Saint Augustine of Hippo
Travelling brings a wealth of knowledge through experiences that can be gained in no other way. It changes you, and makes you more appreciative of where you came from, where other’s come from, and that the difference is what makes the world a better place.
Similarly learning another language allows you to connect with people on a more meaningful level. It allows you to do the things you otherwise could not, understand the things you once didn’t and be a more positive, accepting and confident human being. We change ourselves – we change the world.
Regardless of how many languages you already know, learning one more is a resolution we can all easily make, and one we should.
“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” ~Oscar Wilde. Needless to say, reading anything changes you. To me each book is an opportunity to explore a different world and have my point of view changed. In fact, I regard knowledge as having more value than education per say. An educated mind is educated on a specific topic or two, while a knowledgeable mind is aware and usually tends to be more compassionate towards different opinions. A knowledgeable mind can entertain a new idea without having to accept it.
What’s important here is making a change in 2013 that will be green and better for you and thus those around you. Reading, and reading more of any and everything you can, will make 2013 even better than it is already going to be.
Without becoming a hoarder, it is good practice to find new re-uses for everything before we commit to throwing it out. Reducing and Recycling are already at the top of our minds on a daily basis, but it is evident that many of us are quick to throw things out, which in fact can be re-used in more ways than one.
Being creative, inspired and motivated to re-use things at least once before we throw them out can make a significant difference in the amount of waste and pollution we are responsible for. If we can commit to making a conscious effort to re-use in 2013 we can change the way next year will end. Eventually it all comes more naturally to us. Just as throwing the plastic bottle in the plastic recycling is a thoughtless act now. Soon we will be able to think of new and improved re-uses for everything we are about to throw out. Or at least that is the hope for the future.
7. Be a Green Monster.
If we make a resolution to me more eco-friendly and green in 2013, this would create a bigger, better green impact. From shopping to entertainment to vacationing, we can all opt for an eco friendlier, greener option. At least considering an eco option, is resolution enough, one that can and may inspire others to follow suit, and thus make it even more worthwhile.
In my opinion you can be a meat-eater and still be compassionate to other animals. Of course ideally you don’t eat meat products and are compassionate to all living things, but we will stick with the basics in an effort to move our way upward and onward.
Many of us own cats, dogs and other small animals whom we love as members of our family. Yet, when it comes to other animals, the regard for life and compassion towards them diminishes. Perhaps this is because of our upbringing, religious beliefs, or just lack of knowledge. For many it is difficult to view cows and pigs with the same level of respect. But why is that?
We were brought up in a way which has conditioned the majority to think a certain way towards certain things. In challenging the way we think we challenge the way we live, and the way we allow others to live.
Respect for every and any given life form brings with it an inner peace which is difficult to describe, or deny.
Compassion begins with awareness, and sometimes that is all that is ever needed as it paves the way to understanding and peace, every time.
9. Grow a Green Thumb.
Some have it, some don’t. But whether you plant a flower, a herb, or a tree, that one act of green-ness can change the future. Another small yet ever so significant resolution we can so easily commit to. If we each planted one tree in 2013 the world would indeed be greener and a better place to live in.
10. Conserve Water.
I think even as a child we were lectured on conserving water. But it is not until we are forced to live without water, do we realize how much water we use and how much we want water. More importantly how much of it we don’t actually need.
Even water is becoming a scarce resource as we use and abuse the natural elements of our earth.
Being aware of the millions of people who are forced to go without clean water on a daily basis, helps us to value what many of us have taken for granted for years. Let’s make an effort to be conscious and aware of how much water we need, want and use in 2013 and we can make an impact so profound that it will be beneficial to us for years and centuries to come.
Greer D. Hospedales