As I go online to search for the most popular New Year’s resolutions for 2020, I find it satisfying to see more people focusing on truly important issues: reducing debt, maintaining financial responsibility and stability, self-care, emotional and physical health improvement, education. These are all great. However, I’d like to add one more resolution that would be beneficial to us personally and to the world as a whole. I want 2020 to be not only about us and what we do to improve our own lives, I want people to start thinking beyond and bigger. In the new year, we can start making an effort in taking care of us and our community, and embrace the benefits we are going to receive.
New Year’s Resolutions with New Better Meanings
by Katya A Williams, Sustainability and Social Responsibility Editor
This is how we can transform our new year’s resolutions into something more:
- If one of your resolutions is to stay fit and be more active, your evening walk or morning run just became more meaningful and helpful to others. Many people walk and jog, but not many people pick litter, or worse, they throw garbage on the go in a very ignorant manner. My suggestion, grab a pair of rubber gloves and a garbage bag and pick a few things while walking or running down the street. The idea of “plogging” (jogging and picking up litter) originated in Sweden in 2016 and spread to other countries in 2018. Bring a bigger meaning to your run and make a change!
- Your other resolution is to spend more time with your loved ones, be more social, and enjoy the outdoors. In this case, your picnic in the park or beach getaway with family and friends just became more gratifying. While spending a day by the river, create a litter assignment or a contest for everyone to participate in. Besides the benefits to our Earth and health benefits to yourself, you are going to benefit in the most fulfilling way by doing a good deed. Good deeds have a way of making people happier and increasing self-esteem. Therefore, you will be accomplishing another resolution of boosting your emotional health.
- Volunteer! I wouldn’t suggest volunteering if I didn’t know personally how beneficial it could be to us, our communities, and our environment. In addition to helping to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, volunteering provides a sense of purpose. And the time you volunteer will bring changes to other people’s lives. Be a change!
- If you plan to make some adjustments in maintaining your household in 2020, and if you don’t do the following already, I encourage you to do so – learn about recycling. Recycling can be complicated, and it is becoming too complex for many people as we move along in the process of combatting rapid climate change and build a way into the sustainable future. It is important, we follow the requirements in order for recycling to help to balance the economy and the environment, which will all benefit us personally. To make sure you do it right, please read the rules of recycling. Do not make other people’s jobs harder by not following basic instructions. Do not throw plastic bags into a recycling bin, and do not mix glass and tin cans with the regular garbage. Do not put out a couch, refrigerator, or an old TV on the street. Use proper service to make a proper pickup.
Note: If you live in a state or municipality that recently implemented organic waste bans, please, make an effort to follow the new rules. It is important to understand that food waste has become a large concern for federal and state governments. By separating food scraps, you will contribute to a larger plan to explore sustainable practices. It will help to control food waste, therefore reduce greenhouse gasses, and create a healthier ecosystem for all organisms. Yes, collecting food scraps in a separate bin can be messy if you leave it for longer periods of time, and the purpose of mixing food with yard debris can also confuse a lot of folks. Just by dumping your food scrap container content into the yard debris bin before garbage pickup day, now is called “organics”, you create healthier compost.
These are just a few activities that may enhance our lives and the lives of others in the coming year. Imagine, if we all set a goal of making our communities more environment-friendly and volunteer a bit of our time to improve the water, the air, the soil, and the attitudes, we will successfully reach our 2020 resolution and become better and healthier people.
Here is to a healthier year and a healthier environment for us all! Happy New Year!