What are your New Year resolutions? We’ve come up with 10 that we hope we’ll be able to stick to. Any tips you may have to help us keep them would be much appreciated!
1. Grow more fruit and veggies at home to reduce the carbon footprint of our food. And we plan to look after them better this year – this means being more diligent with the mulch, fertiliser and compost so we get healthier, more abundant produce. A secret wish - to get one feed of greens per person from the garden each day. And home grown tastes so good - this little strawberry was indescribably delicious!
2. Buy organic food as much as possible. This supports sustainable farming, and reduces the burden of pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilisers in our ecosystem.
3. Because demand for palm oil is the cause of so much forest destruction throughout the world, this year we’re going be fanatical about banning palm oil-containing foods from the shopping trolley. Check out our recipes for some quick and delicious ways to feed yourself and your guests over the summer months without falling off the palm oil-free wagon. Healthier too! – no preservatives or artificial colours, fresher and more nutrient-rich.
4. Ban palm oil from the bathroom. This means no moisturisers or cleansers that contain water/hydrosol/aloe vera juice, because water-containing skin care products need an emulsifier or surfactant – and it seems that currently there are none that are palm oil free. Read more about this here. There are a couple of brands in addition to Mokosh that fit this bill. If you can’t get hold of these, moisturise your skin with a good quality oil such as organic camellia or macadamia. It also means no shampoo, and no conditioner, because all contain palm oil, as far as we know. Read more here. Easy for us now that we’ve discovered that bicarb soda and apple cider vinegar will do the trick! See how here. Does this prospect frighten you? Take a look at this photo and you will see what can be achieved when it’s done correctly.
5. Use the car less, and use the bike and public transport more. Getting fit while saving greenhouse gases and money seems a good combination!
6. Buy fair trade and ethically produced goods when we can – food, clothing, gifts and household items. There are plenty of outlets that stock fair trade items, such as Fair Go Trading in Perth, as well as the big ones like Oxfam and New Internationalist.
7. Never buy mass-produced items made in sweat shops under slave-like conditions. This means avoiding most of those fabulously cheap clothes, and a lot of designer ones. If unsure, buy items where the country of origin is clearly identified, and that country has fair work conditions. Putting pressure on major retailers to buy only from factories that are treating workers fairly and providing safe working conditions would be a start.
8. Alternatives to mass-produced items will be: buying from companies that manufacture ethically, buying from charity shops and recycled clothing shops, making our own, mending more, taking better care of things so they last longer and swapping with friends.
9. Donate more to charities that provide education, health care, infrastructure and the opportunity for enterprise to disadvantaged communities, or that help preserve the environment. This should be easier with the money we’re saving on petrol, clothing and growing more of our own food.
10. Be pro-active in writing to our MPs and joining movements that fight for the changes we want to see in the world. So many spring to mind – time to act!