New Years Resolution Ideas to Reduce Our Environmental Impact

Banner held by a young person at the Youth Strike 4 Climate, in Truro

Cornwall Council is calling on residents to make New Year’s resolutions to cut their carbon in 2020 and help tackle the climate emergency.

The Council is asking people across Cornwall to consider taking up practical ideas suggested by the Eden Project to combat climate change and biodiversity loss.

It is teaming up with the environmental charity to encourage everyone to pledge to ‘Make the Change’ – a set of carbon-reducing tips for greener living.

Since declaring a climate emergency last January the Council is working to help Cornwall strive towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030 as detailed in its climate change action plan.

Last week the Council planted the first trees of its 8,000-hectare carbon-absorbing Forest for Cornwall with the help of residents and volunteers.

Other key schemes under Carbon Neutral Cornwall are a Government-supported whole-house retrofit pilot to fit energy efficiency improvements to Cornwall Council homes; a new, climate change planning document to promote renewable energy including the commitment to power all new homes with alternative sources to gas; and a new decision-making framework to prioritise environmental and social benefits in all Council policies.

Now the Council is highlighting Eden’s Make the Change pledges as achievable ways individuals can reduce their carbon emissions in 2020 and beyond.

The pledges are:

Share – I’ll find people to lift share with on regular journeys.

Reduce – I’ll reduce the food I throw away by making a delicious supper with leftovers once a week.

Reuse – I’ll keep my reusable cup in my bag so it’s always there if I need it.

Repair – Next time an electrical appliance breaks, I’ll get it mended safely rather than buying a new one.

Recycle – I’ll recycle everything I can, and what I can’t, I will try to buy less of.

Grow – I’ll plant a tree and encourage my school or community to do so too.

Eat – One meal a week I’ll just eat food that is in season and that has been grown locally.

Compost – I’ll compost my kitchen waste in a worm bin or send it to a council composting scheme.

Buy – I’ll replace my lightbulbs with energy-efficient LED lightbulbs.

Care – I’ll join in with a national wildlife count this year.

Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for climate change and neighbourhoods Edwina Hannaford said: “As we begin a new decade the time is ripe for us all to ask ourselves if we can do more to make a difference in the urgent fight against climate change. We have a detailed action plan to help Cornwall move towards becoming carbon neutral but we can’t do it alone. There is a lot of passion and energy out there as seen in the fantastic turnout and engagement for the first planting of the Forest for Cornwall.

“The Eden Project’s Make the Change pledges are practical and achievable ways we can all start to take positive actions in our everyday lives. Some are easy and others take more effort, but they all help to cut our carbon output and benefit the environment. I’m trying to commit to as many of these pledges as I can in 2020 and I challenge our residents to see what they can do to do their bit in tackling the climate emergency in the new decade.”

Gordon Seabright, chief executive of the Eden Project, said:  “We fully support the Council’s climate change action plan and are pleased to see our Make the Change pledges promoted in this way.

“We share with the Council an acute awareness of the climate emergency and recognise the need for everyone to join together to take positive steps to tackle it.”

To pledge to Make the Change go to https://www.edenproject.com/make-the-change/what-you-can-do/pledge.

For more general tips on cutting carbon visit https://climatevision.co.uk/ or find out what Cornwall Council is doing to tackle the climate emergency.