19 little ways to change the world in 2019

Beaches, Days out, Family, Green, Trends, Activity, Nature

Cheers to a new year and another chance to change the world!

Yes, change the world. Bear with us.

We don’t want you to make a speech at the next G7 Summit, go on a sponsored swim around Great Britain or live in a hut with no heating, no electricity and an outside toilet. Instead, we’ve put together a collection of little things we can all do to make the world a bit of a nicer place to live.

One way to do your bit is to choose sustainable travel, so why not take a look at our collection of green cottages and see if any take your fancy for a UK holiday? For more ideas on ways to give back and protect our planet, read our blog post suggesting excellent sustainable swaps for travellers

There’s no need to take on all 19 of these tips, maybe pick out two or three (or come up with your own!) and make that commitment to practise these little world-changing actions consistently this year. Go on, you’ve got this.

Read this list and choose a New Year’s Resolution that you could implement to change the world.

1. Ditch the disposable bottles.

Ditch the disposable bottles

Only 1 in 5 plastic bottles are recycled and each bottle that ends up in landfill takes between 400 and 1,000 years to decompose. You can even find a refill station: companies and businesses that offer the chance for you to top up your water bottle instead of buying a new plastic bottle.

2. Pick up three pieces of litter today.

It’s estimated that 1.9 billion tons of litter ends up in the ocean every year. We can’t stop others from littering, but we can minimise the amount that ends up polluting our environment by doing our bit and picking it up. 

3. Think twice before buying a new item of clothing.

The fast fashion industry is one of the worst for global pollution. It takes about 7,000 litres of water to produce one pair of jeans and on average, a woman wears an item of clothing just seven times before throwing it away.

4. Plan a day of meals with no waste.

meals

Over a third of all food produced globally goes to waste so try a day of zero waste. Here are a few recipes to get you started.

5. Bring your own coffee cup to the coffee shop.

Incredibly, a whopping 70% of the world’s paper still comes from diminishing forests and not from plantations or recycling. Recycling is good but not overusing the planet’s resources is even better.

6. Plant a tree or plant.

Why not make gardening your New Year's Resolution? 1.5 acres of forest is cut down every second and it’s estimated that in 100 years there’ll be no rainforests left, so simply by planting a tree you'll be making an important contribution.

7. Say no to plastic carriers.

Say no to plastic carriers

After the 5p charge was introduced on the plastic bag, England’s usage dropped 85%. Let’s keep up the good work by using recyclable and reusable bags to carry our goods. If you’re in that remaining 15%, get yourself a beautiful reusable bag that you’ll love carrying around and say no to plastic.

8. Change a light bulb and change the world.

Don’t allow old lightbulbs to waste energy. Change lightbulbs regularly and you’ll save money on electricity: if you go so far as to swap to LEDs you might even be able to save over £200 a year.

9. Go veggie for a day.

A vegetarian lifestyle can cut your carbon footprint in half and the best time to try new things is while on a relaxing holiday. Don’t give up meat altogether, going veggie one day a week will have a huge impact.

10. Switch off for an hour a day.

Switch off

Get away from the electrical appliances and interact with those immediately around you; it's critical for your own mental health, will save you money on electricity bills and goes a little way to saving the planet. Even when in stand-by mode, an appliance continues to use about 85% of its energy so switch it off completely.

11. Give away your parking ticket.

If your trip to the shops didn't take as long as you expected and you still have time to spare on your parking ticket, then give that ticket away to someone else in the car park. It'll save them a couple of quid and you might find another time that someone does the same for you.

12. Pay a stranger a compliment.

Especially useful if you are feeling down as giving a compliment forces you to think about those around you instead. When meeting for coffee or chatting to the cashier, give a sincere compliment to build trust, cheer up the recipient and it’s likely you’ll get a compliment in return.

13. Donate any old clothes or toys to a charity shop.

Millions are raised every year for good causes by charity shops and their patrons. It’s a great way to ensure your goods are going to a good home instead of ending up in landfill, you can even donate large items like old furniture, bikes, and electricals.

14. Buy three food items to donate to a food bank.

More and more of us are being forced to use foodbanks after finding ourselves in tricky situations, so when doing your supermarket shop, buy dinner for someone who desperately needs it. You never know, one day you might find yourself in their place.

15. Send a letter to a friend instead of a text.

You know that feeling of receiving a special card from someone who’s taken the time to write and post it to you personally? Don’t wait for Christmas or a birthday, send them a note any time to make them feel special.

16. Write a letter to someone poorly.

The same goes for those who aren’t feeling well. Send a letter to cheer up a friend or to make a stranger’s day! For example, with Post Pals you can send a letter to a child who’s in hospital and a few words of encouragement may make all the difference.

17. Don’t complain about ANYTHING for 24 hours.

We’ve all been on the other end of someone’s bad day or know that one person who can turn everything into a complaint. Well, don’t be that friend. Instead resolve to see the bright side and you might help others to see it too. 

18. Take the time to appreciate the sunrise/sunset.

Admiring a sunset/sunrise can have huge positive effects on your mental health, not to mention a sunset is a pretty remarkable natural wonder and beautiful to watch. Or even better, seek out the rare phenomenon of the double sunset.

19. Be kind to yourself!

Be kind to yourself

Treat yourself like your own best friend. You wouldn’t do a friend down for making a mistake, so why tell yourself off? You can’t save the world if you’re feeling down so spend time taking care of yourself in order to better care for those around you.

Time to change the world in 2019

So, there you have it. A whole range of small ways we can all make a big difference.

You could ditch disposable bottles, plant a tree, or buy dinner for a stranger. How do you plan to change the world this year? Let us know!

One of our favourite ways to make a difference as a company is through our charity days – which as well as raising money are also great fun too! Take a look at what we get up to and it may spark other ideas of ways you could help out this year.

If you fancy combining your charitable efforts with a well-deserved holiday (beach clean anyone?), then take a peek at the excellent range of green holiday cottages we have throughout the country. 

Posted by Kate W on 18th January 2019