2024 is set to be an incredibly important year for our planet. General elections are taking place all over the world and climate scientists have published warnings that we’re in for more record breaking heat.

Knowing how to protect the planet can feel overwhelming. In this article we share five simple new years resolutions that everyone can get involved in.

Vote for the planet

It’s general election year in the UK (and in the USA), and a good way to get ahead is to look into the running parties’ pledges on environmental issues, and make sure you are registered to vote.

We’ve shared some of their published policy documents here:

Conservative Party: The Conservative Party haven’t published a new manifesto since 2019, but will do so when the general election campaign begins. You can see their latest green policy changes here.

Labour: Labour’s missions include zero-carbon electricity by 2030, a warm home plan to upgrade 19 million homes, and overturning the ban on cheap onshore wind.

Green Party: The Green Party’s aims include investing in council-led schemes to insulate 10 million homes, a £1 single bus fare across the country and holding water companies to account.

Liberal Democrats: Liberal Democrat’s plans involve reaching net zero emissions by 2045, generating 80% of the UK’s electricity from renewables by 2030 and ending sewage discharges.

It is also a good idea to look into the local candidates in your area. Look into your current MP’s voting record here.

Use less single-use plastic 

Globally, the production of plastics leads to annual carbon emissions equal to that of 189 coal-fired power stations. Scientists have also predicted that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish, so cutting down on single-use plastics in 2024 is a really important change to make.

Here are some ideas to cut down on plastic:

  • Ditch disposable wipes – Wipes such as makeup, baby or household cleaning wipes are generally not biodegradable, and it can take over 100 years for just one to even start to break down. They also often get flushed down the toilet and clog the sewer systems. Buying reusable cotton pads or cloths will save money on wipes – and save the wipes from polluting the earth. 
  • Buy unwrapped fruit and veg: Opt to buy fruit and vegetables that are loose, or wrapped with paper to reduce demand for wrapped products.
  • Bring a packed lunch: Avoid buying to-go meals which are often covered in plastic, by bringing your own food.

Eat less meat 

Eating less meat has many benefits to both your health and to the planet. Around 80% of the world’s agricultural land is used for raising or feeding livestock, which produces less than 20% of the world’s supply of calories. If more agricultural land was used for crops, legumes, fruit and vegetables, it would be easier to provide the growing global population with nutritious food.

Beef and lamb take up the most land per gram of protein, and also require more water and energy to produce, giving them each some of the highest carbon footprints per types of protein. Swapping meat out from one or two meals a week can make a big difference. 

Leave the car at home 

If one of your resolutions is to get more exercise, then leaving the car at home as much as possible is a great place to start. Walking, cycling or taking public transport are better alternatives for the environment – and bus fares have been frozen at £2 for a single journey until the end of 2024. 

Transport is the largest emitting sector in the UK – responsible for 26% of all of our greenhouse gas emissions. So, by opting to leave the car at home for shorter journeys you can help your own goals as well as helping the planet. 

Make your home greener 

There are many ways that you can reduce your carbon emissions by making some changes at home. 

  • Upgrade to energy efficient applicances – Swap hallogen lighbulbs for LEDs, look into energy efficiency ratings when buying a new appliance and reduce how much you are using energy intensive appliances like tumble dryers. Find out more.
  • Insulate your home – When we switch the heating on, around a quarter of that heat energy will escape through an uninsulated roof – leading to us quickly feeling cold and wasting a lot of energy and money. Insulating your roof and walls is an effective way to save a lot of energy, and pays for itself through savings in your bills in less than five years. There are grants available for lower income households to help with the costs. Find out more.
  • Get a smart meter – Smart meters automatically tell your energy company how much energy you are using, and they help you to understand your habits and spot ways to save too. Find out more.
  • Switch to 100% renewable electricity – Switching to a genuinely green tariff is one of the most impactful ways to cut your carbon emissions. Get a quote today.
  • Look into green technologies – Air source heat pumps are a greener, more efficient way to heat your home, and solar panels help you to reduce how much energy you are drawing from the grid. Find out more.

Switch to 100% renewable electricity today