Happy New Year, Planet!

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Throughout January, we’re offering some pointers for people wanting to live healthier, happier lives in 2020.

Last week, we shared suggestions for setting SMART goals, which can help you set goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. One of the key takeaways is that modest measurable and sustainable changes are more effective than grand gestures that can be hard to live with. 

This week, we’re offering New Year’s tips and ideas for anyone concerned about their impact on the planet. Food choices have a huge impact on climate change, biodiversity, and pollution.

Big lifestyle changes like giving up your car, switching to a plant-based diet, and avoiding air travel might not be sustainable day-to-day, but if you use SMART goals, you can choose to take some incremental steps:

  1. Go meatless more often. Plant-based diets are popular and there are a lot of recipes and resources for tasty meals like rice bowls, meatless burgers, casseroles, and much more. If you need more help and inspiration, check out one of our cooking classes. You might decide to join the Meatless Monday club, or eliminate animal products from your breakfast routine.
  2. Reduce food waste. Waste accounts for up to 15% of food’s climate impacts. Resolve to eat whatever you buy, and to compost scraps from food prep.
  3. Bus, bike, walk or rideshare once a week. If you normally drive to work five days a week, switching to an alternate mode of transport would reduce your travel by 20%!
  4. Go outside! Spending time outside has a direct correlation to health and well-being, according to a study published in August 2018. Being healthier and happier will help you live longer and increase your likelihood of accomplishing your goals, ecological and otherwise!
  5. Advocate. Some recent studies show that your ecological footprint doesn’t change very much based on small lifestyle changes like switching your lightbulbs. The same time and money might be better spent helping elected leaders and advocacy organisations to create better policy that affects everyone. Consider donating time or money to organizations that protect our environment such as West Kootenay EcoSociety and Friends of Kootenay Lake.