What are you doing for the planet in 2021?
It has been a very challenging year for everyone. Not only the pandemic but also regional wars, wildfires, earthquakes, storms and other natural or human-made events hit the humans as well as other beings devastatingly. It is clear more than ever that we need to transition towards a sustainable system. And, personally, I should take more responsibility with my own choices on how I live my life.
I prepared a list of actions to challenge myself to do better for the planet in 2021. Here is my to-do list for 2021:
Be conscious of the pandemic
As the winter approached, the number of cases increased tremendously in the Netherlands. Even some regions called for help from the Dutch army due to the shortage of health workers. We have been cautious and isolated for months until the end of summer. However, following the measures' release, we started accepting a couple of friends in our home...But now, the situation has changed and became severe. Therefore, we cancelled our travel plans to Turkey (I haven't seen my parents for more than 1,5 years) and new year celebration with close friends. In 2021, we will keep isolating ourselves not only for our own good but also for health workers. I think this is the only simple thing we can do for our society.
Change your consumer behaviour
In 2020, I had a goal of 'not to buy any fashion products'; and, I achieved it. I haven't bought any single piece of cloth. In 2021, I will go further and try to limit my spendings and prefer second-hand products, if I have to buy something. Also, I will minimize water and electricity consumption wherever I can, and prefer train and bicycle for transportation.
Change your living environment
I live in a big building complex, where hundreds of people live. The buildings are quite good in terms of energy efficiency. However, we can do more for sustainability. As the first step, I spoke with the chairman of VvE (Association of Owners) to express my interest in bringing some sustainable solutions to the agenda. He was very excited and suggested me to present my ideas in the next board meeting. I will make a blog series regarding this process in the coming months.
This is a tricky one, as we are all stuck at home. I won't be able to volunteer to cook or help physically to the elderly or disabled people. I am thinking of other forms of help, such as raising money for a low-income student or a child who has to stay in the hospital. For that, I want to sell the postcards that my little son and I paint. I have to think about a good way of doing this.
Experiment and communicate
In my opinion, behaviour change does not happen over a night. You need to experiment with new ideas and see whether they fit in your lifestyle. I will try out the actions I mentioned above and share them with my network.
That's it! These are my goals for 2021. What is yours?
I wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy new year!