The New Year resolutions we should all have in our 2019 list

It’s that time of the year again!

A family eating variety of plant based foods at home

If you haven’t completed your 2018 list of New Year resolutions, don’t worry — you can make a new list and start over! But this time, instead of only committing to starting a new diet or reading more books, how about adding a few extra items to the list that will be good not only for you, but also for our planet?

Reduce your meat and dairy consumption

Did you know that the meat and dairy industry plays a big role in putting greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere? In fact, the livestock industry alone contributes as much to climate change as all the cars, trains, planes and ships in the world combined.

Eating less meat and more veggies is not only good for the planet. It’s also good for our health. Studies show that people who eat more meals rich in vegetables and plant proteins like beans and lentils reduce their risk of heart disease and cancer — living longer, healthier lives than those with meat-heavy diets. So trying is basically a win-win. It might sound difficult at first, but it’s not. We even have a cookbook with a bunch of amazing plant-based recipes for you to start!

Say no to single-use plastics

Piles of washed up plastic and trash on the Kanapou beach on the Kaho’olawe Island, Hawaii.

Ok, here’s the thing: we are living a big plastic pollution crisis right now. From the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, to the remote waters of the Antarctic, plastic is everywhere. It’s even in the fish and the salt we eat. We cannot continue the way we are living anymore. So here are several things you can do in your daily lives to reduce your plastic footprint, and help those around you to do the same.

But the burden shouldn’t fall only on us. A recent report shows that Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Unilever and Nestlé are among the companies that have polluted the planet the most. So we must tell them that we won’t accept it anymore. It’s time for them to be innovative and find sustainable ways to package their products.

Ride your bike and use public transportation instead of cars

People celebrate World Car Free Day in Recife, Brazil and promote possible solutions for mobility in the city.

Cars are noisy, smelly, take up precious space, and are really bad for our health. More than 95% of the world’s population breathes dangerous air, which is especially bad news as air pollution is the fourth-leading cause of death worldwide, killing 4.2 million people globally every year.

We must demand that governments not only build cities with bike lanes and good and cheap public transportation to serve the people who live there, but also phase out fossil fuel cars. We deserve to breathe clean air.

But there’s always something you can do in your daily life to help. Riding your bike to work is not only a zero-emission transportation method, but also a great way to exercise and keep yourself active. But if it that is not possible for you, that’s ok. Take public transportation instead. Every car out of the road counts.

Volunteer with Greenpeace!

Greenpeace volunteers during a clean-up event in Thailand. The activity is part of the‘I Love My Ocean’ project that aims to raise public awareness on the amount of waste that ends up in the ocean.

There are 15,000 amazing volunteers around the world helping us fight for a greener and more peaceful planet. From painting signs and organizing local marches, to dropping banners and occupying oil-rigs, there are things everyone can do. Ever wanted to become an activist? Add that to your New Year Resolution checklist, get in touch with your local office and join us!

Diego Gonzaga is a content editor for Greenpeace based in the US.