The festive season has come to an end, and everyone is looking forward to the year ahead, pledging to make a new start by introducing positive changes in their lives. But does this include making green resolutions for the New Year to contribute towards saving the environment? We put the question to our Twitter followers and Facebook fans, and had a chat with some of the Wildscreen gang to see what eco-friendly resolutions are being adopted this year and who is going green for 2013.
Home is where the artichoke is…
Our green-fingered Online Outreach Manager, Ellie Denney, has resolved to grow more fresh vegetables herself, thereby cutting back on packaging waste and reducing carbon emissions from the transport of non-local goods. By cultivating carrots, looking after legumes and tending to tomatoes, Ellie will be able to help conserve the environment and have tasty, nutritious produce to show for her efforts, all while saving money…bonus!
In the natural world, fungus-loving leaf-cutter ants are also all about producing their own food. These clever critters grow a patch of nutritious fungus using a specially prepared mulch, which is cultivated using leaf segments that the ants dutifully collect and carry back to their garden.
Leaf-cutter ants are often considered to be nature’s gardeners
Facebook friend Shauna Howerton is also aware of the environmental problems related to excessive packaging and, although sometimes a challenging task, is trying to make better consumer choices to reduce her footprint.
“I am also trying to be conscious of where the products I purchase have been manufactured and how far they travel,” said Shauna. “It is very difficult to do!” Keep up the good work!
Energy efficiency and wearing woollies
Our Wildscreen Festival and Events Assistant, Becky Moran, is woolly-wise when it comes to saving energy, and has resolved to simply add an extra layer when things get chilly!
“My resolution is to be more aware of the energy I’m using. When it’s cold, it’s too easy to spend an extra few minutes in the hot shower or turn the heating on…but this wastes energy, so instead I shall be reaching for that new Christmas jumper!”
This meerkat has opted for warming itself up on the hot African ground, rather than turning the radiator up
Group hug! These emperor penguin chicks are huddling together to keep warm during a snowstorm
Great resolution, Becky! We look forward to seeing you donning some wintery woollies in the Wildscreen office, in the form of January jumpers and February fleeces!
Ditch the car, unless for afar
This year, Charlotte Geeves, our Wildscreen Festival and Events Manager, has decided to kick her driving habits to the kerb. She realised just how easy it is to hop into the car and pop a short distance along the road, when in reality the journey was quite walkable. Charlotte will be setting a distance limit for when she can justify using her car, and endeavour to walk or use public transport for any journeys that fall within her set boundary. Good idea, Charlotte!
If we consider the epic journeys carried out by many wildlife species, which all seem to manage quite well without cars, can we really complain about walking an extra few minutes each day?! The humpback whale manages to complete the longest migration of any mammal, swimming from the polar regions to the tropics and back every year, so why can’t we go the extra mile to help the environment?! Let’s ditch diesel and part with petrol, and get those locomotive limbs pumping!
The humpback whale completes a round-trip of up to 20,000km each year
This wild boar will be delighted with Diana’s pork-related resolution!
One of our loyal Twitter followers Diana Winslow (@Cultiv8hope) has also vowed to reduce her carbon footprint by cycling or catching the bus to work, or by car sharing with other like-minded green folk. Diana will also be tackling her trash by resolving to improve her recycling methods, and will start the New Year by attempting to eat less pork, a meat whose production is thought to contribute to higher carbon emissions than chicken or turkey.
Alter your attitude towards attire!
Tweet-tacular Carolyn Hair, our Online Marketing Officer, has decided to make 2013 a year in which she buys fewer clothes, and switches to purchasing classic or vintage gear when in need of an alteration in apparel.
“I’m going to make some room in my bulging clothes cupboard in 2013 by making more ethical shopping choices. A recent study by WRAP showed that by using clothes just nine months longer we can reduce water, carbon and waste emissions by 20-30%,” said Carolyn. “It makes more green fashion sense to use what I’ve already bought, get my sewing machine out to ‘make do and mend’, and buy vintage rather than fast fashion. I might even have a swishing party!”
A swishing party?! Sounds intriguing! Let’s hope we’re all invited!
These Arctic foxes appear to have adopted Carolyn’s resolution and taken it to the extreme, only sporting two different outfits throughout the year! Arctic foxes are best known for their lush, white winter coat, but in the summer this dense, pristine coat turns brown and is only half as thick. These foxes don’t have to waste hours deciding what to wear, and still look fabulous!
Arctic fox in summer coat
Arctic fox in winter coat
Stay connected and spread the word!
In today’s society, with technology everywhere we turn, it can be very easy to forget to take time out to reflect and to reconnect with nature. Facebook friend Marie Bax has recently discovered the joys of wildlife in her own garden, with a new glass-roof conservatory enabling her to watch bats from the comfort of her own home. The fascinating flying furries have reignited Marie’s passion for nature, and she has promised to keep a watchful eye on her pet cat, who by all accounts is a rather fine hunter…!
Pallid bat in flight
Marie has also resolved to spread the word about the wonders of nature and the need for conservation, something which documentary filmmaker and radio presenter Samanta Norbury-Webster (@CoreGeographic) will also be doing more of in 2013.
“My New Year’s green resolution is to keep my environment blog up-to-date with a monthly, self-shot video podcast on the local area,” said Samanta.
What is this Arctic ground squirrel shouting about?!
This Arctic ground squirrel certainly seems to be making a lot of noise about something…let’s hope it’s joining Marie and Samanta in spreading the conservation message!
Recycle for rainforests and take action for trees!
Sandy LAvv on Facebook has chosen a rather ambitious yet extremely noble New Year’s resolution: to stop deforestation around the globe. While it is sadly impossible for any one of us to individually put a direct halt to the destruction of the world’s forests, there are certainly plenty of actions each one of us can take to stem the tide of habitat loss. This includes buying recycled paper, toilet roll and kitchen roll, as well as recycling these items when disposing of them. Making informed consumer choices on various products to ensure that the ingredients have been sustainably harvested without leading to additional habitat loss can be difficult, but could make a huge difference to our forests and the species that call them home.
Brazil nut trees left standing amid deforestation
Have you made any green resolutions this year? Or perhaps you’ve been inspired to adopt one of the resolutions above? Let us know by commenting below!
For more great ideas on going green for 2013, why not check out The Daily Green.
Enhance your commitment to nature with a regular gift to Wildscreen, the charity behind ARKive. Educate others about the wildlife you love.
Kathryn Pintus, ARKive Text Author, and Claire Lewis, ARKive Researcher