Skip navigation

Green New Year’s resolutions

Are you looking for ideas for green New Year’s Resolutions? As carbon emissions rebound to pre-Covid-19 levels[footnote]University of Exeter, 2021. Global carbon emissions rebound close to pre-COVID levels.[/footnote], it’s time to consider how we can reduce our carbon footprint in 2022.

SEI researchers share six tips on how to have the most sustainable year in 2022.

Joanne Morris, Alison Dyke / Published on 29 December 2021
Happy New Year strand laying over eucalyptus branch

Happy New Year banner. Photo: Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash.


It is not news that cutting meat and dairy out of your diet is the best way to eat sustainably. If you do not want to go vegan full-time, you could participate in Veganuary: going vegan for the month of January.

Less fast fashion

By 2050, the fashion industry is predicted to use up a quarter of the world’s carbon budget2. To reduce clothing waste, try to buy second-hand or from sustainable producers, and wear your clothes as long as you can. Check out “swap don’t shop” initiatives and charity shops as an alternative to throwing away clothes and buying new ones.

Reduce energy consumption

There are many ways to reduce your energy consumption, including turning off appliances and lights when not in use, using draught excluders and washing clothes at a lower temperature, less often or both.

Switch to renewable energy provider

There are more and more renewable energy providers available. Consider switching your energy supplier to one that offers a green tariff: this can often be more affordable too.

Reduce plastic waste

Check out plastic-free food shops in your area. They allow you to fill your own containers rather than buying food in a plastic bag. There is also an increasing number of plastic-free alternatives for essentials, such as bamboo toothbrushes and beeswax wrap instead of foil or plastic wrap.

Plant more!

Plants are great for reducing carbon emissions and cleaning the air. Get involved with local tree-planting projects or green initiatives to help make your local area more sustainable. If possible, plant trees and plants in your own garden: this can also provide a habitat for your local wildlife.

Two people holder sparklers

Sparklers. Photo: Ian Schneider / Unsplash.

Learn more about how to have a greener 2022 by watching this webinar and reading the Q&A:

Ta(l)king New Year’s green resolutions Q&A

The event was delivered by St Nicks, the Oak Tree Sustainable Living Centre, the Department of Environment and Geography at the University of York, SEI and the York Environment Sustainability Institute.


Design and development by Soapbox.