New Year resolutions - butterflyHappy New Year! Let’s make 2018 a good year for nature!

Here are some simple New Year resolutions that will lessen our impact on the natural environment around us and even help us feel good:

When shopping…

Buy loose fruit and vegetables and use paper bags where possible instead of pre-packaged in plastic.

Give up using plastic drinking straws. Switch to paper, metal or bamboo straws or just go without! Take the Plastic Challenge.

Keep reusable shopping bags with you in your car or bag to save money and reduce the number of plastic bags in circulation.

Plan meals and buy smaller amounts of perishable items to reduce food waste and save money. Check out Love Food Hate Waste for some tips on how to use up leftovers. 

Choose brands that go the extra mile for nature, such as those that have Organic certification or labels such as  Fair to Nature, LEAF, or Pasture for Life.

For more information about making your shop nature-friendly read Chris Kent’s blog ‘6 ways to make your shopping basket nature friendly’.

In your garden…

Leave an area of your garden to grow wild if you have the space. This will encourage wildlife to forage and perhaps nest in your garden.

Insect mansionPut up a bird box and build a bug hotel. Buglife’s insect hotel is simple to make and the RSPB website has detailed instructions for building a bird box.

Provide food for birds and site the feeder so it’s visible from your window so you can enjoy watching the variety of visitors. You could take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch between 27th and 29th January 2018! Make sure you regularly clean the feeders to stop the spread of diseases, and look out for bird food that is grown in a nature-friendly way, such as Fair to Nature bird food from the RSPB, Honeyfield’s, National Trust, and GardenBird. Check out our ‘Feeding garden birds’ page.

When out and about…

Wildlife gardeningEngage with nature. The more we interact with and learn about nature, the more we are prepared to protect it for futures generations to enjoy. Research has shown that interacting with nature also makes us happier!

Visit your local nature reserve. The RSPB, Wildlife Trusts and the National Trust websites can point you in the direction of your nearest UK reserves.

Join a Green Gym or volunteer at your local park. A lot of parks have voluntary groups of Friends who help to maintain the space. A great way to get fresh air, exercise and companionship for free!

Or simply enjoy a walk in your local park or green space!

Here’s to a great 2018!