It’s the second week of 2018.
Like many Australians, you might have made some New Year’s resolutions, but are you sticking to them?
What if we told you that some resolutions can also be used to create a better planet? We’ve put together some simple ideas that might help you stick to a resolution, or give you a new idea for a goal that will improve your life, while also having a positive impact on people and the planet.
Sign up for a charity fitness fundraiser
Many of us make a resolution to get fit, and this might mean joining a gym, downloading a fitness app for our phone or signing up for a fitness challenge.
But what about one that also has a social impact? You can sign up for an event now – and then train up for it. If you’re fundraising for a cause, you’re also making a public commitment to friends and family that you’ll go through with it, adding accountability to your goal.
You can find a variety of running events, many with a fundraising component, through the Australian Run calendar.
If you’re feeling adventurous, the Oxfam Trailwalker is a 100km team endurance event that raises money for Oxfam’s overseas aid projects. Walks are hosted in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, and will be coming to Perth soon.
Lots of resolutions are about cutting out bad habits. But what about adding in something positive to replace them? Volunteering is associated with increased feelings of wellbeing, health and happiness, and every year 6 million Australians donate their time to help their community, contributing over $200 billion to the Australian economy (Source). You can contribute your time, your personal or professional skills, for an hour a week or an hour a year. To find a volunteering opportunity near you, check the finder on the Volunteering Australia website.
Reduce waste, and boost your community connections
Many resolutions are about eating healthier. That means more fruits, vegetables, and wholegrains, but may also mean more food waste scraps in your bin. Sharewaste helps connect keen gardeners with compost bins and/or chooks to people who have kitchen scraps. In Australia we throw out 4 million tonnes of food waste annually, and the average garbage bin is 35% food waste (Source). That’s a lot of waste that doesn’t need to go to landfill. Sharewaste’s free site and app lets you create a profile and find people with hungry compost bins. Handy tip – you can pop your waste in a bag in the freezer so it doesn’t pong until its time to drop it off to a nearby compost bin.
Stop investing in fossil fuels
There might be some life admin on your 2018 to do list. An overdue tax return? Filing away all your old appliance receipts and warranties? We’ve got one more life admin job for you that will make a massive impact on the planet. Your bank account, car loan, home loan or superannuation balance actually has an impact on the global investment market. Deposit accounts, loan repayments and super balances are money that may be used by banks and superannuation funds to invest in industries that are driving climate change.
Market Forces is an Australian website that tracks bank and superannuation fund investments to identify where they are being used to harm the environment and contribute to global warming.
Why not use your holiday break time to find out where your money is being invested, and make the switch to a financial institution that does not invest in the fossil fuel industry.
A handy tip: Bank Australia never has, and never will lend money to the fossil fuel industry, ensuring your money is only used for good to benefit people and the planet!