New Year, Green You

09 January 2024

GO Green

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The start of the New Year usually brings about two things; hangovers and failed attempts at overly ambitious New Year’s resolutions. Most people overestimate what they can do in a couple of months and usually overdo it in the first few months before burning out and giving up. Most people probably also underestimate what they can do in a whole year or even several years. This is why you should try to aim for different goals for this year’s New Year’s resolutions. In this blog post we’ll be taking a look at some achievable New Year’s resolutions; these will have the added benefit of being sustainable and environmentally friendly.

Young woman shopping at a local market

Embrace local cuisine

The first sustainable resolution you could maintain would involve what you eat. Even for such a small island, Malta has a rich culinary background. This resolution would be centred on buying local and freshly sourced ingredients. In the process this would lower the number of emissions through imports. This can also give you the chance to try more local recipes involving fresh seafood and locally grown vegetables. These can be obtained through local fish markets like the one in Marsaxlokk and the farmer’s markets in Birgu and Ta’ Qali. If you’re not much of a cook yourself, maybe you could take it upon yourself to take the initiative of trying to choose restaurants which use more local and seasonal products in their menus.

Compost bin with vegetable cuttings

Cutting down on waste

Another small set of changes you can do as part of a New Year’s resolution would be to cut down on single-use plastics. This could be done by using reusable shopping bags as opposed to the plastic ones given to you at supermarkets. You could also opt to use wooden or bamboo cutlery which is either reusable or at least biodegradable and thus does not harm the environment in the same way that plastic utensils do. Lastly, even in terms of practicality, you could carry around a reusable water bottle instead of buying plastic water bottles.

Apart from just cutting down on plastic, you could also set a goal of reducing your waste output as much as possible. This can be done by setting up a compost bin which can be used to grow herbs or other plants. You could also donate items of clothing which are still in good condition should they either no longer fit you or if you don’t particularly like that piece of clothing as its out of style or out of season. Household items would also be greatly appreciated by several charities aiming to help the less fortunate.

A black faucet with water running

Being mindful on water and electricity use

Apart from the physical waste that can be reduced, you could also attempt to lower water and electricity wastage. Aside from being good for the environment, it can also save you money on your monthly bills. In order to do this, you could install low-flow faucets, fix any leaky pipes and start collecting rainwater to water any herbs or plants. You could also seal any doors or windows to reduce heat loss or to reduce wastage from air conditioners.

Man holding his bicycle in the city

Be as green as can be!

New Year’s resolutions are often about doing or not doing something. So far, we’ve discussed both. One last thing you can do would be to just try to be as green as you can be. You might look at is as less of a New Year’s resolution but more of a lifestyle choice. That may involve cutting down on the use of your personal car and instead opting to walk, cycle, use public transport or carpool more effectively. If you’re more adventurous you may want to opt for something a little more physical. This could be done by offering to help local environmental NGOs. This can be done by participating in local clean up events and encouraging others to educate themselves. In this way everyone does their part to be more eco-friendly and maintain more sustainable practices.

In conclusion New Year’s resolutions are something we try to do every year and more often than not don’t manage to keep them up. The whole point of these resolutions is to keep them even beyond the year. This is why we’ve suggested some small changes that you can make in your everyday life which overtime can result in massive positive changes on the environment. It’s important to set realistic goals which can be kept up remember it’s better to make small changes that can be maintained rather than big changes which are often very difficult to retain. Enjoy the New Year, Green you!

Our GO Green Initiative

At GO plc, we’re not just a telecommunications company, we’re a group of people who connect people all over Malta and Gozo. We strive to maintain this connectivity, not just digitally, but also physically. It’s important that we take care of our physical environment so that future generations can also enjoy the same connectivity. That’s why we’ve set up GO Green, an extension of GO primarily focusing on helping sustain and improve the environment whenever possible.

 

A woman with sunglasses holding the lgbt flaq

This blog post was written by Benjamin Thomas Scerri – Sustainability Associate, GO Green.

Benjamin is a member of the GO Green team. His main focus is keeping track of new ways in which to make GO more sustainable wherever and whenever possible.