6 ways you can be kinder to the planet in 2023 & beyond

kinder to the planet

From the moment you step foot outside your door, to the moment you crawl into bed at night, you are surrounded by countless natural stimuli. These inputs influence your thoughts, feelings and actions in countless ways. Because of this, everything you do and experience has an impact on the planet, no matter how small it might seem. Kicking 2023 off with a greener mindset is something that everyone can do, regardless of your current circumstances. Even if you’re not sure where to start or what specific changes need to be made in order for the world around you to feel a little bit better… It doesn’t have to be that way! You can begin implementing greener habits right away.

But before we get onto our tips, we want to start this post by giving the floor over to Internationally Bestselling author Miriam Lancewood who together with environmental writer Laurie King presents a collection of narrative non-fiction stories and poems on the human connection with
nature: ‘Wilder Journeys: True Stories of Nature, Adventure and Connection’, out with Watkins Media Limited in March.

Something to inspire you

Miriam Lancewood left civilization in 2010 and lived with her husband for seven years in the wilderness of New Zealand. They roamed around like nomads, cooked on a fire, slept in a tent and Miriam learned to hunt with bow and arrow. 

They intended to be part of nature, rather than being an observer. As a result, she has developed a unique perspective on how humans can change their relationship with the planet. Before we get onto our ways to be kinder to the planet, we’d like to share a little story from her to inspire you and it goes something like this…..

Surrendering to nature

The air was moist and cold. Winter was approaching. It was raining and we were huddling under our tarp. Every now and then one of us walked into the rain to put another branch on the fire to keep it going. The thick smoke was slowly finding its way through the moss-covered branches.

“Will you go out for a hunt tonight?” asked Peter. We had finished the last of the hare-stew yesterday and I knew some fresh meat would be nice.

I looked at the dark clouds gathering.

“You might see a goat, sheltering under the trees like us,” said Peter encouragingly.

When the rain ceased, I took my bow and set off. The moment I left our stand of old gnarly beech trees under which we had built our tent camp, the wind blew hard and mercilessly.

I followed the riverbed, stepping carefully from stone to stone. We were surrounded by high snowcapped mountains. The air was cold but pure and I spotted high up in the sky a falcon, taking advantage of the gale-force wind.

Then suddenly there was lightning – an enormous thunderclap followed. I ran to a big boulder to shelter while looking up at the flashing lights. “Please gods of the weather, have mercy on me!” I shouted. 

I squatted down. With my chin on my knees, I gazed out over the skies and the long, wild valley. I felt very small, unimportant, and insignificant. For some reason that was strangely comforting. I had no choice but to surrender. I felt my whole body relax. 

Humans do not control nature

To live in a small tent in the forest among the massive mountains with a roaring river below while looking around for a wild goat to shoot, cook and eat, made us realise we were not in control but subject to the forces of nature. They are in fact so overwhelming that not many people venture out there for more than a few days. The wild planet is the master, and we have to obey.

The contrast was stark, when my first book came out in 2017, and I was catapulted into western Europe for a book launch. From the high mountains, I was flown into big cities where it was never dark and never silent. There, the human world is definitely all-encompassing. No sign of wildness. Within our civilization bubble, we are the masters. 

Redressing the balance

As hunter gatherers we prayed to the Gods of Nature, now we have taken their place. It’s clear to me that in order for humans to not destroy ourselves, we need to begin appreciating the regenerative power of the planet.

If I was living in the bubble of civilization, I’d walk long and far, until I’d found silence. In order to hear what the planet might want to tell me, to find my true place in it. After all, doing so could only benefit both you and the world around you in the long run.

6 sustainable ways that you can begin being kinder to the planet this year

1. Prioritize nature

There’s no doubt that nature is important – it’s the planet we’re all living on, after all. But unfortunately, we’re not doing enough to protect it. every year, more and more land is being destroyed, biodiversity is declining, and the climate is changing in ways that are dangerous and irreversible. Fortunately, there are ways that we can help protect nature. We can start by taking a moment to appreciate nature whenever we can. Whether it’s going for a walk in the park or taking a nature hike, spending time in nature can help us appreciate and understand the importance of planet Earth. We can also support environmental organizations that are working to protect nature. By doing so, we can help ensure that future generations will have a healthy planet to live on.

2. Eat mindfully

A common misconception about food is that we need to consume everything in order to survive. In truth, this is only true if the food that we consume is nutritionally balanced and healthy. Why not start by investing a bit more time to every meal and experimenting with meat-free meals? Our culture often places a heavy emphasis on getting as much done as possible, as quickly as possible. Often, this results in hurried and unbalanced meals, where the flavour is often sacrificed in favour of being on time and ingredients we already know how to cook with. By approaching food for mindfully, we can start making better choices for the planet and consume only what we need.

3. Reduce pollution

Pollution is one of the biggest environmental challenges we face today. It’s responsible for damaging our planet, killing wildlife, and ruining our air quality. But there’s good news – there are ways that consumers can reduce their own pollution levels. We can help to reduce pollution by not buying products that contain harmful chemicals. By buying organic products, we can help to protect the environment and reduce pollution. In addition, by choosing to buy recycled products, we are helping to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. And by using energy-efficient appliances, we can help reduce their carbon footprint and save money on their energy bills. These are just a few ways we can help reduce pollution and protect the environment. By working together, we can all make a difference!

4. Don’t waste water

Everyone, at some point or another, has thought about how wasteful it is for water to just flow down the drain. It seems like such a simple thing, yet it is something that many people do not think about. Begin paying closer attention to how much water is used in your daily life. When you do so, it might be a bit easier to notice ways to reduce your consumption. Start by thinking about the questions below. As you answer them, you might start to notice ways to reduce your consumption.

– How much water is used in a typical day?

– What is the source of the water (i.e. tap, fountain, etc.)?

– Which appliances are using water, and how often? – What is the impact of your water consumption?

5. Be conscientious about recycling

When you recycle, you are not only helping to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and oceans, but you are also improving your local community. Recycling, in many ways, is a form of community service. It gives people the opportunity to do something good, for free, in their community. Start by thinking about the types of waste that you typically produce. What discard items are you typically generating? Which ones are most often generated in your home? If you don’t already, start keeping a recycling bin in your house. Make sure that you keep it indoors. Make it easier to keep track of, by labeling it.

kinder to the planet

6. Be mindful of what you buy

Many of us are guilty of making impulsive purchases. If this is the case for you, then it is important that you take a step back and think about what you are buying. Most impulsive purchases have a negative impact on the environment. Impulsive shopping is often linked to spending money that would be better off spent on other, more sustainable purchases. It is easy to fall into the trap of buying unnecessary things. Think about how you can make your purchases less impulsive. Impulsive purchases often include things like household items, clothing items, food items and even electronics. These are usually things that you can live without, so it is important to make an effort to keep these purchases to a minimum.

To wrap up

Try to make a positive difference in the world, through your actions and thoughts. The smallest actions can make a big impact. You can make a difference by using less water in the shower, saving energy by turning off the lights when they aren’t needed, and making a conscious decision to only shop at the local farmers market. The choices that you make play a big part in the world around you. The more mindful you are, the better your world will be. The more you think about how your actions can make a difference, the more likely it is that you will make changes to your actions. And, when it comes to protecting the planet, there is no better place to start than with being more mindful about your actions.

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