New year, new habits

The 21/90 rule says that it takes 21 days to create an habit, and 90 days to adopt a lifestyle.

As such, we decided to use the beginning of this new year to challenge you to 12 new year’s resolutions. But relax, these are not the difficult ones. Of course, going to the gym or making more time for your family are always great options for new year’s resolutions, however, we propose a different kind of deed: simpler and more sustainable – one for each month.

12 bell strikes, 12 new year’s resolutions

January: I’ll have two vegetarian days a week
  1. January: I’ll have two vegetarian days a week

January is the ideal month to start a new routine. There’s something about the first week of the year that makes us long for a change (or so we say). Because of that, this is the perfect month to start introducing two vegetarian days in your weekly menu. The goal is to have a more plant-based diet, Mediterranean diet style: lots of fruits, lots of vegetables and pulses, enough nuts and seeds, and finger-licking good recipes.

Get to know the benefits of the Mediterranean diet and why it was recognised as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

February: I’ll have a zero waste day-to-day
  1. February: I’ll have a zero waste day-to-day

Zero waste does not only refer to rubbish. It encompasses also food waste or the daily activities that can lead to unnecessary consumerism. So, say goodbye to disposable plastic bags and farewell to single-use plastic bottles. The word of order in February is “zero waste”. Get your reusable water bottle, your shopping tote bag and take this opportunity to buy your groceries by weight. That’s how you can take home only what you need, making no waste.

Check this guide for zero waste shopping that we prepared for you.

March: I’ll reduce unnecessary water waste
  1. March: I’ll reduce unnecessary water waste

Did you know that March 22 is the International Water Day? So, March is the month to start reducing water usage and waste at home. Installing low flow taps and putting a filled bottle inside your flushing system, in order to reduce the amount of water you literally flush down the toilet every day is a way to go. You can also make the most out of your dishwasher and washing machine and turn the taps off while you brush your teeth or before rinsing in the shower.

Don’t know where to start? Find out the 5 main water wasters in your home and know how to fight them.

April: I’ll make my very own herb garden at home
  1. April: I’ll make my very own herb garden at home

If you have a back garden, you just need to dig into it a little. What if you live in a flat? We have the solution for you: a mini herb garden that you can keep in your kitchen or balcony. It’s the best way to guarantee fresh and bio herbs every day.

Get to know how to create your own sustainable herb garden at home.

May: I’ll maximise recycling at home
  1. May: I’ll maximise recycling at home

Do you know how easy it is to recycle? It is as easy as saying it. But there’s two additional Rs joining the Reduce, Recycle, Reuse. They’re Rethink and Refuse, and they can surely make your life more sustainable. Since the 17th of May is the International Recycling Day, we think May is the perfect time of the year to start this sustainable new year’s resolution.

Still have questions about recycling? Let’s debunk some of the most common myths.

June: I’ll switch all the lamps by low-consumption LEDs
  1. June: I’ll switch all the lamps by low-consumption LEDs

If you haven’t already, go ahead. Did you know that switching your lamps by LEDs will save you a little bit of money every day, that turns into quite a sum every year? Besides LEDs, there’s also small other actions that allow you to reduce energy consumption, namely that silent and invisible power draft: standby power.

Know how to reduce your energy waste at home.

July: I’ll choose reef friendly sun creams
  1. July: I’ll choose reef friendly sun creams

Since Summer is here and the beach looks incredible, how about making one of your 12 new year’s resolutions about protecting the colourful but very discreet inhabitants of the ocean? Does it ring a bell? We’re talking about reefs.

Sun creams, although essential for us humans, to protect our skin from harmful UV light, can be dangerous to reefs. Some chemicals commonly used in sun creams have harmful effects in sea life. Go for sun creams with the “Reef Friendly” label, like the ones you find in your Pingo Doce or Biedronka.

August: I’ll start composting at home
  1. August: I’ll start composting at home

Maybe you don’t believe composting is extremely easy, but if you have a garden, know that half the work is done. Composting is basically letting organic waste decompose naturally in a controlled environment. What comes out of composting is humus, a substance that looks like dirt and makes a great eco-friendly fertiliser.

September: I’ll cycle or ride the bus to work
  1. September: I’ll cycle or ride the bus to work

September is full of environment-related days: the 14th is the Ecology Day, the 16th is the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, the 22nd is the European Car-Free Day, among many others. As such, it is totally reasonable that you make this month’s sustainable new year’s resolution about carbon emissions. September is THE month to start cycling to work, to start using public transportation more, or to start carpooling with your co-workers.

Know some of the European Mobility Week initiatives that took place in 2020.

October: I’ll donate all the clothes I no longer wear
  1. October: I’ll donate all the clothes I no longer wear

And can there really be a sustainable year without including a circular-economy oriented new year’s resolution? Those still in good shape clothes you no longer wear are begging you to be donated to a charity or to a second-hand shop. Not only you will help out those in need, but also reduce the amount of clothes that end up in landfills as waste, and the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere by waste burning. And if you’re thinking about buying new clothes, take a look into your closet first. We are sure you will see a piece of clothing you love and had long forgotten. Wait, is it out of fashion? Well, it is vintage, which by itself is fashionable enough.

November: I’ll choose organic and certified products
  1. November: I’ll choose organic and certified products

Not all the labels you see in packaging are design-related, and not all the labels are product descriptions. Some of them have an additional meaning: they represent a sustainable certification, that is, a guarantee that its production and/or packing takes sustainability into account.

There are many products and many certifications in the market: Organic, for example, means the product was produced without using chemical and toxic fertilisers, or other materials that are harmful to our planet; Fair Trade is a certification that guarantees that the producers of certain ingredients, like coffee and cocoa, are paid a fair amount by their work. The FSC® and PEFC certifications differentiate products or packaging made of paper or cardboard that comes from sustainably managed forests. These are just some examples, but there are many more, depending on the type of product and the social and environmental policies of each company.

Did you know?

Jerónimo Martins Group Companies in Portugal, Poland and Colombia have already more than 550 Own Brand products with sustainability certifications.

December: I’ll have a more conscious Christmas
  1. December: I’ll be a conscious consumer

During Christmas time it is imperative to be a conscious consumer. This ends up benefiting not only the environment but also your own finances. Check out some tips to have a greener Christmas, and a guide to sustainable Christmas gifts. If you want to walk the extra mile, think about a 100% vegan Christmas.

These are the 12 new year’s resolutions that really are 12 opportunities for a more sustainable and conscious lifestyle. Have a happy and sustainable new year!