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Green New Year Resolutions

Green New Year Resolutions
December 18, 2023 Georgia Newton

It’s that time of year again, when we stay up late to see the new year in, celebrating our achievements of the year we’re seeing out and hopeful for what the new year has in store for us. It is a common tradition that when we celebrate New Year, we often make New Year resolutions. 

green new year resolutions

Figure 1: New Year decorations. [3]

What are New Year’s Resolutions?

Historically, making New Year resolutions is a tradition that dates back as far as 4,000 years ago, when the Ancient Babylonians would set New Year pledges (later to be known as resolutions) to change something in their lifestyle that they’d like to improve, whether that be routine, lifestyle choices, health decisions, wellbeing choices. Some of the most common New Year resolutions are:

  • Quitting smoking.
  • Dry January (giving up alcohol).
  • To exercise more.
  • To take more care of their mental health.
  • Work on their career.
  • Save money.

Flaws with New Year Resolutions

A lot of people end up giving up on their New Year resolutions. This is usually because the goals that we set ourselves are too big and can be very difficult to stick to and are not maintainable. Around 38% of adults will make a New Year’s resolution, and by February, around 81% of people will have failed. Around 23% of New Year resolutions are failed by the end of the first week. [2] 

How Can We Improve New Year’s Resolutions so That we Can Stick to Them?

If the most common reason that New Year resolutions fail is that they are too big and too difficult to stick to, then we need to be setting more realistic and achievable goals. For example, if you are wanting to quit smoking, instead of setting your New Year’s resolutions as just quitting smoking or going cold turkey from day one, you could reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke to, for example, say 5 a day. A lot of our New Year resolutions are to quit bad habits but cutting them out completely overnight can often lead to keeping that habit for even longer. Reducing the number of times you do the habit gradually, will drastically increase your chances of kicking the habit for good. This theory can also work when trying to introduce a habit, such as exercising more. If you go from doing little to no exercise, to trying to become a gym guru overnight, it is more than likely going to lead to exhaustion which can lead to taking time to rest and giving up. If you slowly start to increase the amount of time you exercise per week, it will be more maintainable and you’re more likely to keep it up. 

Introducing Greener New Year Resolutions

Amongst our common New Year resolutions, we could also create some green New Year resolutions. These would be pledges to help the environment and prevent climate change but could still be broken down into manageable changes rather than massive lifestyle changes that are not maintainable. If everyone made even just one green New Year resolution, we could make a massive impact on improving the planet. Things such as:

  • Trying to recycle more (you could start by just trying to recycle cans or glass and see how you go, if that is manageable, you could add another item like cardboard too).
  • Donating unwanted clothes to charity instead of throwing them away.
  • Upcycling broken items instead of throwing them away.
  • Donating unwanted toys or books to schools or charities.
  • Reducing the number of times per year you mow the lawn, to allow wildflowers to grow and help wildlife.
  • Trying greener commutes to work, such as taking the bus, walking, or cycling.
  • Starting to compost your food waste.
  • Trying to grow some fruit and vegetables in your garden.
  • Changing your diet to a more eco-friendly diet (see previous article here [4]).
  • Wrapping presents in recyclable paper.

About Pager Power

Pager Power undertakes technical assessments for developers of renewable energy projects and tall buildings worldwide. For more information about what we do, please get in touch.


[3] New Year decorations. Photo credit: Karolina Grabowska. Image accessed 18/12/2023. Available at:


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