Hello dear! Happy new year to you! It seems like yesterday when we did the new year countdown and somehow, January seems to be moving at a good pace already. I am optimistic that 2023 is going to be a good year for all of us.

I hope you’ve begun making progress towards your dreams and goals. I don’t mean to pressure you but the clock is ticking and time waits for no one.

This year, REES Africa is charged up to serve our communities better by promoting and providing solutions that make living better for Africa’s present and future generations. This year, we would work harder and smarter and assert our sustainability goals and passions more intensely. You would see more of us in your screens, your streets and everywhere that can be reached. We hope you continue to support us much more than you always have.

Enough about us, How about you?

What’s your plan for the new year? I’m sure someone out there has a list of twenty-three goals for the year. I hope these goals are SMART and it doesn’t have to be twenty-three. 

There are a thousand and one things you could do differently or better this year. Here’s a list of five simple, practical and sustainable things you can do:

Take a Leap

Starting a new year can be quite scary, after all, no one has lived in 2023 before. life is full of uncertainties but that’s no reason to dream less, remain static or avoid risky paths. What’s preventing you from starting that business or putting yourself out? Does the idea of adopting a sustainability-guided lifestyle still seem impossible to you? You will never make progress unless you take a bold step. It’s Ok to be afraid but it’s not if you let your fears hold you down. This year, take that calculated risk, make that lifestyle/business change, look fear in the face, sprinkle some faith and hard work and take that huge leap!

Update Your Knowledge

There is so much we do not know; every day, discoveries are made, and the world of research and technology is so dynamic. That winning idea you need could be hidden in a book, newsletter, blog, seminar or workshop. This year, be more intentional about learning more about yourself, your environment, your business and anything at all. So, get your library card, subscribe to that online platform, take that online course, join that class, and expand your network. Who knows, you could find the answers to your deepest pondering, and solutions to your biggest problems. above all, learning makes you a better person.

Walk, Bike, Commute

Walking is an underrated form of exercise. It benefits both your body and the environment, and above all, it’s very convenient to do. Walking allows you to think and plan while appreciating your environment. You can get your friends to join you so it doesn’t feel lonely. Biking can also be a fun sport and an eco-friendly way to travel short distances. You may not be able to ditch your car completely but you could try commuting more often. This will save you from the bore of a lonely solo ride, help you make new friends, make more memories and reduce harmful emissions.

Dress Mindfully

Do you need to buy so many clothes? The fashion industry is responsible for the second-highest pollution levels. So while we think we are purchasing trendy affordable clothes, we are actually sponsoring increasing carbon emissions, biodiversity losses, pollution and its negative effects. Considering that these clothes run out of style as quickly as they come, why bother? Mindful fashion helps you save money, reduces clutter in your room and makes it easier to decide on what to wear. Resolve to adopt sustainable fashion principles today. If you have a closet full of more clothes than you need, that could be your cue to start a thrift store or you can donate them.

Eat Better, Eat Mindfully

Nutrition affects our health, cognition, productivity, lifespan and economy. We must pay more attention to what we eat, how much we eat and when we eat. Food, especially from animal sources, causes a huge strain on our planet’s resources. Plants utilize much less resources but that does not mean we all have to go vegan. You need to reduce your consumption of animal proteins and add more colourful plants to your meals. You need to check your portion sizes, calorie consumption and avoid waste at all cost. So this year, keeping your weight and health goals in mind, resolve to mindfully eat a balanced diet of appropriate portions of eco-friendly foods.

Finally my dear, be intentional about working towards your goals. goals can only be achieved through consistent, deliberate and practical efforts. As the days go by, let your love for the environment and the passion for sustainability guide your actions. Cheers to a beautiful 2023!

Writer: Christiana Ugbem

Photo: Dilok Klaisataporn

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