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The current social media debate splitting the world in two is whether or not we’re saying goodbye to another decade. One side sees 2020 as the start of a new decade, whereas those in 2021 camp put forward a reasonable (and passionate) case. Their argument is rooted in a fundamental fact: the Anno Domini system used to number years in the Gregorian calendar has no year zero. This means the counting for years began at one. 

Regardless of which side you’re on, we encourage you to enter 2020 prepared to act on climate change.

The year 2020 marks five years into the adoption of the Paris Agreement and will be the year we assess our collective progress on the climate emergency, at the international political scale.

Here are three simple climate resolutions to take with your into the new year:

Adopt plant-based lifestyle

Skip the crash dieting, a plant-based lifestyle is not just beneficial for your body, mind, and overall well being, but it can do wonders for the planet. 

Studies show that animal agriculture has a tremendous impact on climate change. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) ‘World agriculture: towards 2030/2050’ report, the meat industry has been contributing significantly to the production of greenhouse gases (GHGs).

As a matter of fact, it states that the increasing demand for meat and meat products has led to a situation where the production of livestock adds to the emission of more greenhouse gases than the transport sector – this means that the global livestock industry emits more GHGs than every car, plane, train, and ship combined!

GHGs produced by the meat industry, such as methane, nitrous oxide, and the infamous carbon dioxide are causing the earth’s surface to be warmed by trapping solar energy, which results in global warming; leading to a host of catastrophic environmental disasters.

“Since the 1980s, each successive decade has been warmer than any preceding decade since 1850,” the World Meteorological Organization wrote in its provisional “State of the Global Climate” report for 2019.

This should be sobering news. 

Your food choices directly determine your carbon footprint and has enormous climate impact.

Going plant-based will not just help you quickly shed those pounds, it’s one of the most powerful ways to reduce your personal carbon footprint. If you’re not ready to dive straight in, adopt the #meatlessmonday trend or start with incorporating one meatless meal per day into your routine.Take personal actions that will cause systemic change.  Bon apetit!

Be the annoying climate change person in the office

Speak with family, friends, and colleagues about why climate change is the most important issue of our time and will require all of us doing the best that we can to stop it. These conversations will be crucial in order to get everyone on board. 

The unfortunate truth is that a lot of people still think climate change is a phenomenon that will take place in the future. In reality, it’s a very present occurrence that island countries around the world are witnessing firsthand. From more intense and frequent hurricanes to sea levels wiping out entire communities. 

So talk about it, spread the news. Speak with your colleagues and encourage them to adopt climate-friendly practices. If you’re in a position of decision-making power, be the change. Be the one to implement policies that show your seriousness about climate action; strive for energy efficiency, promote carpooling, and push for alternative energy sources. 

Compost to Mitigate

Composting has long been considered a secret weapon against climate change. It is powerful, yet not many people are aware of its effectiveness. 

No matter where you are in your quest to become an eco-friendly human being, there’s room in the mix for composting. Compost refers to the super-fertile mixture of decaying organic matter – from orange peels and coffee grounds to mango seeds and eggshells – used to enhance the soul that serves as the base for all plant life. 

Composting plays an important role in shrinking your carbon footprint. How? Composting benefits the environment in many ways. When you compost your food scraps, you produce a nutrient rich soil that is needed to maintain healthy and productive fields. This closes an important loop and completes the cycle necessary to grow more healthy food.

When it comes to global warming, composting directly reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) and other powerful greenhouse gases, like methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O).

Composting organics creates a valuable soil enhancer that replenishes depleted soils, protects against erosion, can replace synthetic fertilizers and helps retain water. Composting our organics also protects air, water and soil quality. 

So here’s to a new year! New decade? Either way, what’re your climate resolutions?

Dizzanne Billy

About Dizzanne Billy

Dizzanne Billy is a communications and marketing specialist from Trinidad and Tobago. A former Climate Tracker Fellow, she now heads up some of our most exciting outreach work across the Caribbean and ‘the interwebs'