This year RSPB Scotland would love you to make some new year’s resolutions for nature. Whether you make a detailed list of goals every year, or you’re not usually one for resolutions, RSPB Scotland’s Allie McGregor shares some ideas to make your 2019 more planet and nature-friendly.

New year’s resolutions for nature

2018 was a brutal year for news about the state of nature. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that was released at the beginning of October warned that we have just over a decade to avoid catastrophe, and the WWF Living Planet report found that, since 1970, humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations. It often hasn’t felt like a great year for our nature, and it’s easy to feel a bit helpless.

There was positive news and a lot of positive action in 2018. Scottish Environment LINK has launched the campaign to Fight for Scotland’s Nature, thousands marched in the Walk for Wildlife, the plastic bag charge has reduced our usage, and many well-known endangered species were taken off the IUCN red list.

group of people gathered outside scottish parliament with environment link slogan placards
Launch of the Scottish Environment LINK campaign to Fight for Scotland's Nature

Many of us will already be taking action in various ways, maybe you joined in at a beach clean this year, or donated your time or money to nature charities. There’s plenty of little, or big, things we can do in our day-to-day lives that can help wildlife and our planet. This is by no means an exhaustive list but hopefully it will be enough to inspire a new year’s resolution or two!

(Disclaimer: While I encourage you to share these ideas with others, remember some people will have very valid reasons they may not be able to make certain changes, always trust others to make their own decisions on how they can help.)

Make your garden wildlife friendly

Make a commitment to nature this year without even having to leave your own garden!

robin on the edge of a bird bath

Update your eating habits

Little changes to what we buy and eat can make a big difference:

  • Buy fruit and veg that’s in season
  • If you eat meat, try going at least one day a week without
  • Support local food produce
  • Choose with the environment in mind, looking out for labels like organic, Leaf Marque, and Pasture Fed

Plastics and waste

Single-use plastics have been a hot topic this year, so much so that Collins Dictionary named “Single-use” the word of the year. Here are some ways you can minimise your waste:

  • Remember to use a reusable shopping bag (I try to keep an extra tote bag on me in case a surprise grocery shop is in order)
  • Consider getting yourself a reusable cup and reusable straws for winter and summer drinks (many cafes also offer discounts if you have a reusable cup!)
  • If you see use of plastic at your local supermarket that could be changed to an alternative, consider getting in touch with them with your suggestions
  • Get into composting!
  • Remember to recycle what you can

a family speaking to a staff member at an RSPB tent

Donate spare time or money

Have a very happy new year! From everyone at RSPB Scotland; we wish you all the best for 2019.

  • Admitting that the RSPB and other organisations who are desperate to halt the decline in biodiversity we are experiencing but are failing is a healthy first step. 

    Those of us who are are doing our best and will continue to do our best in 2019 trying to assist you have as hard a task as the RSPB in making a difference. I do feel powerless at times in face of the forces we face who do not seem to care as we do.

    A very happy new year to all at the RSPB, their volunteers and campaigning members.