How this 12-step challenge will help you protect the planet

We’re all aware of the problems causing harm to our environment and speeding up climate change. So frankly, instead of talking about what’s going wrong, it’s time we all start making an effort to be part of the solution. 

Paving the way towards a solution is The Good Empire – a community helping individuals and organisations do good for the world. Their latest initiative is all about making this year, The Year of the Planet.

The Year of the Planet is a global movement of people pledging to make one simple change to their lifestyles each month, for 12 months, to live more sustainably, reduce their carbon footprint and reduce the plastic waste that ends up in our oceans, waterways and landfill.

The mission is to unite one million people to make the pledge, and together, make a big impact. The Good Empire founder André Eikmeier believes that by implementing these changes, each person will be able to cut back on at least 1000 pieces of plastic every year. That equates to one billion items that could otherwise end up in landfills (or the ocean).

The Year of the Planet climate change challenge by Good Empire. Featuring founder André Eikmeier.
Good Empire founder André Eikmeier 

So, what are the changes? 

Pledging to The Year of the Planet means committing to twelve monthly challenges that see you make a new small change every month. Along the way, the challenges gradually get harder and require a little more commitment. However, step-by-step guidance, stories from others and news about the impact your changes are having are available to keep you motivated.

The 12-month challenge can be started at any time of the year and involves committing to the following challenges one month at a times:

  1. I pledge to say ‘no’ to disposable coffee cups
  2. I pledge to stop buying plastic bottles of water
  3. I pledge to stop using single-use plastic bags
  4. I pledge to say ‘no’ to plastic straws, cutlery and takeaway containers
  5. I pledge to stop using plastic-bottled soaps and shampoos, disposable toothbrushes and shavers
  6. I pledge to stop using single-use plastic cleaning and laundry products
  7. I pledge to reduce plastic wraps and food packaging
  8. I pledge to reduce landfill waste, recycle more and start composting
  9. I pledge to use less and recycle more paper and cardboard packaging
  10. I pledge to reduce my meat consumption and eat more plant-based
  11. I pledge to use less petrol and travel green 
  12. I pledge to use less and switch to renewable energy
The Year of the Planet climate change challenge by Good Empire

“If we make 2020 the Year of the Planet, our commitment to making small changes has the power to make a big impact,” says André. 

Currently, 5,989 people have made the pledge to live a more sustainably this year. If you want to join them head to yearoftheplanet.org.

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