New Year’s Resolutions for 2024 Fab or Fail?

It’s February, how did you do with your New Year’s Resolutions?


On 1 January 2024, millions of South Africans took the first step towards a long-time goal. By June, however, many of us will give in to life’s pressures and temptations, abandoning our New Year’s resolutions without a second thought.


For some, the goal is health-related. For others, it’s about saving money, quitting bad habits, or leading a more fulfilling life. If you’ve tried all of the above without success, it may be time to target something new. Going green could be a New Year’s resolution worth pursuing. There are infinite ways to approach it and the best part is that most of them will help you achieve your other goals too.


Going Green & Finding Your “Why”


One of the biggest reasons people abandon New Year’s resolutions is because they don’t know why they set them in the first place. You might have a surface-level understanding of your “why” but nothing meaningful enough to make the goals stick.


Let’s imagine you want to eat healthier, for example. Doing it because it’s the “right thing to do” is not really a strong enough reason for the human psyche to latch onto. However, doing it to set a good example for your children, for example, might be more impactful.


It’s easy to find the “why” when you make sustainability-based resolutions. We don’t mean vague reasons like because the planet needs it. We mean understanding that not wasting food saves you money and that keeping trees alive improves the quality of the air your family breathes.


The Power is in the Planning


Like all other New Year’s resolutions, living a more eco-friendly life takes careful planning. Setting a grand goal on 1 January with no idea how you’re going to get there can set you up for failure before you’ve even started. Instead, take some time to strategize.


Break the big idea into mini-resolutions with deadlines throughout the year. For example, if you want to try zero-waste living, you might start by replacing single-use plastic bags with reusable ones during January. Achieving each portion of your goal gives you the confidence to move on to the next step.


Three Ways To Live, Work, and Play More Sustainably in 2024


  1. Grow Your Own Food


Whether it’s planting herbs in your back garden or starting a shared veggie patch at work, growing your own food makes a big social and environmental difference. In September 2023, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment (DFFE) released a draft strategy for reducing food waste. According to the department, 12.6 million tons of food is wasted every year in South Africa.


Growing just one or two “crops” at home or work could reduce your household’s food waste dramatically. Home-grown food is always fresh and tasty, and you never have to throw anything away if you don’t harvest more than you need. If you have a surplus, you could share it with the less fortunate. Plus, gardening helps you eat healthier, reduce your screen time, and learn a new skill.


  1. Repair, Don’t Replace


We’re living in the age of fast fashion, fast furniture, and fast food. Today, there are budget-friendly options for everything, so replacing something when it breaks is not always a big deal. However, it does put extreme and unnecessary pressure on the environment. This year, we encourage you to think twice before you throw something away. Can you fix, sell, or donate it instead?


You might take shoes for repairs instead of replacing them, mend holey socks, re-dye faded curtains and jeans, or reupholster an inherited chair. Upcycling can be profitable, and you might even find buyers for your creations online.


  1. Start a Lift Club


If you work in a busy metro, you know the frustration of being stuck in kilometre-long traffic jams. Next time you’re surrounded by vehicles, take a look around–most private cars are only occupied by one person. If everyone who drives alone shared a ride with a colleague, it would cut down traffic by 50%. It could also reduce your monthly petrol costs by up to 50%.


South Africa is the 15th largest greenhouse gas producer in the world. Sharing transport helps reduce the amount of smog in the air, which is made of tiny soot particles that can irritate your lungs. Employers can incentivise ride-sharing by offering lift club members later morning check-in times, meal discounts, or other office perks. Adopting a work-from-home or hybrid model is another way to reduce your business’s carbon footprint.


Leave 2024 Better Than You Found It


Most New Year’s resolutions are selfish in nature, and there’s nothing wrong with personal development. But sometimes, it may be more meaningful to choose a resolution that improves the world as a whole. As Madiba famously said, “It is the difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”


Email us at to learn how to make your business more sustainable in 2024.

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