Welcome to January – the month of new beginnings!

After the hustle, bustle and merriment of Christmas, January tends to be a more sober affair – the days are still short but we can use the long evenings to think ahead and make plans for the coming year.

If helping to tackle climate change is one of your objectives there are many steps you can take from the comfort of your home, in the time it takes to enjoy a hot cuppa. You could answer the 16 question New Leaf Health Check to see where best to focus your efforts. You could opt out of junk mail, switch to a green energy provider, email a supermarket or find out about new recycling schemes in our area.

When it comes to food many of us are already cutting back in January and perhaps trying to lose some of those Christmas pounds. Maybe you’re working through leftovers from the freezer? If you are cutting back on meat and trying some meat free days, January is an ideal time for making wonderful vegetable soups from seasonal locally grown vegetables; carrot and coriander or leek and potato are delicious.

It is cold and therefore important to stay warm but being a bit more savvy about your heating could save you money. Check you have set your timer to carefully control when you are heating your home. Putting on another layer and turning down your thermostat by 1 degree can save you 10% on your annual heating bill.

When the weather is cold and it is tempting while waiting for children to exit school, to keep the engine running and the heater blowing, but please think about the cocktail of toxins pumping out of your exhaust. Children are more vulnerable to breathing in polluted air and these exhaust fumes sit closer to their height.

Maybe you are dreaming about your summer holiday or off for some Winter sun or skiing. Read our Travel section to see how you can reduce your carbon footprint when you travel. You can help offset a winter holiday by turning down the heating at home while you are away.

If you fancy something different this year find out about volunteering holidays on our Campaigning & Volunteering page.

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu

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