04/01/2018 11:54 GMT | Updated 04/01/2018 11:54 GMT

Five Animal Friendly Resolutions You Can Make This New Year

How you can make your New Year’s Resolutions animal friendly and have a positive impact on the environment too...

Now 2018 is here many of us will be making resolutions. Like other years, most people have opted for eating better, getting fit and saving money, but a recent poll by Bupa found that only half of the people surveyed said they were confident they would stick to their goals!

According to research, you’re more likely to stick to your resolutions if they’re part of a longer-term plan or lifestyle change; so if you’ve been considering making your lifestyle more animal friendly then now is a great time to start!

Here’s five animal friendly resolutions you can make in 2018:

1. Cut back on plastic

Did you know that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean if we don’t take action?

Plastic is everywhere and it definitely makes things more convenient, but it’s having a devastating impact on the natural world. The majority of plastic items go unrecycled and may take up to 1,000 years to decompose.

Almost every piece of plastic ever created still exists today, and the scary fact is we’re not sure what to do with it or how long it will last. The majority ends up at the bottom of the ocean, which can be deadly for marine life and means that it’s entering the food chain as it’s ingested by fish, which humans then consume.

We can all play our part by cutting back on plastic consumption. Reusable bags, bottles and coffee cups make a big difference and refusing a straw when you order a drink is a small change with big impact. You could also try more sustainable alternatives to some of your everyday products - like solid soap instead of bottled shower gel and a compostable bamboo toothbrush.

2. Buy products without palm oil

Palm oil is a type of vegetable oil that comes from the palm fruit. It’s cheap to produce and is found in almost everything from food to cosmetics.

The problem is that unsustainable palm oil production is causing mass deforestation in rainforest regions around the world. 300 football fields of rainforest are cleared every hour for palm oil production! This is pushing many species to extinction and damaging the planet at an alarming rate. The Orangutan is just one animal affected - over 80% of their habitat has been destroyed in the last 20 years and they face serious risk of extinction within our lifetime.

Learn how to spot and avoid palm oil and try to buy products without it to help preserve our precious rainforests and their animal inhabitants.

3. Eat less meat

You might want to join over 120,000 others and try Veganuary - the 30 day pledge to give vegan living a go.

Going vegan is predicted to be the biggest food trend of 2018, with over 542,000 people in the UK already following a vegan diet.

Supermarkets and restaurants are expanding their vegetarian and vegan ranges to meet this demand, and meat-free living is becoming easier.

Whether you cut out meat and dairy all together, go vegetarian or just commit to eating less meat (like adopting Meatless Mondays), this is another way you can help animals and the environment.

4. Go fur free

You might think that real fur on the high street is a thing of the past, but an investigation by the Humane Society International (HSI) and Sky News last year found some high street brands selling real fur that had been advertised as fake.

Cat and dog fur (which is banned in the EU) were found, along with a range of species including rabbit, fox, mink and raccoon.

Unfortunately many consumers think that real fur is too expensive to be found on high street bobble hats, keyrings and coat trims but fur farms produce this cheaply - keeping the animals in appalling conditions with little food and no veterinary care, before being killed for their fur.

Fur farms were banned in the UK in 2003 but foreign fur is clearly still finding its way into the supply chain.

Know how to spot real fur and check before you buy - look to see if it’s attached to a piece of fabric when parting it (rather than skin or pelt). If the end of the fur tapers into a point, this is also a sign that the fur is real.

5. Go cruelty-free

Again, you may think that animal testing is a thing of the past. Sadly, despite being banned in the EU many companies still test overseas and sell their products in the UK.

Replace your make-up and beauty products with cruelty-free alternatives to have a more animal friendly new year.

If you’re unsure which products are cruelty-free, look for the Leaping Bunny accreditation. Check out the Leaping Bunny product search to find out if your favourite brands are cruelty-free: https://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/LeapingBunny

Also make sure that the brand doesn’t sell in China, where animal testing is required by law.

If you’re still unsure ask them these 3 questions:

  • Are your products or ingredients tested on animals?
  • Do you ask anyone to test on your behalf?
  • Do you sell in mainland China?

The answers should all be no!

These are five simple goals you can set for 2018 to make your lifestyle more animal friendly and have a positive impact on the environment too!