Traditional new year’s resolutions can be hard to stick to – so what about trying something different in 2023?

If you’re used to setting yourself worthy goals such as exercising more or getting organised, but find they get forgotten by the end of January – you might want to try a green resolution instead.

New research by home builder Redrow reveals sustainably focused resolutions – like mindful spending and reducing energy consumption – are overtaking traditional self-improvement ambitions.

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"Over the past 12 months we’ve seen more people than ever asking for ways to reduce their household energy consumption – and leave a smaller environmental footprint," says James Holmear, director at Redrow.

As well as giving more scrutiny to energy efficiency ratings of appliances, he says customers are installing items like EV (electric vehicle) charging points, eco waste bins and solar panels to improve their energy efficiency.

Want to make sustainable resolutions around the home but don’t know where to start? This is what Holmear recommends…

Reduce your energy consumption

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You can save on your bills simply by turning your appliances off at the mains, rather than just leaving them in standby mode, suggests Holmear. "Think televisions, computers, and game consoles – especially large households with multiple devices."

Similarly, he says turning off lights when you leave a room and installing LED bulbs around the home can help you save even more.

"Everyday tasks such as washing your clothes and cooking meals can all be reassessed to lower your energy consumption," Holmear adds. "Look to wash your regular clothes on a 30-degree cycle, and keep the higher temperatures for household linen and soiled items.

"Only do this once you have a full load to avoid running a full cycle unnecessarily. When cooking, put lids on your pans to speed up cooking time and ensure you only boil as much water in the kettle as you need."

Be more mindful of your spending

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Being mindful of spending doesn’t have to mean not spending at all, with Holmear saying it’s more about having a purpose. As the January sales approach, looking at factors beyond price and appearance can help save money in the long-term.

Redrow’s research shows energy efficiency and being a lower cost to run, alongside price and quality, is one of the biggest influences on white goods and electrical purchases in the coming January sales.

Reduce food waste

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Storing your food properly can significantly reduce your food waste, says Holmear. "Keeping foods such as salads and herbs away from the back of the fridge in containers stops these delicate foods from freezer burn and going off quickly."

He recommends storing fresh dairy products on the middle shelf – as it’s the coolest part – then moving them to the fridge door once opened.

Keeping food that’s close to its sell-by date and leftovers visible in your fridge is an easy way to make sure no food is wasted, stresses Holmear. "And make sure the fridge and cupboards are organised ahead of your next food shop to avoid overbuying."

Invest in energy-efficient items

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Smart power strips automatically turn off electricity to all the things you don’t need. These can also be controlled remotely through an app, so you’re able to switch them off even once you’ve left the house.

It’s not just electricity that can be managed. Elsewhere, app-based heating controls such as Hive mean you never have to heat your home when it’s empty, says Holmear.

Research by Redrow found nearly two-fifths (37%) of UK adults have installed or are looking to install LED lighting around their home, alongside solar panels (13%) and smart tech (12%).

Recycle more

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"It’s important to understand what is recyclable and what isn’t," Holmear encourages. "Get to know what the symbols on the packaging mean, check with your local council’s recycling offering – and where possible, choose products that are widely recyclable with a strong environmental stance."

If you can, investigate options like eco waste bins, which might help increase recycling habits. For bigger items, Holmear recommends upcycling them or passing them on via marketplace platforms.

As Holmear points out: "The average person throws away around 400kg of waste each year, and many are still unaware of the items eligible to be recycled."