Top 10 sustainable New Year resolutions – and how your personality is key to keeping them

Written by Lori Campbell on 16th Jan 2020

More than three quarters of UK adults have set sustainable resolutions this New Year to help save the planet – and money. However, with the same number failing on their commitments for 2019, experts say you should set yourself up for success this year by knowing your personality type.

Topping the list of planet-friendly pledges for 2020 is cutting back on plastic (83 per cent) followed by avoiding fast fashion (60 per cent), according to a new report.

Using greener transport is also popular with 55 per cent of people committing to walk, bike or take public transport to work this year. And half of us are choosing to eat less meat, or switch to meat that is locally-sourced.

The study by renewable energy firm Tonik Energy found that more than half (53 per cent) of Brits have committed to making home improvements to reduce energy consumption. These include switching to LED light bulbs (34 per cent), investing in smart technology and insulation (20 per cent), and installing solar panels (five per cent). By sticking to these, it could save each household up to £500 a year.

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The poll of 1,669 UK adults also found that 1 in 10 are planning to switch to an electric vehicle this year.  

Saving the planet is the top inspiration for making sustainable resolutions, with 19 per cent saying they want to preserve the environment for future generations. The same number said they want to help halt irreversible climate change. Saving money is another top priority with seven per cent wanting to save money on energy bills.


Top ten sustainable resolutions for 2020

  1. Cut back on buying products with plastic packaging 85%
  2. Avoid buying ‘fast fashion’ clothing 60%
  3. Walk, bike or take public transport more 55%
  4. Eat less meat or switch to locally sourced meat 50%
  5. Swap home’s lighting to LED 34%
  6. Improve home’s insulation or draught-proofing 21%
  7. Invest in smart tech to reduce home energy usage 18%
  8. Carbon offset my non renewable energy use 11%
  9. Switch from a fossil fuel car to an electric one 9%
  10. Install solar panels to make one’s own energy 5%


A separate YouGov poll has found that 31 per cent of Brits want to save money in 2020. However, despite these good intentions, three quarters of people failed to meet some or all of their goals in 2019.

John Hackston, of business psychology specialists The Myers-Briggs Company says that when it comes to saving money, you can set yourself up for success simply by knowing your personality type.

He said: “Understanding our own personality type and preferences, and the areas which could use more focus and attention, can help us to establish the best money management strategy for ourselves.”

Hackston says that individuals who prefer ‘Extraversion’ (those who gain their energy from interactions with the outside world) are more likely to be spontaneous and spend more on social activities. He said: “We’d recommend that people with an Extraversion preference should consider putting aside time to budget, with special attention paid to their social spending.

“Meanwhile, those who prefer Introversion get their energy from their inner world of thoughts and feelings, and can have a tendency to over-analyse things and wait too long to make spending decisions. They may sometimes need encouragement to take the plunge, ideally from a trusted source, such as a financial planner.”

He said those with a Perceiving preference, who prefer not to make a decision until they need to, tend not to jump into decisions, might miss out on valuable opportunities. To combat these difficulties, he suggests making firm commitments starting with small, measured steps.

People with Judging preferences (those who like a planned and organised life) are likely to be more task-oriented, which can lead them to make a decision before they have gathered all of the information that they need. Hackston said: “Getting a second opinion before making important financial decisions will make all the difference and ensures that the plan is thoroughly thought-through.”



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