A new year. Time for new beginnings, new resolutions and new ambitions. Many of us have found a greater appreciation for nature during the pandemic and, coupled with the climate and biodiversity crisis, the time has never been better to take action for the environment. Whether you’re testing the water with a small commitment or ready to make a big change, here are 10 ways to do your bit for nature in 2022.

1. Explore the natural world

Tread a new path, watch the wide winter skies and reconnect with nature. Wrap up warm, breathe fresh, clean air and keep moving – you’ll find new horizons, feel healthier and happier and enjoy a wonderful sense of wellbeing.

Spending time in nature will rejuvenate you physically and mentally. You just need to take that first step. We have 1,000 woods across the UK, all free to visit and waiting for you to explore.

2. Reduce waste

We’re facing a climate emergency and many of us are looking for ways to make a difference. A great resolution is to reduce waste. Here are some ideas:

  • Reduce: consider everyday things like your energy consumption. Turn appliances off at the wall and switch lights off when not in use. You could even switch to an energy company that offers 100% green energy.
  • Reuse: avoid single use items like carrier bags, coffee cups and cling film wherever possible. Long lasting alternatives are available for many items, like shopping bags, reusable cups and beeswax wraps. Go a step further by switching out plastic washing up sponges, nappies or face wipes for washable cloth substitutes, or buying second hand goods from charity shops, car boot sales and online sites.
  • Recycle: think beyond simply splitting waste into recyclables and non-recyclables - consider the packaging of every purchase. Do you have any local zero-waste shops? Could you buy loose veg instead of bagged at the supermarket? Can you take your own containers to the takeaway?
  • Go local: shipping goods over long distances has a higher environmental impact than buying locally. Shopping in person will often involve less packaging than buying online too.

3. Learn more about the nature around us

Resolutions are often about learning a new skill or talent – perhaps a language or a musical instrument. Broaden your horizons by learning more about a new subject, like the environment around us - from why trees are so important to what frogs eat! Knowing more about the nature we see every day helps us to better appreciate it – and we can learn how to protect it too.

We’ve plenty of tools to help, and you can test your knowledge with our fun quizzes!

4. Grow your own food

A really rewarding resolution is to grow your own food. It’s cheaper, reduces your environmental impact and tastes even better knowing you’ve grown it yourself – what an achievement! You don’t have to be a seasoned gardener either – easier options like potatoes and rhubarb are great for beginners. If your patch is small, try herbs in a window box, blackberry hanging baskets or think three dimensional – grow your own fruit with trees like cherry and crab apple.

Try our recipes

5. Turn your garden into a wildlife haven

Pledge to give nature a helping hand this year by providing food and shelter for wildlife. From bird feeders to bug hotels, there’s an option to suit every space and pocket - even a window box or plant pot can make a difference.

Quick fact

Trees are nature’s most powerful weapon in the fight against climate change - they absorb and store carbon dioxide, keeping it locked away for generations.

6. Make a carbon donation

To solve the climate crisis we must harness the power of the natural world. Planting trees is key, but we must also care for those we already have. Every year, trees and woods remove a vast quantity of carbon from the atmosphere, storing it in bark, branches and soil.

You can help protect and add to this extensive carbon store by making a donation. Government statistics suggest the average person in the UK is responsible for 5.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year. A suggested donation of £140 each year would allow us to care for enough woodland to capture and store approximately this amount of carbon, helping to lock up emissions.

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Help lock up carbon with a donation

Capturing and storing carbon from the atmosphere is vital in the fight against climate change. By making a donation, you’ll help protect and add to this extensive carbon store.

Donate today

7. Discover the joy of volunteering

Whatever your skills or background and however much time you can give, you can make a difference. From campaigning online at home to getting your hands dirty in a woodland working group, there’s something for everyone. As well as helping trees and woods, you’ll be meeting new people and learning new skills. Apply for a specific volunteer role, or dip in and out of our citizen science projects whenever you have a little spare time - you could record thick gnarly trees near you for the Ancient Tree Inventory, or a number of natural events that signify the changing seasons for Nature’s Calendar. Every little helps!

8. Fundraise for a good cause

Raising money for a charity can be a great target to aim for in a new year, especially if you need to train or learn a new skill. But marathon running and skydiving are not the only options! You could fundraise alone by setting a personal challenge, arrange an event, choose a group activity to raise money as a team or get your colleagues involved to support a good cause at work. Raise as much or as little as you like, from collecting small donations to arranging public events - the choice is yours.

Support us

Fundraise for us

Set your own challenge or host a community event to raise money for woods, trees and wildlife.

Get started
Join the movement

Be part of a nationwide tree-planting project by planting as part of the Big Climate Fightback.

9. Plant a tree (or several)

Planting season runs from November to March, so tick off your target for the year by planting a tree this winter. It may seem a relatively quick and simple action, but the rewards are endless.

Choose suitable native species for your space and enjoy watching your tree grow and thrive through the coming seasons. You’ll also be creating a future home and food source for wildlife, helping to fight climate change for years to come and much more.

Plant trees in your garden, community space or as part of a large scale project. Make an occasion of it by inviting loved ones to join you in planting and watching the trees grow! Don’t have anywhere to plant? Contact your local council or look out for our tree-planting events.

Got a nectar card?

You can collect up to 10,000 points when you become a member – and you can donate points to help plant trees in the future too.

10. Become a member

Join an environmental charity like the Woodland Trust and you won’t just be doing something positive for yourself – you’ll also be helping make the UK a healthier and happier place. Every Woodland Trust membership directly helps us to save the UK’s remaining ancient woodland, plant millions of trees every year and create havens for wildlife. Different types of membership are available and you’ll receive our very special membership pack as our thanks.

Become a member

There's no better way to stand up for trees than by becoming a member of the Woodland Trust.

Join today