Trace your environmental footprint with the New Year’s Resolutions that Matter quiz

Christmas and New Year’s Eve is more than just a time for festivities (fun as this is!). It’s also a time of reflection about how to live better in the year ahead. New Year’s Resolutions are about making a commitment to be happier and healthier on every level. This year, make a pact to really get to know the world you live in. And resolve to make the most positive impact you can.

Take our fun NYE Sustainability Quiz and test your knowledge about all things green. Do you know what your carbon footprint is? Set yourself a New Year's resolution that makes your lifestyle a little greener, your footprint a little lighter and your life a little brighter.

Dr Holly Kaye-Smith, social change activist and academic at Western Sydney University, says that our consumer choices often have wide-ranging human and environmental costs.

“The way we consume, use and dispose of consumer goods has devastating consequences for people, animals and the environment. Yet, 99% of the stuff we buy is thrown away within six months. With Earth IQ, we want people to reflect on their everyday actions and how they contribute to bigger problems such as pollution and climate change.

“My mission is to get people thinking critically about their daily activities to see the opportunities for everyday-life activism, and make our planet a better place to live, one small change at a time,” Dr Kaye-Smith explains.

Professor of Sustainable Agriculture Priti Krishna at Western Sydney University says that going green can be taken quite literally when aiming for a healthier lifestyle in 2019.

“Grow your own edible greens in your garden or your window sill. You can do so sustainably by using less chemicals, maintaining soil health and avoiding over irrigation. A plant-based diet leaves a much smaller environmental footprint and gardening even on a small scale can be so joyful and good for the spirit,” Prof Krishna says.

Dr Sebastian Pfautsch, Research Theme Fellow (Environment and Sustainability) at Western Sydney University, adds that every single tree helps clean the air, scrape CO2 out of the atmosphere and with time start cooling your home.

“Tree canopy doesn’t just provide shade but also has a cooling effect through transpiration. Planting just one tree in your garden and opening up impervious surfaces to allow rainwater to seep into the ground will have a positive impact on your local microclimate,” Dr Pfautsch explains.

Dr Abby Mellick Lopes from the Institute of Culture and Society explains that we become disconnected from our environment when air conditioning becomes a default setting for cooling.

“Give yourself a chance to acclimatise to summer conditions before you switch on the air conditioner. Invest in insulation, fly screens and lockable sash windows to allow air to circulate and cool your home,” Dr Mellick Lopes advises.

About Earth IQ:

Taking a positive step in engaging and empowering millennials and their communities with the issues of a changing climate, Western Sydney University has launched a new awareness campaign Earth IQ. Through multimedia storytelling, expert commentary and activations, Earth IQ is a way of inspiring a generation to embrace more mindful and sustainable living - one carbon footprint at a time.

Find out more at or follow the conversation using #EarthIQ


8 January, 2019

Isabel Wagner, Senior Media Officer