New Year; New You. Right? Well, we don’t think so. We’ve mentioned before that 2021 has been stressful enough without lugging New Year Resolutions around like suitcases. But a new year does always make us feel like a freshen up. So we’re starting the year with small sustainable steps towards a more planet-friendly lifestyle. No preaching, no “throw out all your belongings!” tips. Just 6 little changes you can make to your life now to be more sustainable in 2022
Let’s start in the kitchen, the heart of the home. Or the place you whizz through at 6 in the morning before starting your commute. Either way, there are plenty of little ways you can up your sustainability when it comes to food.
Go (a little) vegan
Whether it’s Meat-free Mondays or you prefer a midweek veg fest, spending 1 or 2 days a week focusing your meals on veg is good for the planet and your body. Changing up your diet even a little pushes you to step out of your comfort zone.
You can explore different ingredients, and add important nutrients into your day. And if you don’t want to go the whole hog (so to speak!) then consider bulking out your current meals with more veg or pulses. Adding lentils to your bolognese keeps the meaty taste, but means buying less mince!
Think about food waste.
The average household with children in Britain throws out £700 of food a year. Which is bonkers. Soggy bags of salad you haven’t gotten round to opening, suspect looking carrots, potatoes growing their own potatoes, and chicken breasts with a slight green tinge…
No-one wants food poisoning, but there are 2 main ways of reducing the amount you throw out. Collecting your food waste and composting it can give your sad peelings an extra lease of life. There are compact and funky options available, or you can make your own. (This run down from experts Gardeners World will guide you through)
Meal planning before you shop (remembering to take the list with you) means you only buy what you’re planning to use. It also helps you branch out with your meal choices. There are plenty of clever apps to help with the process. Try Feel Better by Deliciously Ella for added vegan inspiration.
Your own personal spa should be a relaxing place. But for somewhere that is primed for self-care, there are a lot of unfriendly things packed in your cabinet. These 2 simple swaps will have Mother Nature smiling at you as you pluck your eyebrows!
Search for plastic-free packaging
Plastic is the real problem in this room. So much of our potions and creams come in ‘handy’ plastic bottles or wrappings. Great for us, but not so great for the planet. Take a look around and you’ll find toothpaste, shower gel, moisturiser, all sorts of things.
Thankfully, just as you can swap your can of antiperspirant for one of our plastic-free pots of deodorant, you can make easy swaps elsewhere. So many sustainable companies have brought out shampoo, shower gel, and conditioner in bars. Not only are they better for the environment, but they take up less room in your bathroom cabinet! If you’re already part of the cream deo crew, try truthpaste or Georganics for a fresh spin on another daily personal care essential.
For a huge selection of plastic free products, one of our favourite places to shop is Plastic Freedom
Plastic is a big deal, but what your products are made of can also make a difference. If you’re looking at easy swaps, then consider a subscription-based sustainable toilet paper company like Who Gives A Crap. No plastic wrapping, recycled paper or bamboo options, and rather witty packaging. All right up our street.
Ok, so you don’t have any control over the air conditioning, or the canteen offerings. But there are some simple ways you can change your office habits to bring a little more sustainability.
No, not like that…unless it’s particularly warm! The fashion industry is the biggest polluter in the world. It impacts greenhouse gas emissions, dumps microfibers in our oceans and uses insane amounts of water. Making one t-shirt, for example, uses the same amount of water as one person would need to drink in a year. Some companies are attempting to create more circular economies, but thinking about the impact of our office wear on the environment is a small way we can make a difference.
Rather than throw out all your suits, there are easier ways to start. Firstly, think about buying more clothes second hand. If trawling charity shops isn’t your thing then apps like Vinted and sites like Ebay are great places to find clothes with life left in them, and move on things you don’t wear anymore.
Steering clear of things that need dry cleaning is also a good idea. And think about the fabrics you’re choosing. Companies like Baukjen and Organic Basics are producing items in recycled and repurposed wool and cotton now. Modern shapes, with feel good production practises – what’s not to love?
Ditch the supermarket sandwiches
When you’re having a quick break from your desk, popping into M&S for a chicken caesar wrap can seem like the most efficient option. But you can eliminate the packaging (and deal with your food waste) by a little forward planning.
If you’ve taken our advice and worked out a meal plan, don’t forget to include lunch ideas. You can either pack up what was leftover from last night’s delicious dinner, or make something fresh. Investing in some bento boxes for your salads, or beeswax wraps for your BLT, significantly reduces the impact your lunch has on the planet. So you can munch away guilt-free.
So, there we have it, you don’t have to completely turn your life on it’s head in 2022. But, if you want a little upgrade, try out our 6 little changes to be more sustainable in 2022.
Make 2022 the year of ease and kindness.