It’s about that time of year when we reflect on what we achieved / didn’t last year and look forward to making plans for the coming year!
I’m one of those people who need to have goals to reach for, so New Years resolutions are definitely my bag.
This year mine are focused around taking care of my well-being and sustainability.
If you’re looking for some inspiration for your new year sustainability goals, I’ve pulled together some ideas for you!
Switch to a 100% renewable energy supplier
Changing your energy suppliers to 100% renewable energy is one of THE quickest and easiest ways to dramatically reduce your carbon footprint and environmental impact.
I’m with Bulb and they are the cheapest energy supplier for my area (Bristol) that also happen to be 100% renewable! Here’s a link for money off when you sign up!
Remember to bring your reusables with you
According to Hububb, over 2/3 of people in the U.K. own a reusable cup, but only 5% of customers in coffee chain Starbucks actually bring their reusable mug with them. So next time your heading out, remember to grab your reusables!
Buy your clothes second hand
The fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters on the planet. It accounts for 10% of all green house gas emissions and emits more than the shipping and aviation industry COMBINED!
It’s estimated that globally, the equivalent of one rubbish truck full of textiles is land filled / burned every second.
I’ll just let that sink in…
I now buy virtually all of my clothes second hand now (bar undies, socks and swimwear) and bloody love it. One of my favourite things to do is when you’re in a new town stop off and have a look in the charity shops, you never know what gems you may find!
Have a read of my blog on ‘How to shop sustainably’ for more info and my golden rules when shopping second hand. Link to the blog here – https://simplysustainable.home.blog/2019/04/27/how-to-shop-sustainably/
Join a sustainable Facebook group & follow some new accounts that will continue to inspire you to
I find my Instagram and Facebook accounts keep me inspired to continue making sustainable changes in my life.
Instagram is FULL of inspiration and goals. Some of my favourite accounts to follow are The Homely Haven, Weekend Wanderlust and Hubbub. Messaging accounts you love for advice on a change you’re about to make is always welcome too! People start these accounts to engage and inspire, its great to let them know you’re there!
Facebook groups are a great place to meet like minded people and ask questions or for recommendations if you’re trying something new. Try searching for “zero waste” / “plastic free *insert your area here*” to see what local groups you can join. If there are no groups, why not try setting one up and encourage local people yourself!
Try some beauty and cleaning DIYs
Making your own products at home can reduce the amount you need to rely on single use packaged products as well as saving you money along the way!
Here are my favourite DIYs that are super effective and easy to make.
Here are some of my favourite DIYs
Fabric conditioner – https://simplysustainable.home.blog/2019/03/24/diy-scented-fabric-conditioner
Change your bank to one that aligns with your Environmental standards
The money in your bank doesn’t just it there. By having an account you’re entrusting your money to your bank to invest in what it sees is a financial benefit to them. One of the easiest ways for banks to guarantee to make a return on investment money is to invest in fuels.. not ideal if you’re trying your best to be more environmentally conscious…
Almost all of the high street banks are investing people’s money in fossil fuels. Triodes and Monzo are some of the banks you can use that do not invest your money in fossil fuels. Have a look here for more **link here to banks**
Take public transport and walk more
You can really help to reduce your carbon footprint by walking and taking public transport for short journey s rather than driving your car.
For longer journeys try and plan in advance and take the train. I’ve started using sits like split ticketing this year and they have saved me so much money on tickets!
My goal is to take a holiday by train rather than flying this summer and try to get the train skiing rather than flying to the alps.
Be a green champion!
Talking about what you’re doing to be more environmentally conscious is be one of the best ways encourage others to reduce their impact.
When people see how easy it was for you to make a change, they may well be inspired to make the change too! Being open to talking to people about your changes and answering questions they may have you are helping more than you think.
You could start a Green Team in your work to encourage your colleagues to be more eco conscious or even start to write a blog / a social media account and share your passions and experiences even further!
Start shopping plastic free – where possible
This can be a tough one.
I’m very lucky and live in an area where I have access to multiple plastic free shops (like Preserve and Scoop Wholefoods) as well as a very reasonably priced pop-up loose green grocers and a free range butcher that encourages people to bring their own containers.
However, the butcher had never given someone their meat in a Tupperware container before I asked, now they actively encourage it. The veg man usually makes a joke about my containers and dodgy bags for life but has come to see it as normal now.
What I’m saying is, be the person who brings their container and asks to have it without the packaging, you never know, you could be the one to start that chain reaction to start a BYO scheme.
Start getting your milk delivered
Another great way to reduce your plastic is to sign up for a milk delivery scheme.
I use Milk & More and still haven’t quite gotten over the excitement of opening the door to milk bottles! It’s like Father Christmas has been, I love it.
I have also moved my office team over to using glass bottle milk now. I am the milk lady, I ask for a set amount from everyone each month and bring in the milk each week from home. It’s saved sooo many plastic bottles from being wasted as well as helping to support a local dairy!
Start using your local community fridge
This is one of my green 2020 goals! When I move house I hope to start running a community fridge!
If you’ve never heard of them before, a community fridge is a great and simple way of sharing food within your community that would have gone to waste.
The average UK family wastes £810 a year by throwing away food and drink, and £3 billion is wasted by food sectors.
Hububb started the first community fridge in Derbyshire in 2016 and has since seen 80 more start since!
Have a look on the Hubbub Website for more information on where your local fridge is located, how to get involved and how you can set up your own!
Wash out your recycling
Did you know, recycling that still contains food can result in a whole lorry load of material being sent to landfill?!
Waste cardboard or paper that is contaminated with food can start to rot and decompose before it even gets to the recycling facility. Once it has started to mould it is no longer able to be recycled and that mould can spread quickly and spoil an entire load.
When plastic containers still contain food they are also not able to be recycled.
Plastic is sorted into different grades (that have different melting temperatures) by optical lasers that detect the plastic density and weight.
When a plastic bottle of ketchup still contains ketchup, it changes the weight and the optical lasers are unable to detect the dentistry, meaning it’s discarded and usually just incinerated.
Also, recycling is usually stored in an open air transfer station before being bulked up to be recycled. When the recycling is covered in food it can attract animals to site that can get injured by the material / vehicles that are used on site..
It also smells really bad. Just wash it out..
Pick up litter, as often as you can
This is one of my 2020 goals this year. Pick up some litter every time I go for a walk or a run.
Little and often can make a very big difference. Especially of you walk a particular route regularly.
You could also arrange a litter pick in your local area. Contact your local council for a litter picking set to make sure you’re doing it safely and with the right equipment.
I hope this list has inspired you to make some environmental changes for good this year.
Let me know your Sustainable 2020 goals in the comments below!
Thanks for reading.