Tuesday 18th January 2022
Small positive acts can make a big difference to the planet. All it takes is a few simple lifestyle changes and suddenly you’ve reduced your impact and unlocked a better future. From what you buy and where you shop to how you spend your time; it can all make a difference.
Here the brightest minds in sustainability reveal some everyday switches that you can make. Simple, quick and easy, it’s a little inspiration to revitalise your life and rejuvenate the planet.
Tips from Lizzie Rivera
Switch your energy supplier
We all now know carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas responsible for global warming. But, did you know that heating our homes accounts for about a third of the greenhouse emissions produced on UK soil?
Generating our own renewable energy with solar panels or changing to a renewable energy supplier has a huge impact on our individual carbon footprint. But, some renewable energy companies invest in creating more renewable energy. Some fossil fuel companies that offer renewable energy tariffs use the profits from the tariffs to invest more in fossil fuels. So do your research; Which? and Ethical Consumer have independent rankings for the best renewable energy companies.
I can’t say this with enough emphasis – sustainability isn’t about sacrifice. It’s about embracing life, loving each other and appreciating the beauty in our planet. This is so important because we protect what we love.
Tips from Kalkidan Legesse
Really understand what you have now, get to know your clothes, your furniture your drawers full of barely used things. Get it all organised (this time of year is perfect for doing so). Sell what you don’t use on platforms like Shwap or Ebay. Donate items and recycle the rest.
Plan your style
Moodboard the style you want (for interiors or your personal wardrobe), use pinterest or simply take screenshots of what you like and draw up a style you want. Now compare what you actually have to what you want. The difference is your shopping list.
Consider your shopping habits
Shop small, find small businesses or creators near you online or on the high street. When shopping ask yourself was the person who made this item paid fairly? Will I use it more than 30 times, when I have finished using it will I be able to resell or recycle it? If you feel comfortable with all of the answers, buy it.
Tips from Lucy Williamson
You are what you eat
People often don’t think about sustainability in terms of their own health and wellbeing, but if you are what you eat, it stands to reason that the healthier the food you put in, the better you’ll feel. Nature-positive farming, like organic and regenerative, which ensures healthy soils, which drive our health via our food. Natural foods, farmed organically and kinder to the planet, are richer in microbes and lacking in the chemical components which can disrupt the natural flora and fauna of the gut, therefore kinder to you. Connecting with these food producers directly, bypassing food supply chains for less processed food, ensures better returns to farmers and their communities for a sustainable rural economy.
Go with your gut
There are 100 billion microbes in your gut and they are key for a long, healthy life. The best way to look after them is by sourcing and eating real, nutrient-rich food and making sure you have plenty of fibre from a variety of veg, fruit, grains, pulses and seeds for natural prebiotic. Probiotic, gut friendly foods are those with natural cultures present, like milk and yogurt; other fermented foods for natural probiotics are Cheese, Kefir, Kombucha, Kimchi and Sourdough.
Spend time in nature
Science is showing that time spent in nature, up close with our land also benefits our gut health because healthy soils provide many of the same microbes as in our own gut! In general, being outside and connecting with the natural world, plants, insects, birds and bees has a positive effect on our overall mental health and wellbeing.
Tips from Tom White
Create your own compost
Home-made compost is a fantastic way of recycling plant material, feeding plants, soil life and locking carbon back into the ground. Keep your veg peelings, apple cores, banana skins and mouldy fruit – when added to a compost bin they will mulch down over time, encouraging worms, woodlice and insects to digest the food and create a pile of nutrient rich compost to spread on your soil. The best way to speed up your compost is to have a 50 / 50 split of green and brown waste including paper and cardboard, which is also a great way to recycle your waste.
Make a wormery
Whether you have a garden or not, you can build your own wormery using a glass jar and watch how soil and the worms and organisms that live in it can turn old vegetable peelings into compost which will be perfect to grow some vegetables yourself! Worms can eat a HUGE variety of things including cooked food scraps, fruit and vegetable peelings, tea leaves, coffee grounds, egg shells, bread, pasta and rice.
Switch your everyday purchases to organic ones
If you’re on a mission to make a difference, a really simple step you can make is to swap out your current groceries, like milk, cheese and yogurt, with organic alternatives and buy grass-fed meat, little and often – the grazing of plants by animals has a major, positive impact on climate change by cycling more carbon out of the atmosphere and putting it into the soil. By choosing to buy organic, grass fed, high-quality meat, you can have a positive impact on the environment.