So, I’m supposed to be writing about living a more sustainable lifestyle.
It’s taken forever to put pen to paper, so to speak. There’s always something else to do. Though who am I kidding, I spend most of my time down a rabbit hole, on the internet, or on social media. I also have three kids and a tiny shambolic house to run, but that’s not really relevant.
2020 was a stressful and unsettling year for many of us. It’s exposed social inequalities, increased anxiety and mental illness. And for many, high-lighted the environmental emergency.
During the first lockdown, social media was full of hopes of a different kind of normal, of tangible change, when all of this was over. Be kind to each other, love the NHS. Look to buying and supporting local businesses. ( Apart from people stockpiling loo roll, what was that about??!)
The second lockdown has felt edgier. The weather is bad, we’ve been forced into tiered areas.
An ennui has set in.
And then I was living in the no-mans land that is the week between Christmas and New Year. I was half woman, half cheese. Routine had slipped to zero. Which led me to thinking about New Years resolutions.
I’m not usually a fan of New Years resolutions. Though I’ve participated in Dry January, in general I can’t commit to long term goals at the beginning of the year, when it’s cold and dark outside and I just wanna eat comfort food.
Maybe it needs a rebrand. It totally needs a makeover..
Who knows what will happen in 2021?
All I know is that I am resolved to keep on keepin on.
So, for all you eager people out there that love to see new year as a clean slate, here are some tips to starting your own green journey. They aren’t anything radically new, but they are a good way of revisiting what we already know. Don’t feel any pressure to fulfil them all. We can do this.. one step at a time.
Happy New Year.
Easy Green Lifestyle Changes
- Only buy food you know you will eat.
Make a meal planner, or if you are like me, just get skilled enough to Chuck random stuff in a pan and eat it. Make life a little interesting 😀
- Dump fast fashion.
The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of annual carbon emissions. But second hand, online or in charity shops or not at all.
Have a capsule wardrobe. Try swishing… and no, that isn’t as dodgy as it sounds!
3. Switch to Renewables.
Switching to a green energy supplier has never been easier. Just make sure to check they use 100% green energy for electricity. Some of these companies even offer you money to switch or money to refer a friend. Check the web for comparisons.
Also think about the temperature on your home thermostat, try to keep it around 18C.
- Eat less meat.
This can be a difficult one. But if you are a meat eater, try to have at least 3 meatless days a week. Not only is it better for the environment, it’s better your health and better for your pocket.
- Cut down on your consumption of single use plastic.
Buy loose veg if you have a local market, take containers to your local stores and seek out your local refill stores. Write to companies that use lots of single use plastic and ask them to find alternatives. Write to your MP and demand they represent you in lobbying for change in the retail sector.
- Support your local economy.
Buy from local businesses and talk to them. Local businesses will able to have more control over what they sell and who they use in their supply chains.
- DO NOTHING
That is to say, the best way to be environmentally kind is have days when we don’t use the car, turn the tv off, take a day off having a day out. Read a book (you don’t even need to buy a book, you can join your local library), run about in the garden, if you have one. You could start a diary. Walk with a local friend and have a chat (subject to covid, obviously).
We don’t need to be consuming all the time.
These might feel like huge changes, but little by little they will become part of your life. Being green isn’t just good for the environment, it can very often be the frugal option. Better for your pocket, better for you.
Good luck, guys!