Jan 19, 2018

New Year, New Habits - Guest blog

Words by Sarah Hayes

As much as bellies can be stubborn, 800 page novels tiresome and running shoes bizarrely uneconomical, New Year’s resolutions often become stale and melancholic chores.

Not helping our wobbly commitment to self-improvement, the entry itself into 2018 nodded towards a dystopian Philip K. Dick style setting; dangerously comical world leaders, cities choked by smog, oxygen decreasing in our oceans and the ever more dominant climate change unleashing hellish weather. So, why suffer under your own hand of grueling self-discipline when there are urgent environmental resolutions so blatantly required from us all? It’ll not only guarantee a warm sense of accomplishment straight away, your planet and bank account will thank you for it, dearly.

Grow your own!

Food packaging alone accumulates a whopping 30% of Britain's carbon footprint. Becoming self-sufficient to grow your own vegetables, fruit and herbs is not as hard as it sounds. There is no need to have any country farm know-how, just a willpower to refuse to buy vegetables, fruits and herbs cocooned in plastic.

In addition to avoiding paying for unnecessary packaging and learning a vital life skill, you’ll have the perfect excuse to unleash your inner Gordon Ramsey and experiment with fresh recipes and cooking banter.

Venture to libraries

Paper waste is guilty of populating 26% of worldwide landfills. It requires more water to manufacture than any other industry per ton of product. Our spending sprees on Amazon for tantalizingly cheap and new books are no good for the planet despite it being good for our brains and literacy.

There’s nothing cheaper than a free library book. With the time restriction often given, you could find you’re motivated to actually finish it! And no worries if the book turns out dull, the decision didn’t cost you anyway.

You can find your local library here.

Drive less

Is there a need to drive to work when most of what you experience is inconvenience? Air pollution blurs our cities in a toxic bubble; in England alone, it is the cause of 250,000 related deaths a year. Re-considering if your journey needs the kerfuffle of traffic, scarce parking spaces and costly ticket machines, could save petrol as well as incorporate more walking in your daily routine- so it’s definitely cheaper and less humiliating than joining the gym.

Ostracize plastic

This can be easier said than done. Especially in times of need during hot summer days when plastic bottles glisten in shop fridges. Treat yourself instead with a nifty glass, metal or even copper liquid container and soon enough it’ll be your trusty travel companion you couldn’t leave home without.

What may be a surprise to some is that even our beloved teabags contain plastic and have always been feeding into our landfills like all other harmful plastic waste. Along with your new container, a convenient and always cheap tea infuser would be handy to keep close by. Besides, loose tea leaves makes for a stronger and richer-tasting brew than tea bags anyway...

Simply by being aware of your daily use of plastic will serve to get you into the habit of making your own life hacks to avoid plastics and all of its unnecessary single-use inventions.

You don’t have to face the misery of our frail planet with a doom and gloom attitude. It’s more enjoyable and, therefore, maintainable if you get creative with it! Invest in kooky flower pots and containers with longer life spans than your reading attention, start a book club, dust off your bicycle, impress hipsters in Starbucks by refusing your plastic cup and using your own stainless-steel reusable straw. Whatever you decide to do, keep it fun to keep it an all year, happy ever after routine.

By Sarah Hayes

Easy. Smart.
Green.

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