12 QUICK SUSTAINABLE WINS
For me, making sustainable changes is all about 'chunking it down'.
1st picking an area you want to focus on -whether that's food, or fashion, or plastics, or something else.
And then picking ONE thing, one action, one change you want to make THIS WEEK.
To help you get started here are 12 ideas for 'quick wins' that you can put into action pretty much straight away - which one will you do this week?!
1) Making Do
Pick an area you want to focus on - it could be food, or clothes, or maybe even your craft stash.
Do a quick inventory to take stock, and then set yourself a challenge of how long you can 'make do' and not shop for - you could aim for a month of only shopping for fruit/veg/milk, or how about year without buying any new clothes (I did this in 2016 and it was a real eye-opener!)
Do a stock take of your cupboards and fridge, and put together a meal plan for the week. Think about how you can use up any leftovers, or cook cannily - for example if I'm making a white sauce, I will always make double and then use it again later on in the week.
If you have school aged children, then you will undoubtedly face the challenge of birthday parties and what to take as a gift.
This is my ultimate quick win:
Take a 100g bar of fair-trade chocolate and melt, then use a teaspoon to dollop chocolate onto a baking sheet and smoosh it out into giant chocolate buttons. Add sprinkles to the top and leave to set, then package up in a cleaned out jam jar (there might even be some spare, for testing purposes, obvs...!)
Set aside some time to go through your wardrobe. Make 3 piles: one of the keepers, the things you love and wear again and again; one of anything that no longer fits or that you no longer like (to go to the charity shop); and one of anything that needs mending and repairing.
Look at what you have and think about how you can mix and match different combinations to give you 'new' outfits.
5) Mending and Repair
Get a box and put in it all those things that are scattered around the house that need mending.
Then tackle just one - you will be amazed how little time it takes you and will wonder why you put it off for so long!
Could you swap your energy supplier for a renewable tariff?
It always feels like a very intimidating thing to do, but is actually a really smooth process (in my experience) and is one thing you can do that really will make a huge difference to your carbon footprint, all in less than half an hour!
Check out Ecotricity or Good Energy if you're in the UK.
The big three single use plastic bad guys are plastic bags, plastic bottles, and straws.
And they are so easily combatted!
Make sure you have your re-usable bags, your re-usable bottles, and either just ditch the straws, or check out some of the alternatives (you can get bamboo, stainless steel and even glass straws)
8) Travel and transport
Have a car free day - take public transport, bike or walk.
Could you commit to one car free day a week?
Take a peek in your bin - what makes up most of it's contents?
Is it food waste? Is it plastic?
What ONE thing could you do to start to make progress on it?
10) Body and Soul
Ditch the body moisturiser, the night time cream, the day time cream, the aftershave balm (all in plastic bottles) for one magic solution - coconut oil!
But be aware, not all coconut oils are created equal, and some really aren't especially stainable - I use this one from Lucy Bee.
With Christmas just gone, it might feel a little strange to be gearing up for it again already, but don't ditch those Christmas cards - cut them up and make them into gift tags or cards ready for next year. Just think how smug you'll feel next year when you pull them out all ready to go!
How and where can you find the support that you need to keep you motivated and to keep you going?
Lots of you will already be in my big A Sustainable Life FB community which is a brilliant resource and a great place to connect with like-minded people.
For anyone who would love a bit of extra support and all the resources they need in one place, my new membership community, the Sustainable Living Hub, might be what you've been looking for.
Phew! That turned into a bit of an epic blog post - don't feel overwhelmed and try to do ALL the things today!
Pick ONE thing to do today, and schedule in the others over the next few weeks. The key is to chunk it all down and keep taking baby steps forwards.
Leave a comment below to let me know what you're going to do first!