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Eight ways to incorporate sustainability in 2024

Updated: Jan 4




Christmas is over, and you still have Mariah Carey's song 'All I Need for Christmas Is You' playing in your mind repeatedly. And you still have Christmas decorations hung up, desperately holding onto that magical festive feeling.

Although the harsh reality is that Christmas is over, some of us are fiercely pushing positivity and keen to enter 2024 with New Year resolutions, vegan intentions and hopes not to drink for a month to take on Dry January. But with this new determination, we should also consider being slightly more sustainable...


So, hear me out: if you are already dabbling with the idea of being vegan or not drinking, you are already contributing to a greener future. Did you know that 'in the UK, Veganuary has helped drive a mass shift in consumer habits? 'Over the last two years, meat-free shoppers have increased by 6.5% and one in four now identify as flexitarian.' so something is working. This is one step closer to reducing carbon emissions.


And if you take on Dry January, it has so many health benefits. Did you know that according to Alcoholchange.org, 70% of participants have better sleep and 66% have more energy?


It's evident that January is the time for a change and trying something different will benefit you and your environment.


So let's explore ways to help you save money, live healthier and improve the environment around you. Where do I start, you say! Don't worry, we're going to give you eight New Year resolutions that you can consider this year:


1. No waste


You're now getting ready to pack up all the glittery, shiny, red and green decorations. But before you do that, it's worth identifying the ones that you 'don't want' anymore and creating a plan of action because throwing them in the bin is not an option. According to The Business Waste, waste generated at Christmas rises by 30% compared to the waste created during the rest of the year. People tend to throw away decorations, wrapping paper and leftovers. However, instead of 'throwing' it away, think of ways to repurpose/reuse or recycle.

• Repurpose & Reuse – Can you fix your decorations or consider a DIY project during the year? Don't throw it out; think of innovative ways to keep decorations.

• Recycle - If you have unwanted presents or decorations, give them to a charity shop or go to a recycling plant where you can separate textiles and plastic waste properly.


2. Put your mental health first - more nature and friends/family days

Most of us lead a busy life of constantly juggling work and our personal life, and the pressure to be perfect through social media takes its toll. In 2024, let's make a change and put you and your family first. More 'you' days, more walks in nature and more family time. The Mental Health Foundation said that nature can help with depression and anxiety, but even if you can't get out, watching nature documentaries is good for our mental health.


3. Continue Veganuary into the year


Of course, participating in Veganuary helps the environment as less energy slows down meat production, ultimately reducing unnecessary carbon dioxide entering our atmosphere. It's also worth saying that being vegan improves health. There are many health benefits, from losing weight to lowering the risk of heart disease, so why stop at the end of January? Continue the goodness! If it is difficult, why not incorporate being vegan once or twice a week? Doing this is a great way to contribute to a better future.


4. Grow a plant or two or three...


Have you ever thought of growing your herbs and food? Why don't you give it a try this year? Plants are essential to our survival on planet Earth and hold other benefits, including absorbing carbon dioxide and providing oxygen, homes and food. Unfortunately, due to consumerism, some of us have lost the need to produce our food. Growing our food helps us reduce our carbon footstep and obtain a healthier diet.


Although the weather outside may be frightful, this is the perfect opportunity to sow seeds. You can sow various seeds this winter, including salad greens, radishes, carrots, onions, Swiss chard, English peas and kale. Check out our gardening kits or gardening tips page for more information or even give a go at the Garden Patch, the ideal gardening kit for kids.


5. Less plastic and more recycling


Plastic is a nasty business! It's everywhere and even in you. Yup, plastic has found its way to your bloodstream and cells. National Geographic reported that in 2022, scientists found tiny plastic particles in living humans, including inside the lungs and blood. We must stop producing and buying plastic to prevent microplastic from worsening. This year, pledge to reduce the amount of plastic you purchase. This includes avoiding food with single-use plastic packaging and purchasing plastic bottles and balloons at celebrations.

Also, add recycling to your life. Recycle plastic and seek items that can be recycled or originated from recyclable materials. If you need help identifying how to recycle packaging make sure you look at the labels. The RecycleNow website helps you understand the recycling labels, you can check them out here: https://www.recyclenow.com/how-to-recycle/recycling-symbols


6. Shop preloved



Fast fashion is responsible for about 10% of global carbon emissions and disrupts ecosystems worldwide. So opting for preloved fashion is a great way to help. Purchasing slow fashion utilises the clothes that have been produced and slows down the production of new clothing.

We know it can be hard to change habits, especially when we are tempted daily by new trends and celebrities, so try visiting a charity shop at least once a month. Shopping around for slow fashion can save you money, but you may also grab a treasure for a cheap price!


7. Change your usual shopping habits!

Most of us visit our convenience store on autopilot. We make a list in our heads, on phones or paper, and then hop in our cars. Requesting for you to change a process you have done for years is complex as shopping habits are ingrained in your mind. But one step at a time can slowly help you embed better habits. Here are three simple steps:

• Remember your reusable shopping and fruit/veg bags; avoid purchasing brand-new bags.

• Walk to the shop or take public transport.

• Buy local to support local farmers and businesses

Implement small, simple steps to change the way you shop for the better.



8. Learn, create and inspire


Sustainability is overwhelming. There is so much misleading but also factual information; it takes a lot of work to figure out what is true and what is fake. We suggest gathering a list of trusted sources, websites, people, or organisations. One way to identify credible sources is by looking for information that uses research confirmed by scientists approved by UNs, universities and scientific institutions. Most analysis is based on extensive scientific insights. Here are five sites we trust:

UN

• Your local government

WWF


Once you gather all the insights, create awareness with your friends and family and inspire others to make changes, too.


If this article inspired you, share this with family and friends to kick start their new year!

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