7 resolutions for a more eco-friendly 2017

7 resolutions for a more eco-friendly 2017

The thing I hear most often from my friends, is that they would like to be more environmentally- friendly, but they don’t really know what to do or how they can make a difference in their day to day lives. For them – and for you – I have compiled a few practical steps towards having a more eco-friendly 2017, without having to live like an off-grid neanderthal. Whilst it might not be possible to do all of these things all of the time, keeping these ideas in mind for the next 12 months could add up to making a much bigger impact.

1. Eat more mussels

We all know that eating less meat is good for the planet, after all, a third of the earth’s available land is already used in the production of meat products – and that’s only going to get worse as the population grows. The worst offenders in terms of carbon footprint are beef and lamb, with chicken and pork faring much better – so it might be time to say goodbye to that steak for a while.

The greenest animal protein however, is the humble mussel – grown on lengths of rope hung beneath the surface of the sea, it takes relatively little energy to rear them and get them to our plates. They even have the added bonus of capturing carbon dioxide and locking it up in their shells. The result is that their carbon footprint is 20 times less than chicken, and 50 times less than beef.

Bring on the moules frites!

2. Buy a reusable coffee cup (and be sure to use it)

https://www.instagram.com/p/BNtd99hhp6a/?taken-by=hungrycityhippy

Most takeaway coffee cups aren’t recyclable, and take 100 years to break down in landfill. There are a few great coffee shops in Cardiff which use biodegradable cups, but I like to go one better; I’m in love with my fully reusable, ceramic Vera Wang cup – I get a compliment every time I use it. The only problem is, I keep leaving it in work. This year, I am setting a reminder on my phone to take it home every night, and another one to pack it again the next morning so there’s never an excuse for me to grab a takeaway coffee without it!

3. Go easy on the hipster food trends

Seems a funny one if I am encouraging you to eat less meat doesn’t it? Who doesn’t love avocado on toast – and surely it’s better than a bacon butty? Maybe not. Reports are coming in that our hipster obsession with foods like avocado and quinoa is causing havoc in the countries where they’re grown, as land is being illegally cleared to keep up with western demand. There are lots of so-called health foods causing problems, in fact. The answer? See below.

4. Eat more locally grown food

We never used to be able to eat blackberries year-round, for instance. But these days, we can get anything we want from the supermarket – they just ship it over from the other side of the world- but this causes problems like the one mentioned above. Reduce your carbon footprint by eating local, UK-grown food as much as possible and check out this article for more info on why.

5. Recycle in the office, not just at home

There are only a couple of recycling bins in my office (which irks me no end) but I always make a point of saving up my plastic packaging, cans and paper and walking across the office – rather than chucking it in the trash can next to my desk. Nag your bosses, office managers and whoever else you need to, and make sure you’ve got somewhere to recycle in work, you’ll be amazed how much packaging a few al-desko lunches can add up to.

6. Walk, bike,or run to work – or set up a car share

Swap the car for a journey on foot and you’ll get healthier whilst being green – what’s not to like? If you can’t quite manage that, see if you can car share with a colleague or two; you can take it in turns to pack the coffees in your new reusable cups!

6. Buy second hand, or share with your neighbours

Before you fork out for that brand new Ikea sideboard or games console, go online and search secondhand first. Using sites like eBay, Gumtree and Freecycle, you can track down furniture, appliances, clothes, bikes and other items, often cheaply and sometimes even for free!

Borrowing instead of buying is also a good idea – instead of purchasing new books and movies, share with your mates. Power tools and other appliances are also good to share, plus you’ll cut down on the number of barely-used appliances cluttering up your closet or garage.

7. Boycott excessive packaging

I ordered a lovely, organic t-shirt and some jewellery from Mango last week, and they arrived a few days later packed in three cardboard boxes and three cellophane bags. WAY TOO MUCH PACKAGING! I won’t be ordering from them again. Whether it’s fruit & veg, makeup, clothing or toiletries, stay away from brands who over package their products – in today’s world, it’s an increasingly irresponsible move.  And yes, that means pod-based coffee machines, too.

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16 Comments

  1. January 9, 2017 / 1:15 am

    Great reminders to everyone but please do not refer to certain foods as “hipster”… it’s offensive to the places these foods actually come from, and it really depends where you are in the world geographically if it is a sustainable food choice or not. Here in the US avocados are grown in California and are organic and are phenomenal choices for nutritional value… and to refer to it ( or any food for that matter) as a hipster food is just insulting, especially to the many Latino cultures that embrace the avocado as a dietary staple. Your point about eating locally is more important, and more universal.

    • January 9, 2017 / 9:46 am

      Hi EcoFeminist, thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment 🙂 I hope you can understand that as I am writing from the UK, I am referring to these foods as being considered as ‘hipster’ in this country, and not where they are from. The point I am trying to make is that just because a food is trendy, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to fly it halfway across the world and eat it twice a day. xx

  2. January 9, 2017 / 2:19 pm

    All great advice & simple too. Number 7 is on my list this year. I am vegetarian, and try to recycle, upcycle and pass on my/my kids things. I’m also on a great FB swapping page. But there’s always more to do!! #BlogReqNYPost

    • January 9, 2017 / 2:21 pm

      Thanks Vanessa, I’m in the middle of decorating my house so definitely going to be looking for some second hand gems! 🙂 xx

  3. January 9, 2017 / 3:09 pm

    These sound like great resolutions! I’m loving the idea of eating more mussels – I love them as it is and I didn’t even realise they were so green, that’s great to know and an awesome fact to pull out too 😀 We’re trying to focus more on recycling in our office this year too. We didn’t have a recycling option up until recently, so we’d started taking all the plastic bottles we were using to recycling bins nearby but it was taking a lot of time and effort, so we’ve invested in a big recycling bin now and are managing to use it so far 🙂

    • January 9, 2017 / 3:15 pm

      Thanks Sian! I know, I was so pleased to find out about mussels, going to post some mussel-based recipes soon I think! 😀 x

  4. January 13, 2017 / 9:00 am

    I like the idea of eating more mussels, definitely be following up on that. Should have some blackberries growing at our house soon, not sure we’ll get a crop this year. Also might be a while before the cherry tree we are growing from seed produces anything.
    Good tips, thanks.

    • January 13, 2017 / 9:17 am

      Thanks! I love picking blackberries every year, it reminds me of being a kid again 🙂 x

  5. January 13, 2017 / 3:56 pm

    Great resolutions – easy to implement! Thanks for the post!

    Rae
    Mindful Rambles

  6. January 23, 2017 / 7:23 pm

    Some really lovely eco-goals! I’m also in need of a new reusable travel mug – I got my eye on one at Matalan that’s made from recycled bamboo 🙂 #BlogReqNYPost

    • January 23, 2017 / 7:58 pm

      Thanks Manny – I like the sound of that bamboo mug! 😀 x

      • January 23, 2017 / 11:20 pm

        It comes in two designs too! One that says “I’m not a morning person” and the other a floral one 🙂

  7. January 27, 2017 / 4:50 pm

    This is such a great post. I’m always looking for ways to be more eco-friendly.

    • January 27, 2017 / 4:55 pm

      Thank you very much – I always feel like there’s so much we could all do on a small scale that would just add up to be huge! 🙂 x

  8. Jessica Williams
    February 25, 2017 / 5:30 pm

    If hipster is now an offensive term I think we should think about burning as many fossil fuels and drinking as many non-recyclable cups of coffee as possible to hasten the end of the world. F F bloody S. Get a life.

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