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Eco Resolutions? Remember – small steps can make a BIG difference.

So we’re well into January now, how are you getting on with your new year’s resolutions?

I learnt a long time ago not to make huge sweeping, life-changing resolutions, because I NEVER stick to them or complete them and inevitably feel like a total failure!
Instead, I consider what I’d really love to achieve (weight loss/exercise goals/learning a new skill) and use January to think about the small steps I can take that will move me towards that goal. So instead of declaring “I will get super-fit this year!” I simply decide “I will plan to walk with a friend at least once a week” Much more positive and achievable, and a step towards my fitness goal.

We can apply this same method to our zero-waste journeys. Whilst it is very laudable to declare “I will be Plastic-Free in 2022!” it’s bloody hard work and a lot of pressure. What if you get caught short with a thirsty child and have to buy a bottle of water? Are you going to feel awful guilt and like a failure?
Start with one thing. For example “I will take a reusable water bottle to the office with me each day.” You can add to your plastic-free changes step by step, revisiting it monthly perhaps.
Here are ten small, easy eco-friendly steps you could take in 2022:

  1. Take a reusable water bottle and/or coffee cup to work with you each day.
  2. Treat yourself to a reusable sandwich bag or lunch box.
  3. Find your local refill shop and buy one product from them to see if refill shopping could work for you.
  4. Switch to toilet cleaning bombs rather than a bottled cleaner.
  5. Buy second-hand clothes.
  6. Switch to soap bars and/or shampoo bars.
  7. Switch to toothpaste tablets, or a paste in a jar rather than a plastic tube.
  8. Make sure you always have your reusable shopping bags in the car for the supermarket shop.
  9. Buy loose fruit and veg, rather than those in plastic packaging.
  10. Use compostable cleaning cloths, rather than microfibre ones.

Of course, you can do them all – and more – if you like, but don’t feel that you MUST DO EVERYTHING in order to be a perfect environmentally-friendly human!

I truly believe that any, and all, small actions completed with positivity, kindness and empathy have the power to change the world – whether that is a smile, a favour done for a friend or taking your reusable cup to the coffee shop.

As chef Anne-Marie Bonneau said “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”

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