Did you know that we make 35,000 choices each day? It’s little wonder, then, that the number of changes and sacrifices we’re told to make in order to limit our footprints on the natural world can seem so endless.
We’re full of admiration for those who have adopted a vegan diet, or pledged never to fly again – but we’ve come to the realisation that there are more realistic, manageable steps that, if taken by the majority, will make an immeasurable difference in tackling the climate crisis.
Whether it’s reusing more, or using less, where we choose to shop, or how often we enjoy a joint of meat, here are our top achievable steps to living more sustainably.
If there’s one thing that the travel restrictions of the pandemic have taught us, it’s that we’ll never again take for granted the options we have on our doorsteps. The normality of mass tourism and the opportunities to explore incredible parts of the world has led us to forget just how magical the UK can be – and you can enjoy it without the carbon emissions of a flight. From discovering London’s Hackney Marshes for the first time (who knew there was space for cows to graze anywhere in the capital?), to hiking the Yorkshire Dales, the past year’s been all about appreciating what we have at our fingertips – so what if we all substituted one trip abroad each year for something closer to home?
We love Kip Hideaways for their pick of ‘small places with soul’, a range of boutique huts and cottages to stay in across the British Isles. Take a look at Hinterlandes too for their off the grid Scandi-style cabin in the Lake District.
Aiming for more vegetarian food throughout the week is the place to start – try ordering a fruit and veg box to inspire you. If you want to feel particularly virtuous, we’d recommend Oddbox – their beautiful produce is rescued surplus from farms that would otherwise go to waste. Riverford Organics are one of the original fruit and veg box pioneers, with unparalleled organic produce grown and delivered from their farm in Devon.
[We are blessed in Amazingstoke (how we at the Heart & Compass refer to Basingstoke) to have Northdown Orchard Farm on our doorstep. Mike Fisher is a genius of organic agriculture. We appreciate plastic-free packaging and that perishable salads and veg are picked and delivered the same day. It does not get fresher than that].
Limiting fish and meat consumption as a treat rather than the norm results in tastier Sunday roasts and trips to our favourite restaurants. When you do eat meat, look to source it from your local butcher (where they can provide more details on the quality and sustainability of the produce) or from the likes of the Ethical Butcher, who support regenerative agriculture and source grass-fed, organic produce to be delivered direct to your door.
Whilst fashion houses are cottoning on to the need to produce clothes more sustainably, the true fault lies in our over consumption of clothes and propensity to treat items as disposable – in other words, fast-fashion. The solution is to choose quality over quantity, and only buy what we really need.
Try shopping at charity shops – likely to be heaving with choice after all the lockdown clear outs – or exploring the new world of fashion rental. Onloan and Hurr Collective are both recommended platforms with beautiful ranges of designer items that you can rent at a fraction of the price.