This year we have come up with seven easy ways to improve your carbon footprint by focusing on things to add into our lives instead of having to give anything up.

1. Food

Inspiration: Deliciously Ella

In 2024, focus on adding in more in-season vegetables, beans and interesting new grains – anyone heard of millet? By doing this, you will naturally shift the balance towards a more eco-friendly diet without feeling like you’re missing out on anything. And it’ll be tasty too!

Start off with: Buying a locally-sourced vegetable you haven’t had before, or choosing a tasty plant-based meal out.

A father and son are cooking a vegetable curry together

2. Travel

We all like holidays. But this year, why not add in a week’s holiday at home? A week where you say no to non-essential chores, and you commit to exploring the nearby area, trying local food and going to places you haven’t been to before. It might just mean one fewer flight or long journey. If you feel like you’ve exhausted your local area, how about a house swap with a friend?

Start off with: Researching days out close to you, new local walks and independent eateries that you haven’t been to before.

3. Growing

Inspiration: Rehka Garden Kitchen;

In 2024, grow more things. If you have house plants, take cuttings from them and turn them into tiny new plants to give as presents, or to add to your own personal collection. If you have somewhere outside you can grow some vegetables; or a windowsill you can grow tomatoes on, do that. The perfect time of year to get started with sowing seeds is March; so try to get a plan together beforehand. 

If you’re limited with space, vertical growing is a great option. You could choose to grow a variety of herbs that are not only beautiful, they smell amazing and add so much flavour to your foods. They can easily be frozen or dried for colder months.

Finally, home composting can help you to reduce your waste, and provides a lot of nutrients for home grown plants, saving you money on enriched soils.

Start off with: Chatting with a green-fingered friend and buying the seeds that they have had the most luck with.

a gardener pulls carrots out of the ground.

4. Shopping

This year, go to more shops. That doesn’t mean buying more, it means buying what you need from a wider variety of businesses and organisations. Doing this will directly support local people, shift the wealth away from huge companies that really don’t need it (sometimes with questionable sustainability and ethical practices), and keep transportation of goods lower too.

Start off with: Walking along your local high street and buying something you need from an independent shop – like a greengrocers or bakery perhaps.  

5. Fashion

Inspiration: Eva Millicentt; Mr Panesar Archived

This year, buy clothes that you’re going to love and keep. But commit to doing it through second hand stores like Depop, Vinted, Ebay, Facebook Marketplace or charity shops. You can search for incredibly specific terms, brands and sizes; and inevitably find a low-carbon bargain that’s perfect for you. This is particularly helpful if you have little people you need to dress, who often grow out of clothes while there is still a lot of life left in them.

Start off with: Creating a profile on a second-hand clothes app and having a good browse through some of your favourite brands.

6. Exercise

This year, explore more on two legs or two wheels. Get outside and enjoy nature, it’s incredibly good for our mental and physical wellbeing. And if your extra excursions happen to be journeys you might otherwise have taken in the car, it’s good for your carbon footprint too.

Start off with: Getting outside on your lunch break a couple of times a week.   

A retired couple go for a winter walk.

7. Health and hygiene

In 2024, could you add in some eco-friendly health, hygiene and beauty products? Here are some of our team’s favourite brands.

Wild: A fully sustainable deodorant with a reusable aluminium case and fresh-smelling refills.
Smol: Laundry detergent, dishwasher tablets and household cleaning sprays, delivered in tablet form.
Faith in Nature: Sustainable shampoo, conditioner, soap and bodywash, refillable at local shops.
Estrid: Razors for all, with reusable steel handle and replacement blades, which are posted via a subscription service in recyclable cardboard packaging. All transportation is climate-compensated.
Brushd: Recyclable electric toothbrush heads that are compatible with major electric toothbrush brands, just post used heads back to them in the pre-paid compostable envelope.
Naked Sprout: Unbleached bamboo toilet roll, kitchen roll and tissues.

Start off with: Swapping out one item that isn’t working for you, or heading to your local refill station to top up your existing containers.

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