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Sustainable living ideas for the new year

A young girl planting flowers in her garden
The new year is a time of reflection for many, with a lot of us setting personal goals and resolutions for the year ahead. One area which many of us are looking to make a change in is how we impact the environment.

Here at Calor, we’re no different and lots of our colleagues have been looking to see what we can do to help combat climate change by living a more sustainable life in 2021.
We’ve pulled together a series of simple changes we can all consider as we aim to reduce our impact upon the environment we live in. We’ve also shared some examples of how some of our Calor team are committing to these changes.

Skip the drive to work, and get those legs moving:

Although many of us are working from home at the moment, once it is safe to do so, aiming to walk or cycle to work if you’re able to, rather than taking the car is a great place to start. Not only will you be cutting down on carbon emissions by not driving, but the exercise is beneficial for both your physical and mental wellbeing.

Liz Wright, HR Coordinator, mentions how not driving has benefited her lifestyle: “Prior to COVID-19, I’d already stopped using my car to travel to work. Instead, I got the train and walked to the office. I really enjoyed not sitting in traffic, as well as starting my day off with some exercise. It has also given me more time to think and leaves me with a positive attitude which carries on through the rest of my workday.”

Susanne Rose, Corporate Responsibility Manager, mentions how starting to cycle has benefitted her whole family: “I’ve started riding my bicycle for the first time in years. It’s an activity I enjoy with my family and it has helped me enormously with my overall fitness and wellbeing.”

Cut back on plastic packaging by growing your own food:

A lot of supermarkets are still selling their fruit and vegetables with excess plastic wrapping. For those who have the space, making a vegetable patch in your garden is a great way to avoid throwing away more plastic, as well as providing you with the immense satisfaction of eating your home-grown produce. If you don’t have a big enough garden for a vegetable patch, you can look to grow smaller fruit or vegetables on your windowsill such as chillies, tomatoes, or juicy raspberries.

Lucy Harmer, Sales and Customer Service Trainer, had great fun growing her own veg at home. She said: “This year I planted my own runner beans and took great delight in picking them freshly from the garden. I love cooking and buy organic food and Fairtrade products wherever possible, I’ve also setup a compost bin in the kitchen.”

Liz Wright, HR Coordinator, was already growing a variety of foods in her home but has extended this into her garden over the course of last year. She said: “One major change has been to grow our own vegetables. We’ve always grown a variety of fruit and veg in our home, but this year we have started our own proper vegetable patch - we look forward to seeing how this year’s harvest goes.”

Small sustainable swaps in your weekly shop:

Opting for more sustainable products in your daily life can make all the difference. A lot of the products we’ve become used to buying are often difficult to recycle, with more sustainable alternatives being readily available in the same shops.

Ross Aitchison, Area Transport Manager for the North, is using the new year to consider how to raise their new-born child with sustainability in mind. He said: “At the start of lockdown, my partner and I had our first baby. Our family makes a conscious effort to minimise our impact on the environment, but it soon became apparent the number of non-biodegradable nappies we were going through was something to be looked at. Therefore, we now use nappies which are 100% biodegradable and are just as good as the leading brands.”

Making little changes like these can go a long way, and if we all do our part, we can look to craft a more sustainable future for all of us. We’d love to hear what your sustainable New Year’s Resolutions or intentions are and what changes you’ve made over the past year. Please share any top sustainable tips you might have on our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter channels.