The new year. 2022 marks an opportunity for new beginnings, new ambitions, and new resolutions. Since the pandemic struck, we’ve learnt to grow our appreciation for the colours of nature to escape the grey and gloomy headlines of daily media. So, I think we all agree it’s our duty to give something back? There has never been a better time to combat the climate and biodiversity crisis we’re in with a few good-natured eco-friendly habits to stick to, so we’ve compiled a list of tips below on how you can do your bit for the planet and live a more sustainable, fulfilling 2022 for all involved.
1. Reduce Waste
Waste. An ever-growing problem we face as supplying the demand of a growing overpopulation still pours over as excess. So, by following the three R’s; reduce, reuse, recycle, here are a few ideas:
- Reduce: small, simple changes can add up to big, drastic results. Turning electrical appliances off at the wall and switching off lights are easy ways to save energy and slash your bills. How about changing to a 100% green energy provider too? Another idea is to conduct a food waste audit to see where your food waste comes from, helping to reduce this in the future by shopping only for what you need.
- Reuse: cutting down on single-use plastic items can be one of your most important goals for the year. These items don’t biodegrade – rather, they just break down into micro particles that contaminate the environment. Fortunately, long lasting alternatives are available for the majority of products, including reusable cups over single-use coffee cups, beeswax wraps instead of clingfilm, and more durable, long lasting shopping bags instead of plastic carrier bags.
- Recycle: try think outside the box for this one. Sure, sticking to the regulations of your bin and recycling system is just what we’re recommending, but also consider the packaging of your purchases too. There is simply so much plastic on Earth, so how about shopping at a zero-waste store and reusing your own Tupperware and containers, or purchasing loose fruit and veg rather than the packaged equivalent?
The UK produced around 9.5 million tonnes of food waste in 2018! Whilst many people think their food scraps and waste will return to the Earth, unfortunately they don’t. This is because there is no oxygen in landfills to break the waste down, so resultingly, landfills are the third-largest source of human-related methane emissions globally.
An easy way for you to become part of the solution is to start composting yourself. If you’re daunted at the thought, just know it’s much easier than you think, and we’ve even created a free composting guide to help you through. Composting helps keep food waste out of landfills to minimise pollution, but also returns nutrients to your soil to foster the growth of beneficial microorganisms, insects and earthworms to nourish your garden. We challenge you to kickstart your composting career in 2022 and offer a range of composting bins to give you that head start you might need. Check out our Blackwall Compost Converter in use below. Voted best ‘BUDGET BUY’ in Gardeners’ World magazine, this is an easy-to-use product which transforms your garden and kitchen waste into nutritious feed to condition your soil and enrich your garden.
3. Plant a Tree and Reconnect with Nature
We know how easy it is for an hour to magically disappear whilst our heads are buried into our phones scrolling through the latest TikTok crazes. This year, try reconnect with nature and live more in the present. Remind yourself why it’s so important to protect the environment. Planting a tree is the perfect eco-friendly project to capture some carbon from the atmosphere and add another vital component to the eco-system to help cleanse the air we breathe, filter the water we drink and provide a habitat to over 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity.
Trees are one of Earth’s greatest gifts and are a vital weapon in the fight against climate change. One young tree can absorb CO2 at a rate of 5kg per tree, every single year. Even more impressive, once it reaches about 10 years old, it can absorb about 21kg of CO2 per year! They’re magical beings, so reap the rewards and satisfaction from planting your very own. It’s good for everybody.
What was essential five years ago may not be essential now. Decluttering can be your new way to adopt a more minimalist lifestyle in 2022. Minimalism is a way to consume responsibly, simplifying your life, as Leonardo da Vinci famously once said; “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.
As the Earth’s population soars to unprecedented levels, it can be difficult to not jump on the bandwagon of the 21st century mantra; “treat yourself”. We know resisting the temptation of a feel good purchase here and there can be difficult, but we also believe possessions can disrupt our peace. More people are participating in a ‘buy nothing’ week, month, or even year, so why not join them? Of course, this excludes things such as food, medication and personal necessities etc, so focuses more on the unnecessary items. Before you purchase something, just ask yourself; “Do I need this?” Does this really add value to my life?”.
By simply consuming less, you can reduce your environmental impact and carbon footprint, as well as decluttering your personal and mental space to gain some clarity on what’s truly important in your life. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the ripple effects decluttering can have, so give it a go.
5. Go Vegan
Large-scale food production accounts for up to 25% of greenhouse emissions globally, so how can you eat sustainably? Scientists confirm following a vegan diet can be your most eco-friendly act in the fight against climate change. This is because of the minimal resources required to nurture the foods of a plant-based diet in comparison to the high emissions and pollution that can be produced from the meat and dairy industry.
Getting involved in campaigns such as Veganuary and No-Meat May will support the boom of the vegan industry as more mind-blowing innovations in foods that mimic meat, fish, and dairy produce makes the transition to a vegan diet even easier. Read our Beginner’s Guide to Veganuary to learn about the powers of the plant-based diet and how you can lead a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle.
6. Support Circular Patterns of Economy and Consumption
There’s a proven strong correlation between mass consumption and the linear economy contributing to the climate crisis. So, this year we encourage you to shop with retailers who work within circular models and prioritise sustainability by producing products that keep materials and resources in the product cycle for as long as possible. Here at EvenGreener, we already positively contribute to the Circular Economy by supplying products that turn waste into useful outputs, continuously decreasing your environmental footprint in the process with each purchase. We follow the reduce, reuse, recycle motto by manufacturing our products with 100% recycled plastic, collected by local authorities to ensure our products are as eco-friendly as possible, and are built to last.
7. Encourage Wildlife
Unfortunately, the 2019 State of Nature report discovered that 41% of British wildlife species have reduced in numbers, whilst only 26% have increased. The good news is we can use our gardens to help these animals thrive back into healthy populations by converting our green space into wildlife sanctuaries. Species most at risk include hedgehogs, hares, bats, many insects and butterflies, and a variety of birds.
Want to encourage wildlife and blossom your own little ecosystem? Composting is a good, cost-effective way to recruit an army of insects, including frogs and slow worms to naturally enrich your soil and garden. Get friendly with the birds too and put out food for them or create/buy a bird box or two. Birds are an important asset to any garden’s ecosystem so accommodating them with shelter and protein-rich feed will help your local wildlife flourish. The same can be said with insects. Check out our Subpod below to learn how you can team up with worms and microbes to flourish your garden and grow organic food from the comfort of your own home. The process couldn’t be simpler, just open the lid, throw in your waste and take a back seat; the worms do everything for you!
8. Volunteer and Encourage Others
It really is time for all hands-on deck in the battle against climate change. Fortunately, more people are wising up to the importance of an eco-friendly lifestyle, and the word ‘sustainability’ is being thrown around a lot more in mainstream media. But more can, and should be done.
Volunteering is a great way to combine our efforts and trigger that ‘feel good’ hormone, dopamine. Participating in a charitable or eco-volunteering activity once per week or month will bring you that warm, fuzzy feeling, knowing your efforts are contributing to a kinder, greener environment. There are plenty of local food banks that would be grateful for a helping pair of hands, or why not participate in or set up a beach/street clean up with your local community? We all know littering is unfortunately a huge problem so here’s an opportunity to take pride in stamping it out yourself.
9. Conserve Water
Every day, more than three billion litres of perfectly good drinking water goes to waste in the UK. Staggering, we know. We use water without a second thought, whether it’s for showering, brushing our teeth, or watering our plants, we’ll use it. As much as 25% of your household’s energy bill comes from heating water, which also results in the release of greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change.
To cut your bills and minimise your carbon footprint, there are plenty of simple tips which can help. A running tap wastes over 6 litres of water per minute, so turning it off whilst brushing your teeth is crucial. Additionally, short, sharp showers make a huge difference to your water usage levels, and why not brave the cold and reap the mental and physical benefits of an ice-cold shower to kickstart your day! Finally, our favourite tip – be resourceful and use a water butt to collect rainwater from your rooftop (which can add up to over 85,000 litres per year!) to cost-effectively water your garden. See our range of varying colours and sizes to help you decide on the perfect one. We love the Mini Rainsaver Water Butt Double Kit, as seen below. Doubling up your water butt stores and conserves more water, and the featured Rainsaver Diverter Kit captures water straight from your roof and funnels it down into the water butts which are connected together via the free link kit provided, ensuring waste is kept to an absolute minimum.
10. Switch Up Your Commute
Whilst working from home is the new normal, if you are needed in the office or need to pop to the shops, consider putting the car keys down and walk, cycle, or even run to where you need to be. Not only lowering your carbon footprint, but feeling the fresh air against your skin is the simple pleasure you may need to rediscover your love for the outdoors. One of few highlights of the 2020 lockdowns was reinvigorating the rewards of physical exercise, so keep the flame alight and only travel by car when you absolutely have to.
So, there it is. Ten simple eco-friendly steps for you to give something back to the Earth in 2022. Dr Seuss once said, “No one can be a better you than you,” so get in touch with nature and engage your active side this year to realise the best things in life aren’t always things. Change might not be comfortable, but by following the ten steps above you’re helping us all strive towards a greener future, and as the old saying goes, “many hands make light work,” so get friends and family on board too. Just by reading this, you’ve already taken the first step, so whether you start composting in March, eat no meat in May, or cycle to work in June, make this year your greenest yet. We’re all behind you.