Happy New Year!
I hope you all had a wonderful break over the holidays!
Personally, I’m not one of those new year new me people – I figure that if you want to make a change, you don’t need to wait for an arbitrary date to do so. But I’m also a New Years Resolution person, because it does feel good to have defined targets, and that means I hope you all are too, and have set yourself some absolutely achievable goals for your upcoming 2023, as well as maybe one or two stretch goals, just for fun.
Some of you may even wish to set yourself a sustainability-related goal for the new year, which I know can be particularly daunting, as its something to commit to. Although we’re planning to have a full-length post out during the month on the topic, my personal advice is to choose something small and easy for a year-round goal, then set yourself some more difficult tasks when you’ve built up the confidence. It’s not that difficult to separate out your soft plastics (bread bags, crisp packets etc.) and deliver them to the supermarket recycling bins when you grocery shop, nor is it hard to use your food waste bin if the county council gods have gifted you with one. Choose something habitual and small to get yourself going, and when you feel like you’re ready to do something extra – maybe that’s when you start planting your bee-friendly garden for the summer.
In terms of January events, Veganuary is very much here. As a sustainability department, it can be hard to promote veganism as it’s a way of life clouded with accessibility issues, especially financially. Instead, what we push for is the steps to doing better. You don’t need to become vegan tomorrow to save the planet! But what might do the environment some good is a Meat Free Monday, or research into low carbon diets. Checking the mileage of where your food comes from, so you’re shopping local with less travel on your groceries, is also a good way of making sure that your food is doing as little damage as possible to the world.
Hopefully, we’ll be able to go into more detail this month about meat substitutes and low carbon eating, but for the time being, here is a link to my favourite vegan cookies recipe, which turned out better than all the non-vegan cookies I’ve ever made. I’m also going to recommend the documentary Seaspiracy instead of assigning any reading, as it’s a really good investigation into the fishing industry and the damage it does to marine ecosystems. If nothing else, you’ll probably discover why the organisation Sea Shepherd is so cool.
In conclusion: happy new year. Look at the Meat Free Mondays website. Watch a documentary. Have a safe and happy January.
I will see you next month ✌️
By Bethany Climpson, Sustainability Engagement Assistant