Spring greens – resolutions for 2023 and beyond
Guest blog by Helen Taller, on behalf of Loughborough University’s Legal Service team.
A key theme of the University’s strategy, Creating Better Futures. Together, is ‘Climate change and net zero’. As the University’s legal services team, we are already looking at how we can make changes to the work we do to align with this aspect of the strategy. In fact, we wrote a blog on this very topic just last year. We know that there is more we can do, however, to embody the core values not just in our work but in the way we live our lives more generally.
With this in mind, while we have been working with our colleagues in the University’s Planning Team and the Vice Chancellor’s Office on our collective Carbon Action Plan, we have all also used this WWF carbon footprint calculator to calculate our individual carbon footprints and made some individual green resolutions – our promises to the planet – for 2023 and beyond. These are our commitments to help us reduce our negative impact on the world and reach the end of the year with a renewed sense of optimism that net zero is within our grasp.
So, on to our pledges. Why are we sharing these with you? Well, we know that conversation often precedes action so our hope is that by talking about what we are doing and why we are doing it, we just might inspire those of you who are reading this to have a think about making a green pledge of your own.
After all, “to do good, you have actually have to do something” (Yvon Chouinard, founder of the company Patagonia). This blog and our commitments, are our “something”.
- Recycle soft plastics that are not collected at kerbside collection services, by keeping them out of the general waste and collecting at home to take to supermarkets with soft plastic recycling collection points. According to the Big Plastic Count that was undertaken last year by Greenpeace, nearly 100 billion pieces of plastic packaging are thrown away by UK households every year.
- Increase biodiversity in the garden through wildflower planting. This will keep the birds, bees and the butterflies happy – but as a bonus might boost your mood too!
- Reduce meat consumption by incorporating regular meat free days into our weeks – According to the UN, global meat consumption must fall if we are to fight climate change.
- Start buying household cleaning products from zero waste shops to reduce reliance on single use plastic packaging and support local businesses.
- Buy no ‘new’ clothes / shoes in 2023 – second hand only. According to a report by the charity wrap, £140 million worth of clothing is sent to landfill in Britain EACH YEAR. The availability of second hand clothing / goods has never been greater – with Vinted, Depop, Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace and of course charity shops to name a few – there are plenty of options!
- Buy fresh produce from local shops and businesses instead of supermarkets to reduce plastic packaging and food miles and increase the proportion of organic fruit and vegetables that we buy.
- Reduce wasted water by saving the run off when waiting for water to get hot and using in other ways – for example to water plants, boil veg, etc. This UNICEF article has some more ideas on ways to save water.
- Start using a wonky veg box scheme to reduce wasted produce and unnecessary packaging.
We look forward to seeing these pledges become new habits during the course of 2023 and are feeling enthusiastic and hopeful about the positive impact they will make. Have we inspired you to make a green pledge of your own? We’d love to hear from you about what your ‘something’ is.
This article is in support of UN Sustainable Development Goal 12 ‘Responsible consumption and production’. To find out more, click here.
Loughborough University Sustainability Blog