Go Green Week: Four ways to be greener

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Our recent ‘Go Green Week’ encouraged our employees across the New Directions Group to explore the ways they can reduce their carbon footprint and we want to share some of the lessons we learned. 

Put simply, going green means to live in a way that’s friendly to the environment and sustainable for its resources. This impacts the small stuff and the big stuff, your everyday decisions and your longer-term planning. Looking after the environment can affect our physical and mental health, and protect the planet for future generations. 

In the spirit of wellbeing, we’ve put together a list of four ways you can adapt your daily habits and start making a difference. 

1 | Love your leftovers 

One of the most effective ways to improve our environmental wellbeing and reduce our carbon footprint is, believe it or not, in the kitchen. Food waste accounts for around a 8-10% of greenhouse gas emissions. Every year, there are 9.5 million tonnes (Mt) of food waste in the UK, which would make the equivalent of over 15 billion meals.  

The good news is that behaviours are changing. More than 700,000 tonnes of food was redistributed via charitable and commercial routes in 2019. So, what can you do to help?  

You can make the most out of the food in your cupboards, even the bits at the back. The Supercook app helps you to love your leftovers. All you have to do is put in the ingredients you have and it generates a recipe for you and your lonely or leftover ingredients.

Watch our Instagram Reel for inspiration.

2| Stop using single-use plastic 

It’s estimated that five million tonnes of plastic is used every year in the UK and nearly half of it is packaging. Items that are used for just a few minutes can stay around for hundreds of years because of the durability of plastic.  

One of the best ways we can play our part is to limit our use of plastic. Seems obvious, doesn’t it? There’s plenty of things you can do to limit the plastic that often ends up in landfills or the ocean!  
Here are some ideas you can try:  

  • Bring your own shopping bags  
  • Re-useable water bottles  
  • Stainless steel straws  
  • Shop at your local market  
  • Eat ice cream from a cone instead of a tub  

3 | Choose charity shops 

Most people have decluttered or organised their homes at some point during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but how can you do it with the environment in mind?  

It’s obviously better to make the most out of unwanted items. After all, one person’s trash is another’s treasure and that’s where charity shops come in handy.

Most charity shops are happy to have your unwanted items. This can include clothing, accessories and jewellery, books, homeware and even furniture. You can use this tool to find your local charity shop. 

4 | Walk when and where you can 

One simple route to reducing your carbon footprint is by using your car less often. Almost 40% of journeys under two miles in Britain are made in a car or van, causing a lot of unnecessary emissions.  

If you’re planning a short trip, why not do it on foot or on person-powered wheels? Walking, cycling and even scooting are all easy alternatives to using your car.  

Exercise, even if it’s low intensity, can help you to release our ‘feel good’ hormones known as endorphins. You can connect with nature and save money on fuel and parking! 

Listening to our employees 

The New Directions Group places our employees at the centre of our business. By engaging with our staff, we aim to ensure our future is informed and created by those that matter most. 

Learn more about life at New Directions.