The Lasting Sustainable Switch

WRITTEN BY Kate Burke

February 23, 2024

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The Lasting Sustainable Switch

by | Feb 23, 2024 | Fashion & Lifestyle

Kate Burke

23 Feb, 2024

A guide to helping you stick to your new resolutions now January is behind us.

 

With January behind us and February coming to a close, many people’s noble intentions for the New Year seem to be a distant memory. It brings hope to see how the once looming omnipresent narrative of “giving up” things for the New Year (usually related to carbohydrates, alcohol and all of the other good things in life) has shifted considerably to one in which “taking up” things has become increasingly de rigeur. More hopeful again is the taking up of environmentally conscious habits such as ‘veganuary’. But how do we transform these resolutions into habits? How can we make sustainable switches, well, sustainable?

 

Ditch the all or nothing attitude

Be kind to yourself. Just because you struggled with veganuary or found that vegetarianism is not for you does not mean that you have to ditch the lifestyle change completely. If you find yourself hankering for a burger this February, it’s okay. Take whatever works for you forward and leave the things you know are not working in the past. ‘Paleo-vegan’, ‘flexitarian’ or ‘ovo-vegetarian’ are just a few of the annoying portmanteaus being used by the sustainable food industry nowadays but what they fail to realise is just how off putting this can be for people who are wrestling with the idea of trying these food choices in the first place. So before you think the only option for you is all or nothing think again. Doing your bit does help! Whether it’s only eating meat once a week, cutting out dairy milk from your coffee order, or swapping chicken to chickpeas – as the wise Tesco once said, every little helps

 

Introduce a new resolution each month 

If you are someone who is motivated by newness and fresh starts, consider gently introducing one new resolution per month. If you started 2024 off with a list of resolutions and now have found yourself one month in and struggling to apply them all then this approach may be for you. This way, you’ll avoid burying yourself under a mountain of good intentions and instead give each intention the breathing space it deserves. The chances are higher that these resolutions will morph into habits that you can take from month to month with you. Also certain resolutions are much more suited to different times of the year for example, growing your own vegetables, making homemade gifts, or doing a seasonal wardrobe donation to charity shops.

 

Subscriptions are your friend

Subscriptions exist to make your life more convenient, simple as. They prevent you from making rushed and often expensive decisions such as buying washing up liquid or toilet paper from the corner shop. From razors, to boxes of veg, from refillable deodorant to loo roll (which – don’t lie – we all hate carrying home from the shop) sustainable subscriptions make eco-conscious choices seamless and are often fun to arrive home to.

 

You have heard this one before, but batch cook

How many times have you thrown away half a wizened red pepper or a spongy carrot because you swore you would finish it later in the week but then opted for take away? Batch cooking might sound a little unsexy, but it is probably one of the best acts of self care that you can easily make part of your weekly routine. Believe us when we say you will feel the ultimate dose of smugness and success as you watch a pot of lentil dahl or pasta sauce simmering away, before packing it into tupperware for the week. You can spice up the monotony with different condiments or carbohydrates. Choose a night that works for you to get the batch going, stick on your favourite playlist or show in the background and cook to help yourself and the planet.

 

Refill shops

Who doesn’t want to be the type of person who stores their dry goods in Kilner jars? Just looking at a shelf of them would provide enough serotonin to get you through the day. Refill shops can help you glam up your shelves and help you go waste free. So really it’s a win win for all. Once you decide on your container of choice, the rest is simple. Get your (usually organic) pasta, rice, grains, and even your cleaning products all in one lovely neighbourhood refill shop. They have been popping up all over the country in the last few years. So pop in, explore the goods and even meet some interesting people along the way.

 

Get to know your bank


You might have been in a relationship with them since you first deposited your confirmation money but who really are they? Irish banks and financial institutions, particularly state owned institutions, have begun to divest away from fossil fuels and other climate harming companies, however there is no bank in Ireland which is completely green, such as Triodos in the UK. The money we put aside for our future should be invested in a way which protects future generations to come. Get in touch with your banks, insurance and pension providers and urge them to invest in green technology. After all, it is our money they are investing with.

 

Unfollow fast fashion brands

Imagine a world where your every clothing choice was not determined by the latest fast fashion trend boldly advertised online. Perhaps if we were no longer exposing ourselves to a new trend that we simply must have every week then our baskets would remain empty. If particular influencers often partner with fast fashion brands or promote them in some way, consider unfollowing them in favour of those who promote sustainable fashion; one of my favourites is @thatcurlytop whose creativity and #RewearThat trend encourages followers to rewear outfits while having fun and looking good.

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