10 Sustainable New Year Resolutions

1)           Join the University in cutting plastic!

We’ve picked our favourite plastic-free tips below to help cut your plastic footprint and support the University’s pledge “Single Out: #2023PlasticFree”

1) Explore your local markets and supermarkets to find loose unpackaged veg!

2) Grab yourself a bamboo toothbrush – millions of plastic ones end up in waste every year!

3) Pop your homemade lunch in a reusable tupperware container and ditch those single use plastic sandwich bags!

 

2)            Buy Fairtrade

Why not try and buy at least one regular purchase from a more local and/or ethical source? This could be from an ethical market or local independent shop such as a bakery. Looking for an ethical phone? Try Fairphone, a modular device built from ethically-sourced materials!

 

3)            Active Travel

Active travel is a great way to lower your carbon footprint and support your health and wellbeing. View our blog post for some inspiration from Sarah Dennis, who often runs to work with her daughter Bethany in the pram! Why not try changing one journey a week to a form of active travel? This can be walking, cycling or running! Not sure where to change or shower on campus? Check out our Sustainability Campus Map for locations of showers and lockers.

 

4)            Mindfulness (yoga or headspace)

Lotus Position

Try to give yourself time with your thoughts every day. Yoga and meditation are great ways to clear your head of nasty thoughts. Try keeping a thought journal and writing all thoughts down. If they are written on paper you can allow yourself to forget about them, this particularly helps when struggling to sleep.

 

5)            Leeds Bins app

Why not download the Leeds Bins App? It takes just 2 minutes and tells you everything you need to know about recycling, bin days and more!

 

6)            Meat free Mondays

Veganuary can be quite intense for many people so why not try setting yourself a lower target? Meat Free Mondays are a great way to cut your meat intake and carbon footprint! If you’re already veggie, try milk-free Mondays?

 

7)            Increase knowledge

You may be someone who thinks they already know everything Sustainability or you may be someone completely new to the topic! Either way, there is always new knowledge to learn! Staff members, why not have a go at our staff training module to learn more? (Visit “Teach”, “Organisations” and finally “Sustainability in Practice”). Students, why not explore sustainability in a discovery module?

 

8)            Share knowledge

It seems these days like Sustainability is everywhere; on the news, TV and social media. But we can all do our part to teach others about the Sustainability challenges the world is facing. Why not challenge yourself this year to teach one person a day something new about Sustainability?

 

9)            Volunteering

As well as parks, Leeds has some great urban green walks and nature reserves to explore. We also have a large number of outdoor societies you can join. The LUU Conservation Society has weekly events where you can explore areas in Leeds and help manage and conserve them.

 

10)          Buying fewer clothes online (and in general!)

Buying clothes online can lead to large amounts plastic bags and plenty of greenhouses gases from transport. Why not explore more of your local charity shops for clothes? Reusing clothes rather than constantly buying new ones is a great way to cut down your carbon emissions – plus you just find that killer bargain!

 

 

Good luck and enjoy making 2019 your most sustainable year so far!

 

New Year’s Resolution – Active Travel

Why not make Sustainable Travel one of your New Year’s Resolutions?

In autumn last year, Sarah Dennis, from the School of Earth and Environment, completed 1 year of run commuting to the University. This isn’t the usual run commute though because she brings her daughter along with her in the pram!

Her daughter, Bethany, attends the Bright Beginnings nursery located on campus, and when Sarah’s eldest child moved from the nursery to attend school, she took the opportunity to change her commute to become more sustainable.

Sarah was also looking to complete regular exercise but didn’t want it eating into her family life; therefore using her commute to exercise was the perfect solution. Sarah’s commute is 5km from Meanwood into the University campus and so far she has ran over 300km in 12 months from commuting!

Sarah explained how she was not an experienced runner beforehand “I’d ran the odd 10k but nothing serious. Running to work improved my overall fitness and led to me running a half marathon earlier this year, something I’d always wanted to do but couldn’t find time to train.” She also discussed the benefits around health and wellbeing “it’s been fantastic for my mental wellbeing, I can’t think about work when I’m running so it completely clears my head after a busy day at University”.

Like other people at the University Sarah was tired of sitting in congested traffic during her commute to campus and was concerned about the increasing air pollution around Leeds. One of the University’s Living Lab projects has been looking into the levels of air pollution on campus and in the city, ahead of the Clean Air Zone coming into force, for more information on this project click here.

Sarah’s advice for people thinking about commuting in this way “find a suitable route that is not too busy with pedestrians and make sure you have the right pram, with a locking front wheel, though you don’t have to spend loads of money on a running pram as I bought mine second hand for £20. A bike light or two have proved very useful as well”. It has been a huge learning experience for Sarah and something she has been able to share with her daughter “Bethany often shouts at passes by or tells me to run faster. I’ve also been able to teach her about nature and the changing seasons on the way as well seeing some incredible sunrises”.

Sarah takes advantage of the facilities on campus to promote active travel by using the showers provided in her department and leaving towels, spare clothes etc. on campus. Check out our interactive campus map to find were your nearest showers, secure storage sheds and maintenance facilities are located.

If you would like to speak to Sarah about her run commute and gain some advice on completing a similar journey, please get in touch via the Sustainability email address.