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Adopting Gentle, Sustainable New Year's Resolutions

2024 is upon us, and most of us will be back at our desks getting ready to face the month asociated with fresh starts, resolutions and fireworks. Collectively we agree to take on dry January, save recipes for veganuary and promise ourselves we’ll go to the gym more often. These are noble pursuits, but they can feel difficult, and sometimes impossible, in the dark and cold first months of the year.

If you’re feeling the January blues, be comforted by the thought that nature is still, for the most part, lying dormant. Hedgehogs, doormice bats and reptiles hide away throughout winter, and most of our trees remain bare and spidery against the sky. Does it make sense to try new things and make big changes to our lives whilst the natural world around us sleeps? UHP’s Sustainability team recommends being gentle on yourself this January, and making resolutions that feel managaeble and enjoyable.

For some resolution inspiration, check out our list below:

1) Get out in nature at least once a week

Whilst its true that the majority of our natural world shuts itself away for winter or flies south to warmer climes, there are still some hardy natural folk to spot. As suggested by The Woodland Trust, take a wander through a woodland and notice the details which are unveiled now that the trees stand bare. Look for intricate cow parsley stems and peer between the tree trunks to spot a deer, nibbling frosty brambles, who lifts her head to stare back. Discover a range of fascinating bracket fungi clinging to naked trunks and branches. Record your sightings in Nature’s Calendar and google facts about the species you find.

2) Ace your recycling skills

Getting to grips with recycling rules can have a huge impact on the amount of waste that actually gets recycled into new items. Why not pledge to take your used beauty products and toothpaste tubes to Boots and make use of their take-back scheme? Or perhaps promise yourself you’ll put glass food containers in the dishwasher before chucking them in the recycle bin? Local recycling rules can be found here.

3) Switch up your commute

Opting for a car alternative like walking, cycling or catching public transport can have a big impact on your health and the air quality in and around the city. Just making a pledge to ditch the car 1 day a week has benefits- click here to request a free pledge sticker for your car window. For more info on sustainable travel options, visit our blog post What Lower Carbon Travel Options are there?

4) Go meat free or vegan once a week

The Veganuary Workplace Challenge is a 31-day pledge that encourages teams to try vegan for the month of January. By signing up, you’ll receive lots of free support, access to meal plans, special offers and resources to support you along the way. For lots of reasons, going vegan for a whole month may be a challenge as meal prep and innovative cooking can feel a chore when we’re not feeliung our most energised. Choosing to do meat free Mondays or having a vegan meal a couple of times a week will still have benefits for you and the planet. The DCHW will be launching vegan specials soon, so why not have a team lunch, vegan style?


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