Not sure what the future holds for you and for the planet? Whilst the stars and the planets may align, they do little to help us in the fight against climate change. It will require conscious, committed intervention on our part if we want 2022 to be a year of positive climate action. Find out what your zodiac sign says about how you can help and make environmental resolutions based on the form of eco-activism best suited to you and your element.
Qualities: Bold, tenacious, ambitious
Action: Use your voice
Make your voice heard by people in power by writing a letter to your MP, signing petitions on environmental issues, supporting candidates who are committed to climate action, or joining a social movement or campaign that focuses on environmental activities or gets people talking about climate change, such as Youth Strike 4 Climate, Extinction Rebellion or The Climate Coalition. The Climate Coalition provides a great letter template available to download to help you write to your MP now that COP26 is over, asking them to take action to keep us within 1.5 degrees of warming.
Qualities: Patient, persistent, loyal
Refine your recycling
Take a look at how you recycle at home, at work, and in your local community and assess any areas for improvement. Lead the way for collective change by modelling your own recycling habits, educating others and supporting the introduction of better systems and resources such as more recycling bins and clear instructions, at work and in the community. To get children involved in recycling, we love “My DIY Afternoon: Recycling” – a do-it yourself crafts book full of creative, surprising ideas on how to repurpose your recycling for sustainable crafts projects!
Qualities: Quick-witted, adaptable, playful
Be energy efficient
Calculate your carbon footprint using a carbon footprint calculator such as University of California-Berkeley’s CoolClimate calculator and create tangible goals to reduce your emissions. Conduct a home energy audit and consider upgrading old appliances to energy efficient versions. Reduce or eliminate car usage (that includes Ubers!) in favour of more environmentally friendly modes of transport. Choose carbon-neutral delivery options where possible. Many companies even reward you with a voucher or discount for choosing this option! Invite family, friends or colleagues to take up the challenge also, and get competitive about who can achieve the greatest reductions.
Qualities: Intuitive, in touch with emotions, caring
Donate and distribute
Donate any household items or clothing you no longer need or use to a charitable collection, or directly to friends, family, neighbours, schools and local community facilities. When it comes to donating surplus food, distribution is the key step to ensure food reaches the people who need it whilst it is still safe and fresh. Consider volunteering at your local food bank or getting involved with food distribution initiatives such as The Felix Project, FareShare and City Harvest London. You can also sign up to apps such as Olio app which allow you to give away or rescue food, or reach out directly to friends and neighbours with the offer of bringing them over some leftovers!
Qualities: Vivacious, charismatic, creative
Environmentally friendly dining
Take the lead when it comes to planning meals out with friends, family and colleagues and guide your social circle towards more environmentally responsible dining! Put forward restaurants that are sustainability-focused and have a nose-to-tail or root-to-stem approach to using every part of the ingredient and seize the moment to tell them about the importance of these practices whilst you have a captive audience tucking into delicious sustainable food! Some of our favourites include Silo, the UK’s first zero waste restaurant, and Spring restaurant’s Scratch menu created out of ‘waste’ produce! Suggest a night in over a night out, hosting your very own sustainable dinner party whilst being fully in control of where you’re going to buy your ingredients from and what you’re going to do with waste. It’s a great opportunity to show off some impressive show-stopping plant-based recipes too! (You’ll find more sustainable hosting tips on the Social Pantry blog!)
Qualities: Dependable, practical, hardworking
Get involved in a community growing project or grow your own vegetables or herbs at home! Urban Growth London is a social enterprise that improves Londoners’ wellbeing by collaborating with them to create and maintain beautiful, biodiverse spaces. Hackney City Farm is just one of a handful of urban farms growing fresh produce for the local community to enjoy. Herbs such as parsley, basil, mint, chives, thyme and rosemary can all be grown indoors and make a great introduction to growing your own! Not only are they the perfect finishing touch to a home-cooked meal, potted herbs offer all the same benefits as house plants such as improved air quality, mental wellbeing and even productivity! Just make sure you have a plan for how to use all those lovely herbs! Making your own pesto or salsa verde, or freezing in an ice cube tray, are useful tips for extending their lifespan!
Qualities: Curious, charming, balanced
Phase out disposables
Commit to gradually phasing out your use of single-use, disposable items and work towards zero-waste or plastic free living. It can be useful to carry out an audit of daily environment and routine by methodically taking note of all of the single-use and packaged products (toiletries, make-up, food, drink, kitchen supplies) you come into contact with. Then ask yourself which items could be upgraded to a more sustainable, reusable or refillable alternative? Start simple – it may be 2021 but we’re still using way too many disposable coffee cups, and our ‘lunch to go’ meal-deal habits generate 11 billion items of packaging every year. Gradually increase the level of complexity over time, researching refills from your favourite brands including Charlotte Tilbury make up and L’Occitane and long-term product swaps such as Wild refillable deodorant, and investing in jars to store package-free grains and cereals in! Remember you don’t have to do it all at once if it feels overwhelming! Set yourself goals of disposable products you’re going to phase out each month, and have fun discovering new brands and eco-solutions along the way!
Qualities: Imaginative, passionate, loyal
Say no to fast fashion
Wear the clothes you have, celebrating pieces you love and experience the thrill of novelty by combining and styling items in multiple ways. When you think you need to buy something out of practical necessity, consider borrowing or renting if it’s likely to have limited use. Rental platforms such as HURR and Rotaro allow you to rent pieces as a one-off, whilst rental subscription services such as Onloan and The Devout are ideal if you’re looking to continuously change up your wardrobe with designer items on rotation. If you’re set on buying something to call your own, purchase second-hand, support ethical and sustainable brands (and interrogate what they do to call themselves ‘sustainable’) and prioritise quality to ensure the item lasts!
Qualities: Positive, curious, striving for knowledge
Knowledge is power, and nowadays there are more ways than ever to educate yourself about all things sustainability. Follow accounts that inspire you to improve your own sustainability practices, read books, watch documentaries and listen to podcasts on topics to do with the environment, and visit farms and educational sites that allow you to get up close and personal with the natural world. Here are some of our recommendations:
Follow: Eco-chef @cheftomhunt
Read: Silo: The Zero Waste Blue Print by Douglas McMaster
Listen: How To Save A Planet podcast
Watch: ‘We The Power – The Future of Energy is Community Owned’ available on Youtube
Visit: Wakelyns organic agroforestry – home of the ‘YQ’ population wheat
Qualities: Creative, loyal, down to earth
Learn to ferment
Master the art of fermentation, learning how to make a range of fermented products from pickles to preserved lemons, kimchi to kombucha, kefir, and more, that help to preserve and extend the shleflife of fresh ingredients and deliver a load of gut-healthy benefits too! There are hundreds of how-to videos and guides online, as well as books such as The Noma Guide To Fermentation, and classes you can attend (such as the ones hosted by our friends Cultcure). Once you’ve discovered how easy, affordable and delicious the results are, there is no going back!
Qualities: Original, assertive, intellectual
Choosing more environmentally conscious modes of travel and transport could look like reducing your car usage (whether that’s you driving, or getting an Uber, they both count!), taking public transport, or choosing to walk, scoot or cycle! It could also look like planning a holiday closer to home, exploring bus, coach and train options to visit popular destinations, saying no to taxis in favour of walking to and from dinner, and filling your holiday with environmentally responsible activities. Try shopping for self-catering from a local farmers market, taking part in a beach clean-up, or visiting conservation projects.
Qualities: Compassionate, empathetic, romantic
Champion regenerative agriculture
Regenerative agriculture is a system of farming principles and practices that seeks to rehabilitate and enhance the entire ecosystem. Many experts believe our future relies on it! You can champion regenerative agriculture by buying food from local farmers and suppliers who use regenerative practices and eating out at sustainability focused restaurants. You can also educate yourself on the importance of soil health (we recommend checking out Wildfarmed to learn all about the revolutionary power of flour and grain, and listening to the Farmerama Radio podcast!), or even get your hands dirty volunteering at a regenerative farm near you!