Team Enviral’s Biggest Sustainability Learnings In Lockdown 3.0

  • 4 weeks ago
  • 6 Minutes to Read

We are well and truly into Lockdown 3.0 now and it seems like a good time to check in, so how are you all doing?

It’s fair to say the start of 2021 has been a little tough, but we’ve dusted off the scrabble, rolled out the Zoom quizzes and we’re adjusting to another couple of months back inside.

We know with the dark nights and the bleak news alerts it can be hard to stay positive (if you need a little pick me up check out our recent blog on what we’re hopeful for in 2021) but we’re feeling it. If there’s one thing that keeps us motivated its our team, so we reached out to them to bring some positivity in the form of their biggest sustainability lockdown learnings. 

With all this time indoors, we’ve been able to assess our routines and environments and look for areas where we can up our sustainability game. Between us, we’ve come up with some pretty epic tips, hacks and learnings on a whole host of themes that we want to share.

 

Food hacks

 

Emma M with all the food saving tips – 

  • Boil savoury food scraps (e.g. onions, garlic, veg skin etc) with seasoning to make stock that can be used in cooking later
  • Fresh herbs not looking as fresh? Cut and oven bake them. Cut them into even smaller pieces and save in a glass jar (preferably reusing empty old ones)
  • Food water as nutritious fertiliser: save water from rinsing potatoes and rice for watering plants. You can also place banana peels in water for 2 days then use the water as plant fertiliser
  • To return imperfect strawberries back to being firm and bright, put them in ice water for 20 minutes
  • Make eco-friendly confetti using dried, fallen leaves
  • Freeze the juice of lemons and limes in ice trays if you have any that are about to go bad
  • Keep fresh herbs fresh in the fridge for longer: diagonally cut 1cm from the bottom stem of fresh coriander and thyme bundles then place in a glass container of water up to and below the bundle’s main leaves base, before storing in the fridge

 

Harrison on independent food retailers – 

‘Due to restrictions on shopping and generally trying to avoid big supermarkets, it’s been fantastic to really break the routine shopping habits and invest some time in our local green grocers and independent food stores. Not only does this reduce the carbon impact of the food – as much of it is sourced locally. But using green grocers allows you to buy only the food items you need for the particular meal you’re cooking, avoiding the chance of any spare vegetables left forgotten at the back of the fridge, to meet a gloomy end in the food waste bin.’

Photo from Harrison: Interesting purchases from the greengrocers

Lydia on waste and meal prep – 

‘Cutting down on food waste and being more resourceful with that food I’ve got in the fridge (I’m talking not just throwing away those broccoli stalks but putting them into a veggie tray bake with all of the seasoning 👌🏼). Also planning out meals better, so that nothing can go to waste.’

 

Pimp your interiors

 

Emma M on DIY vases – 

  • Upcycle bottles into vases.

 

Emma P on DIY plant pots –

  • Old cans make great plant pot holders – just chop off the top and pop in a succulent 🌱

 

Lydia on getting crafty – 

‘Instead of buying it, making it – it’s surprising how creative you can get with upcycling waste e.g. scrap paper and packaging can make interesting surfaces to draw/paint on. Also dipping my toe into home made ceramics again which I find really therapeutic.’

 

Emma P on sewing –

‘All this time inside is the perfect opportunity to upcycle old clothing, or get round to mending those jeans with a whole. I’m a massive fan of funky patches, just whack one on your garms to save them from the bin. Instead of buying those dungers, try making them out of a pair of old jeans and transforming unwanted clothing into something awesome!’

Photo from Jo: Cardboard fort made using old cardboard

Home-schooling wins/ keep them busy

 

Jo on DIY forts – 

  • Reuse any old cardboard and use it to build epic forts and castles to keep the kids entertained. 

 

Ed on the sharing economy – 

‘We’ve been using a toy sharing subscription service called ‘Whirli’, ‘keeps the house decluttered but ‘the fun never stops’, that’s their tagline. I’m super sold on this brand and generally the sharing economy. This really is important for our planet, being able to rent toys as opposed to buying them and throwing them away is such an awesome concept and helps reduce the amount ending up in landfill.’

 

Household tricks 

 

Joss on keeping the house warmer – 

  • Place foil behind the radiator to bounce heat back into the room. 

 

Ed on keeping things clean – 

‘Cheeky wipes instead of wet wipes – they are a total game changer! And you can’t beat a wet flannel for cleaning things up.’

 

Josh on electricals – 

‘In terms of sustainability learning, most microwaves use more power in their lifetimes telling the time than cooking, and leaving your chargers plugged in still uses energy and stops them working so well.’ 

 

Jonny on keeping pets entertained – 

‘One of my learnings is that through getting more stuff delivered as the shops have been shut has created loads more cardboard, padded envelopes etc in the house. Rather than chucking it in recycling waste it gets temporarily upcycled into an interesting new den for the cat, and then used whenever I’ve needed to post a parcel or package – I haven’t bought any new packaging for about a year!’

 

Travel ideas (for when we can!)

 

Harrison on electric car share – 

‘During lockdown we’ve been taking advantage of the car sharing schemes in the city. When the rules have allowed us to – it’s been really liberating to be able to drive out to our local beauty spots to stretch our legs and get a lung full of fresh air. Using electric vehicles are good for the environment and you don’t have to worry about refilling them.’

 

Socially distanced exercise

 

Emma and Jo on socially distanced running – 

  • Staying active in lockdown is super important to help keep the creative vibes flowing!
Photo from Emma: Emma and Jo on a socially distanced run 

Mindset shift 

 

Jonny on possessions – 

‘Being at home more has encouraged me to go through lots of possessions and think about whether someone else could get more use or happiness from them than I do, so whether that’s through charity shops, Gumtree or eBay I feel like lots of unloved things are leading a new life somewhere else.’

 

Lydia on buying new – 

‘Buying less but buying more sustainable, ethical alternatives (I realise this is a huge privilege to be able to do but if you can, using your buying power as a consumer can really make a difference).’

 

We hope that gives you a bit of insight into Team Enviral’s sustainability learnings from lockdown. The lockdowns have brought uncertainty and it can definitely feel overwhelming at times, we’re trying to stay focussed on the positives and on things that we can control to keep moving forward. It may feel that given the current situation the fight to save the planet is impossible and that individual actions won’t make a difference, but we know the power held in one small action multiplied makes for a big impact. Small actions have the ability to grow and ripple outwards, so perhaps pick one or two of our tips, try them out and watch as they grow!

 

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www.enviral.co.uk

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Enviral