At this time of year we like to wipe the slate clean and start a-fresh, nursing our hangover and expanded belly we sometimes make rash, unrealistic New Year resolutions in a bid to lose weight, stop drinking and do more exercise but this year we're approaching our resolutions a bit differently. 3 Sustainable resolutions, or affirmations (you might already be working on these!) are all you need to start 2017 and try to keep them in mind in every decision you make, be it healthy food over junk food, reusable over throwaway, a good nights sleep over burning the candle at both ends. Whichever it is, choose kindness.

Be kind to yourself

It's your body, and you are the only one that can look after it. We all know that a healthy balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables is what makes us feel great, look great and give us more energy. Cooking fresh food from scratch is much more delicious and there are plenty of simple, quick dishes that can be knocked up quicker than it takes for the oven to warm up. We love Anna Jones' books, and she also has many great recipes on her website too.

If you need more inspiration in the food area, we absolutely love Green Kitchen Stories for their deliciously different vegetarian recipes and amazing images too!

Being kind to yourself isn't just about what you eat. Getting a good nights sleep goes far beyond boosting your mood or banishing your under-eye circles. Having a good nights sleep is good for your heart, your weight, your mind and more so go on, have that little afternoon snooze now and again and get an early night!

Lastly, being kind to yourself also includes being honest with yourself. Setting goals and personal improvements is great, and acheiving them is even better! But don't be too hard on yourself, learn from the process and make changes along the way.

Be kind to others

The Golden Rule! Make this your 2017 mantra to yourself....one should treat others as one would like oneself to be treated. It's true, treat others in the way you would like to be treated and this will lead to happiness! The Golden Rule doesn't exactly mean treat people in the exact way you would like to be treated, in fact it specifically means to imagine how that person might want to be treated in this specific situation. Be friendly, kind, positive, thoughtful and helpful and this will spread the same to others.

Be kind to the planet

Now this is a big topic right? We could go on for pages on this one, but lets talk about a few things that we can do to be kind to the planet, ultimately, if we all made small changes these would together make big changes, and after all we're all in this together.

Food choices

  • Avoid factory farm grown food, make friends with your local farmers at the market and learn about their farming practices, support sustainable farming.
  • If you do eat meat treat it like a luxury, livestock production generates nearly a fifth of the world's greenhouse gasses and 18% of global warming gasses - more than transportation!
  • Remember food miles and buy local whenever possible, not only is that better for your health (as food is fresher when you buy from local producers) but you are also not contributing to the huge carbon footprint of flying foods around the world.
  • Make a conscious effort to cut your food waste, keep leftovers for lunch the next day, compost what you can't save or even buy a wormery for your food waste!

Zero waste

  • Try to shop with little to no packaging, especially plastic which is unsustainable. When you shop, take reusable shopping bags, cloth produce bags and glass containers for filling up with dry food sold in bulk, cheese, meat, olives etc. Having a reusable shopping bag with all your cloth bags and glass containers kept in the car or by the door, means you won't get caught out without your own containers.
  • Pack your own lunch for work, take leftovers from the night before that were worth saving and be the envy of the office with your delicious homemade food!
  • Reusable water bottle! This one is a given!
  • Learn more about the Zero Waste lifestyle from Bea Johnson's blog.

Transport

  • Cycle to work! Not only are you burning off that Christmas belly, but you're also saving money and pollution!
  • If you really do have to drive to work, don't go with an empty car. Look into lift sharing at work, or failing that you could find lift sharing buddies online, there are plenty of lift sharing sites.
  • Walk, walk, walk. We love walking.
  • Catch a bus, or a train or a tram. It's a great opportunity to read your book on the way to work.

The message to take from this, is to be the change you want to see. Ghandi famously told us to be the change we want to see in the world and we often think this applies to grand changes like poverty, racism and violence which of course it does but we can be the change in this world, the small changes and decisions we make will all add up to the bigger change on our beautiful planet.

Happy 2017 peeps! :)

January 02, 2017 by Jyoti Shaw