2016 – To Expect, To Do, To Aim for…

The last post was about how to be more sustainable, but we’d also like to give you a few tips on ways in which you can stay healthy, sustainable and enjoy the natural surroundings whilst you do so in the coming months.

So as we are well under way into the New Year, I’m sure some great new year’s resolutions have been made, perhaps you’ve committed to no chocolate or being more healthy and happy. If your new year’s resolutions have been focused around being more environmentally friendly here are some ways which you can stay on track with being green.

What can you expect from the New Year?

Last year saw the 2015 21st Conferences of the parties, with an agreement drawn up to keep the attending countries on track; The conferences ran from the 31st November until the 8th of December, rolling on from these, 2016 will be seeing a major shift in attitudes towards climate change…it’s time to get mean and green.

What’s happening?

Here are some notable dates for your diary this year along with some sustainable tips and ideas which to help you to keep on track with eco-friendly new year’s resolutions.

January

Burns Night, held on the 25th of January, is a traditional Scottish day remembering the works of Poet, Robert Burns. Traditions include eating haggis, drinking whiskey and reciting poems and speeches. Perhaps this is a chance to turn all of the lights off and get cosy around some candles.

‘Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day’ on January the 17th is the most common day to break promises that you made to yourself a fortnight ago on New Year’s Day. Will you pull through and stay determined to take on those sustainable resolutions!? We’re rooting for you!

For ways to keep on track check out our previous post.

February

Go Green Week – Go Green Week is an initiative that is run by People and Planet in Universities across the UK; it runs from 8th -13th February.

Get involved or run your own Go Green Week by organising events for staff and students, you can get help with this by getting in touch with People and Planet, or you could do your own Go Green Week later on in the year.

London Fashion Week on the 19th – 23rd will see newly inspired designs from high end designers from around the world. This spring/ summer we’re in for some nature inspired trends, here’s hoping they back it up with nature friendly materials and Fairtrade fabrics.

Valentine’s Day on the 14th, is a step deeper into a relationship or perhaps the start of a new one; make sure to choose Fairtrade coffee and juice for the morning breakfast in bed and also Fairtrade chocolate for your gift explain to your partner your thought process behind buying these items and they’ll seem all the more sweeter.

By picking flowers for your loved one that you can’t plant in your garden, you’ll also be helping to create a bio diverse environment for insects like bees.

Again, this could be another chance to ditch the fake lighting and dine romantically candle lit style, remember if you’re cooking to eat seasonably and buy local and organically reared/ grown produce.

Lent is a 40 day period in the Christian calendar that begins on Ash Wednesday (10th February) in preparation for Easter Sunday.

Most people use this period of time however, to give up something that they do not need like chocolate or cheese; some even use it as a means to get the ball rolling to quit a bad habit like smoking. Perhaps this year you could make your lent experience a sustainable one, by giving up using the car or by not using the kettle and drinking water instead of coffee.

March

World Wildlife Day on the 3rd is a day organised by the United Nations, which encourages people to get #seriousaboutwildlifecrime.

Get involved by sharing the hashtag and media material which you can get access to via this link – http://www.wildlifeday.org/content/social-media-images

This Mother’s Day on Sunday 6th, why not carry on a similar theme from Valentine’s Day and give your mother some well-deserved Fairtrade chocolates and some potted flowers which of course you will offer to plant in the garden as part of the present.

We all know Easter as a time for the Easter bunny to bring us chocolate eggs, make sure you helping those who grow the cocoa beans to put food on the table for their families by buying Fairtrade chocolate eggs. You could also create an orientation style game where you have to find a hint embroiled in a sustainable fact which will take you to the next egg.

April

Planning a trip – Those in jobs will be beginning to think about booking some time off for a well-deserved holiday later on in the year. This year, why not make it an eco-holiday by choosing to fly less and cut down on your carbon footprint and stay in the UK by going on a walking or cycling holiday; you could travel around the Yorkshire dales equipped with a tent or trail along the Whitby hills and experience Gothic week!

Many communities do however rely on tourism to keep afloat, so if you’re still considering a trip abroad, perhaps make it one where you can give something back into the community by giving a helping hand and getting stuck in or by choosing an area which will benefit from the tourism you will bring. If you’re stuck for ideas, follow the link for some examples and offers http://sustainabletravel.org/     /    https://www.gadventures.co.uk/about-us/sustainable-tourism/

Or even choose a rainforest alliance hotel which ‘benefit local communities, ecosystems and wildlife’ http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/travel

Fool family and friends this April Fool’s Day on Friday 1st by taking them on a ‘nice trip out’ to actually get stuck in with local eco and sustainable projects, they’ll end up feeling great about doing a bit for the environment. You can also serve up some great and tasty foods which look and taste like meat or disguise their most hated vegetable in a pie, and wait for them to chow down before you tell them what is actually inside…you never know, it might just make them realise what they’ve been missing!

Keep on your feet this World Health Day on Sunday 7th by choosing to break those lazy Sunday habits and go for a run, cycle or walk. Make sure you follow your exercise up with a healthy hearty dinner with locally and organically grown and reared food.

May

This Early May Bank Holiday on the 2nd, perhaps you could choose to get on top of those New Year’s resolutions you promised yourself in January or you may even want to create new ones.

On the 8th to the 10th are the European Clean-up days, all over Europe and in some non-European union countries. Over the course of these days groups come together to organise mass clean-ups which aim to help to remove the waste from environments that endangers eco systems and wildlife; you can get involved by following this link to find places near you who run campaigns and projects – http://www.keepbritaintidy.org/home/481

June

World Ocean Day held on the 8th is a day of celebration for our oceans and host of sea creatures that lie beneath, you could get involved by organising a sea theme celebration to raise awareness and have fun.

It is no secret that we are currently going through a refugee crisis, World Refugee Day on raises awareness about the poor conditions that refugees have to live in a stressful situations they go through,

This Father’s Day on Sunday 21st, treat your dad to a bit of know-how about being environmentally friendly.

Here are some ideas to keep your dad engaged with environmental issues:

Create a t shirt or a mug with eco-facts that he could use or wear to show his friends that he’s interested in a good cause or take him to a wildlife park and make a donation in his name to show support for endangered animals.

July

Festival Season! This summer pick a festival which prides themselves on being green, such as Glastonbury or Latitude. Large festivals already have a huge impact on the environment so give the organisers a helping hand by taking general waste, recycling and compost bags to reduce your waste.

Eat cold foods which you don’t need gas heat to cook with and remember give items to salvage if you don’t want them anymore, this way they will be donated to people in need.

There will be more information on how to stay sustainable in further months in time, we hopes this keeps you on track for now!

Here are some other environmental dates for your diaries.

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