2021: KINDER, GREENER, BETTER

Written by Saria Eid

nature


Au revoir 2020! You weren’t all bad. Even without our usual liberty, people still fell in love, created work, adopted dogs, admired sunsets, moved house and bought great glasses.

As each year turns, we think New Year, New Start. We resolve to be kinder to ourselves, to the world. To be fitter, greener, braver or more thoughtful. This year is a little different. If we want to expand our physical horizons, we’ll have to wait a few months. But there’s plenty we can do now to begin afresh.

Starting with ourselves. The last thing anyone – including us – wants is a January health lecture. So we’re starting small, committing to a daily walk, because even a walk you don’t want to take transforms the mood. Just look at your face in the mirror when you get back.

When the weather squashes our verve, we retreat with a favourite book/person/pet/film/game. Enhancing our curtailed worlds with the warmth of verbal or canine connection. They’re called simple pleasures for good reason.

What else can we do?

Rethinking eating

The festive season’s gastronomic delights, while delightful, can leave some of us vowing never to dine again. Or at least to do it differently. If you’re feeling overindulged, could now be the time to consider dietary approaches that benefit the planet as much as your own body?

Show yourself you care by limiting über-processed convenience foods and cooking from scratch regularly. Try a weekend batch-cooking session and – voilà – your freezer’s ready to heroically save you from quick food fixes on busy weekdays. Aussi, less waste.

Veggie veggie good

Chez Bloobloom, those of us not going full Veganuary are upping our plant-based food intake and planning more meat-free days each week. When we indulge our carnivorous side, we do our best to choose carefully what goes on our plates. Our thinking: eat less meat, eat better meat. Sans doute, we love to eat.

Thoughtful shopping

It makes sound sense to shop locally, not just for Christmas but all year round. On the food front, going local – and seasonal – where possible opens our bags to ethically and carefully-grown produce that hasn’t travelled gazillions of miles to reach us. It’s a straightforward way to reduce packaging, delivery costs and emissions. Plus we LOVE finding out where our lunch comes from.

Just make sure your reusable shopping bag is in your pocket (beside your mask, oui).

Plastic not fantastic

Now we’re swivelling from fridge to kitchen cupboard for a cold hard look at household products, to see what we could switch for less toxic, refillable alternatives. The same goes for the bathroom cabinet, often a veritable hive of single-use plastic begging to be replaced with reusables. Hmm, how many airmiles has our moisturiser racked up?

Share that care

It’s one thing to wince at the now-familiar sight of discarded facemasks blowing past on your average walk. It’s another to take action. It doesn’t have to be big. Spare an hour to help with a local litter-pick, beach clean or planting project. You come away with new local mates and a massive beaming grin from helping to restore your community. And you look wonderful when you smile.

Two wheels (or legs) beat four

One glance at 2020’s flawless skies showed us how working from home drastically reduced transport emissions. Who else goggled at this uplifting view of the Himalayas from northern India, unseen for decades? But as restrictions ease, those emissions climb again. If we want to savour those skies, let’s travel less for work when possible and use bikes or feet more.

Making changes, changing habits, takes time. Time spent sustaining not just our bodies, but the environment they inhabit, is time very well spent. So: let’s make time.

A healthy, happy New Year to you all. Bonne Année!
PHOTOS: Artem Kniaz
WORDS: Eileen MacCallum