The NEOM Team’s Small Steps to Sustainability
Posted by Samantha Lawson
Our view on sustainability is NOT about feeling guilty (we could all do better, right?) and it IS about making small steps and swapping things out, as and when we can, for more sustainable options which can make a big sustainable difference.
As a team it’s something that’s important to all of us, after all it’s why we created our BRAND NEW sustainable packaging. There are loads of genius ideas out there which highlight how easy reducing our own personal footprints can be, it just took us all putting them down on paper to realise the value of sharing, so we’re also sharing them with you. Who knows, our team’s personal commitments might spark a new idea for you, too!
Food waste and composting
Food isn’t just what we eat, it’s a major way we engage with the world. And thinking about the production chain is one amazing way we can eat more sustainably. Some of our team are limiting their meat intake, while others are committing to buying food from local farm shops, to minimise the carbon footprint of the items they’re buying. And, silver lining, seasonal fresh farm produce is delicious! Doing weekly meal plans can really help to eliminate food waste (and therefore what’s ending up in landfill), and checking labels for palm oil is a really simple way to avoid products that are damaging natural environments. Some of our team have gone a step further and are composting their own food waste – if you’re not particularly green-fingered try looking up dig and drop composting – SO easy.
Fashion and beauty
One way to reduce the carbon footprint is by pressing pause on fast fashion. Once you commit to a ‘one in, one out’ policy with your wardrobe and beauty items, your consumption can’t help but go down. In the bathroom we’ve been experimenting with bamboo toothbrushes instead of plastic ones with great results, and elsewhere, on the dressing table, cotton wool pads, baby wipes and face wipes are things of the past for some of our team. Choose washable cotton pads or muslin cloths – those wipes take 100 years to degrade so the return on effort for this one is HUGE.
Everyday plastics and products
Every time you can remember your reusable bottle or coffee cup, that’s one less item in the landfill. The same goes for swapping plastic toothbrushes for bamboo ones and cling film for beeswax wraps for storing food, and biodegradable bags for dog waste.
Marketing Executive Sophie says, “No more clingfilm!”, while Education Manager Sam says, “Any kind of wipes get banned from the house - face wipes/baby wipes/floor wipes as they take 100 years to biodegrade.”
An array of the team is swapping disposable cotton wool pads to washable cotton wool too. Plus, as soon as you start checking the labels in the supermarket for which packaging is recyclable, you’ll be compelled to switch in no time. We certainly were! Some large supermarkets like Sainsbury’s and Waitrose have moved to weighing fresh veg in-store in re-usable bags, and selling nuts and grains loose for your own jars, so it’s worth checking out the latest options if you haven’t already.
At home and away
From the small - like committing to picking up five pieces of rubbish on every dog walk – to the huge – like installing solar panels – lockdown made us all more aware of our own environments and the changes we can make. There’s something to be said for being mindful when making bigger household decisions like opting for an electric car next time you need to switch, or an eco boiler when yours packs up. But there are smaller ways to make a difference too, like buying lots of houseplants to clean the air, and switching your energy supplier to a company that uses sustainable sources.