Isn’t it funny how the approach of a new year sends us all a little crazy? In the food-coma lull after Christmas, something drives us into a frenzy of grand plans and fighting talk about how this is going to be the best year ever. I’ve tried my best to avoid falling into this trap after I woke up on 1 January 2018 feeling low, realising that you don’t just transform into the best version of you when the clock strikes midnight.
But try as I may, the urge to make positive changes in my life is still very much there and aside from rebuilding my relationship with my body (read: do some more damn exercise Laura), I wanted to use the New Year to push myself a little bit further with my challenge to live a more sustainable life. As well as a January challenge to shake up my eating habits, I’m setting myself an extra goal to make my big trip to the Philippines a little bit more friendly to our beautiful planet.
Travel: offset my carbon emissions
I’m taking a lot of flights in February. In an ideal world, I’d have planned a slower-paced trip to the Philippines with plenty of time to get around the islands in different ways. However, with annual leave honing me into a two week slot, we’re doing a whopping nine flights (including five internal routes) to see as much of the country as possible. And that makes me a little stressed about my impact on the environment, especially when I class myself as a sustainable travel blogger.
Based on a calculation I made using ClimateCare, my friend and I will be travelling 16,863 miles by air, emitting around 7.5 tonnes of carbon on this trip. There are many websites where you can put money into carbon offset projects so over the next month, I’ll be doing more research to find a reputable-looking fund so check back to find which one I’ve picked if you’re interested in doing the same!
In an ideal world, there would be more sustainable ways to travel but if you fly frequently, investing some money into a carbon offset scheme can help to balance your impact on the environment by supporting sustainable projects. Some airlines offer the option to offset your carbon by ticking a box to add a few extra pounds when booking so this is something I’ll be keeping my eyes open for when choosing an airline in future.
Read more: how my travel philosophy is changing in 2018.
Food: take part in Veganuary
Okay, confession time. This was actually one of my goals for 2018 but I did not stick to it whatsoever. My first trip of the year to Berlin was a great success – we stayed in the vegan Almodovar Hotel (spoiler: it was incredible) and visited a number of amazing plant-based restaurants in the city, including Lucky Leek that I reviewed back in March. Following that however, I can’t remember how and when it failed so miserably but there was a lot of halloumi involved.
Despite being a veggie for nearly two years now, I’m still expecting my second attempt to be a challenge. Avoiding our monthly cake day in work , hidden ingredients in foods that you’d never expect to contain animal products and no milk chocolate for a month – that last one in particular is going to be a killer. But I’m hoping to end the month with tons more energy and a few new recipes under my belt!
Want to take the pledge? Sign up for Veganuary here.
Two goals. It doesn’t sound like a lot for 31 days but two goals a month for a whole year? That’s 24 sustainable changes to making my life a little less impactful on the environment. And now I’m opening it out to you guys.
If you want to join me in making two small changes to become more sustainable every month in 2019, use the hashtag #24changesforgood on Twitter and Instagram. I’ll be sharing my journey to become a more sustainable travel blogger, as well as tips, advice and struggles along the way. Here’s to a brilliant January and Happy New Year everybody!
Are you planning to make your life more sustainable in 2019? Tell me about it in the comments!