We recently joined Do Nation’s pledging platform to start making the right choices every day by living sustainably. We’re now a month into the campaign, so we thought we’d give you some top tips on how to maintain a sustainable life and hold back bad habits.

I chatted to Ben and Sian from Partnerships to give you an insight into what they’ve pledged, how they’ve found the lifestyle changes, and what tips they have to inspire you to live a green life.

Ben, Head of Retail + Buying

Total CO2 pledged: 120kg

  • Actions pledged:

1. Sweet temptations – I’ll try completely cutting sugar out. [1kg of CO2]

2. Passion fashion – Over the next two months, I pledge to only buy second hand. [38kg of CO2]

3. Veg out – I pledge to go veg for 7 extra meals each week. [54kg of CO2]

4. Cistern saver – I pledge to fit a water-saving device in the cistern over the next two months. [1kg of CO2]

5. Clothes call – I expect to donate or recycle 10 – 14 items of clothing. [24kg of CO2]

6. Put a lid on it – I cook on a gas hob regularly and never use a saucepan lid, I pledge to put a lid on my saucepan. [2kg of CO2]

  • You pledged the most actions in the team, how have you found making so many changes to your everyday life?

‘Living sustainably isn’t too hard, I pledged things that I thought I could achieve deliberately as it’s better to get the easy things right first then tackle the ones that will take more work after. 

It’s also easier to not do something than it is to do something. Not eating meat, not buying clothes, not eating sugary things all rely on me just not doing something.

Putting a lid on pots and pans is just habit and awareness, now I do it, I can’t imagine I will stop. Also, an added bonus is that my tiles by the cooker stay much cleaner now.’

  • Which pledge did you find the easiest and why?

‘The easiest is passion fashion, just don’t buy new clothes, it’s that simple.

Apart from the cistern saver, which I’ve not done, ‘sweet temptations’ is probably the most difficult. You don’t realise half the time that you’re eating sugar, and then you’ve eaten it and it’s too late.’

  • Any tips for our readers?

‘My advice would be to choose the majority of your pledges based on whether you can achieve them relatively easily, there’s no point having a list of things you can’t do as you just won’t bother next time. 

Challenge yourself with 1 or 2 pledges that will actually make a direct difference to you or the people around you. This pledge may be more challenging but will give you more satisfaction when you achieve it, for me, this is eating less sugar which I really want to do, but I just love the stuff so I find myself slipping.’

Sian, Partnership Success Manager

Total CO2 pledged: 41kg

  • Actions pledged:

1. Game off – I pledge to cut out 3 hours of screen time each week. [1kg of CO2]

2. You mug – I usually use roughly 2 disposable cups a week, I plan to cut them out half the time. [1kg of CO2]

3. Feed your noodle – I will try reading 2 articles, blogs, or book chapters each day. [1kg of CO2]

4. Veg out – I pledge to go veg for 5 extra meals each week. [38kg of CO2]

  • You were the only person brave enough to pledge less screen time, how’s that working out for you?

‘It’s hard actually, especially as when I’m at work I use computers! But, I have set up on my phone a time limit per day to reduce me scrolling endlessly into the black hole of social media which works really well!

I also used my other pledge (feed your noodle) to complement screen time, so in the evenings I try to read by going old school back to books….currently reading the inspirational Henry Fraser book – The Little Big Things – I’d recommend….and one of his art pictures is now on our wall!’

  • Is there a particular pledge you’ve struggled with the most?

‘The hardest is the reduction in screen time by far….I’m easily eating the veggie meals and using my reusable coffee cup.’

  • Any tips for our readers?

‘I have to keep reminding myself of the pledges and living sustainably (Jonny, you help!), and I have my whole family on board with the veggie meals which helped loads to achieve that one.’

Follow us to get regular updates of the team’s pledges and to find out if we top the Do Nation leaderboard at the end of the month.

Hopefully reading this has motivated you to live sustainably! If you want some more inspiration, check out our previous pledge blog post here. You’ll find details on how much CO2 we’re aiming to stop entering our atmosphere and how we plan to do it.

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