Eco Intentions for 2020

Resolutions can be hard to decide upon – and even harder to stick to. This year, we asked our team and contributors for their eco intentions instead.

New year, new you – except, we all begin on January 1st as the exact same person we were the day before (albeit a little less clear-headed, perhaps)…

Hitting the ground running on day one of a new decade is no small task and overly-ambitious resolutions could set you up for positive-change-burnout within a few months. So this year, we decided to ask our contributors and team to set themselves an eco intention instead; a tip, trick or goal they are looking to in the new year to lighten their environmental impact, taking a slower approach to attainable positive changes. Whether they start in January or June, it’s progress not perfection that makes sustaining your intentions more easily-achievable. See what they had to say to inspire your own! 

Alexandra Dudley

Throughout 2019, Alexandra shared delicious plant-based recipes with us, including aquafaba chocolate mousseand beetroot toasts. And, if you’re looking ahead to warmer days already, read her tips on a sustainable trip to Switzerland…  

“I am actually a huge fan of new years resolutions but always see them as long term goals. It is a great way to reassess ones life and see where the balance needs ironing out. I think my eco incentive would be to try and go completely package free. I am pretty much there when it comes to veg but still buy things like eggs and tofu in packaging. I’d love to start making my own tofu, for example.”

Laura Young

Better known as Less Waste Laura, this eco-dream shared her journey in sustainability with us in November – and since, we’ve been busy quizzing her on eco myths

“My eco intention is to have a ‘no-new’ 2020 (buying nothing new, only secondhand) and to aim for flight-free.”

Fiona Cartmel

Our Sustainability Consultant Fiona has been busy attending Extinction Rebellion protests, nipping up to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and helping to collect coats for Wrap Up London

“My eco intention is to spend more of my time in nature, whether this is a forest walk, reading in a park or growing plants from seeds. I find it truly grounding and a refreshing change from the busy life in London. I would like to run more, both for my physical and mental health. I am going to set attainable goals to keep me motivated and to give me a real sense of achievement.

“Each month, I would like to do something new with regards to sustainability in my personal life. This could be environmentally or socially focused. I plan to: encourage better recycling on my street; raise money for a charity; volunteer for a day; pick up plastic pollution; host a charity coat collection; or engage with someone on sustainability and encourage them to make behaviour changes.”

Rosanna Falconer

Taking over the Eco-Age Instagram from the Green Carpet Fashion Awards, sharing her London Fashion Week wardrobe, taking us on her eco adventures – Rosanna has been with us from day one of 2019, and we’re so looking forward to seeing where she takes us in 2020…

“My tip for 2020? I embraced the joys of clothing rental in 2019 with around 30% of my wardrobe now rented out on HURR. Circular fashion fills me heart with joy every time I see another woman wearing my clothes but there is a lot of maintenance involved. More often than not, my rentals are precious party pieces with dry cleaning as the only option on the care label. Dry cleaning techniques use perchloroethylene – a chemical that gives that ‘clean smell’. It is both neurotoxic and carcinogenic. Remarkably, it’s used on our high streets! I’m going to counteract this by using the Silk Eco Wash from the Clothes Doctor and hand washing instead. I’ll then finish by ironing on a low heat (a lengthy but meditative act!). For pieces that simply must be cleaned professionally, try these eco-aware cleaners.”

Lori Delaney

Brandmark coordinator Lori is often to be found dashing about town between events, but in between she’s pretty proud to have written about the most eco-friendly superheroes, and shared her wishlist of Come Dine With Me guests too.

As an individual I did a lot in 2019 to really limit my Carbon Footprint from lowering my food waste, to completely stopping shopping to opting to take the train instead of flying back home. In 2020 I really want to push that further because I know there is more that I can do. My goal will be to challenge myself to shop for local produce, learn about foods that are in season and how to best use what the UK has to offer. (Goodbye avocados….)

Jil Carrara

Contributor and much-loved member of the Eco-Age family, Jil has looked into tricky topics like sustainable palm oil for us and shared her experience at the Global Climate Strikes in September.

“In terms of my eco incentive for 2020 I would say that I will do more litter picking in the new year as I feel like I could have done more when out on walks to the gym or to work. Plan on trying the Take 3 for the sea challenge every time you’re out about about, picking up three pieces of rubbish wherever you are.”

Sophie Parsons

The Queen of the #SelfCareSundays, Sophie’s kept our Insta feed looking beautiful while writing about Brexit, cultural appropriation and wildfires.

“I have managed to eliminate almost all single-use waste from my food shop but my beauty products are still very heavily in plastic. I am going to try and incorporate more low waste alternatives into my routine, be it solid shampoo bars to homemade scrubs and lotions

My borough in London has one of the highest poverty rates, especially amongst children, and so my intention this year is to donate to my local foodbank when doing my own weekly food shop. 

Momoko Hill

Momoko shared her journey in sustainability with us earlier this year – and in 2020, the podcast host has some exciting plans to take it even further.

“In 2020 I am going to help 10 schools in London get plastic-free status, as a Surfers Against Sewage representative. I’m also going to find a solution for composting my food waste – the council have been un-coperative so far, but we persist!”

Emma Slade Edmonson

Sustainable fashion and slow style advocate Emma shared her tips with us on how to restyle your pre-existing wardrobe for the new year.

“My eco incentive for 2020 is to build on the work I’ve been doing to reduce household waste. I will look to build on the work I’ve done already to become package free and to use refills in the bathroom (so far – deodorant, solid or refill shower gel, reusable face wipes, package free face oil and face wash and biodegradable sanitary products). I will strive to try to convert all bathroom products to package free or low impact. In the kitchen, I hope to move to a total refill model with my eco laundry washing and for dishes. I’ve invested in a vegetable delivery scheme that saves misshapen veg from going to waste and will be working towards cooking in a more economical way utilising all scraps and some food waste. I find reducing waste in the household easier to manage and less overwhelming if you take it room by room and step by step.”

Julia O’Driscoll

Julia has spent this year interviewing some pretty inspirational people; from Rose Lukas of Syrian Supper Club, to environmentalist and author Rob Hopkins and through her role as social media editor, she’s been inspiring our eco-community to take on slow fashion in September and #takebackblackfriday.

“I’m surrounded by vegetarians and vegans in my social circle, but still haven’t managed to completely kick my meat habit. I intend to only eat meat when I’m confident it’s been ethically and sustainably sourced, and that my purchase supports local businesses. I’ll continue to shop second-hand as much as possible – my main tip is to ask friends who are having a clear out to share the pieces with you for first dibs; I’ve picked up gems this year that were headed for the charity shop otherwise.” 

Charlotte Turner

From deep dives into supply chains to speaking on numerous panels, our head of sustainable fashion and textiles has been busy spreading her sustainability knowledge – and a few exciting developments outside of the office too…

“I’m getting married in 2020, and weddings can create a huge amount of waste; from plastic packaging and decorations to items that will only be used once or disposed of. I’m trying to create a wedding that’s as sustainable as possible, from local, organic and seasonal food, to low-impact decorations including biodegradable materials and herbsthat can be replanted in place of cut flowers. The dress is also hugely important to me – in the end I have chosen to buy from Brides Do Good, an incredible charity working to put an end to child marriage.”  

“My main challenge is bringing lunches in to the office – I do try to take a bowl to our local deli instead of buying pre-packaged food or taking their disposable take away boxes, but want to try to bring in my lunches more to further reduce waste and packaging.” 

Beatrice Murray-Nag

Beatrice joined Team Eco-Age in November – whether it’s meeting inspiring people who are changing the world,interviewing thought-leading authors like Dana Thomas or tracking down the most eco-friendly tights, she’s not stopped since!   

“I’m quite sustainability-savvy when it comes to my own life, but I tend to totally swallow my opinions when talking to friends and family about this. In the new year, I’m going to try not to simply nod along when my friends talk about their latest fast fashion purchase, or sit quiet when the topic of eating meat comes up in conversation. As a writer, I’m much better at getting my thoughts out on paper than I am face to face, so my eco intention will be to speak up more and channel the activist in me. In a climate crisis, I think we need to get better at expressing our opinions and intentions to help educate others. We’re all on this planet together, after all!” 

Start small on eco incentives with a few of these simple plastic swaps.

Find out how to set resolutions that you’ll actually keep in 2020.

Emma Slade shares her tips for restyling your wardrobe in the new year.