Eco-Thursdays: Green New Year’s Resolutions

Happy 2022 everyone!

With a new year underway, it is the season for setting a resolution for the next 12 months. Setting off a few days into January is no excuse not to set a goal or make a pledge, and here are our ideas for some green or eco resolutions you can make:

1. Go vegetarian!

Eating less meat (and/or dairy) is an easy way to reduce your individual environmental impact. Animal agriculture is responsible for 10%of the UK’s emissions, and the intensive farming practices involved in producing the feed for these animals is very damaging for soil quality and biodiversity. Going vegetarian, vegan, or even just flexitarian can be a good way to live by your environmental principles.

Veganuary has some great resources to support your transition, and here are some tasty, easy vegetarian dinner ideas to get you started.

2. Walk to work or school

Making a commitment to walk to your workplace or school (or take public transport if it’s too far to walk) is a great way to improve your health and reduce emissions. You could commit to making the journey by foot once or twice a week. Walking with a friend or family member is a great motivator, or you could find a weekly podcast to accompany your journey.

3. Join a local environmental group

Lots of schools and towns have local groups that run activities relating to the environment. This could be a conservation or biodiversity group in the area, planting trees

and improving green spaces, or a group running sessions with local politicians to let them hear residents views and introduce policy to protect the environment. Making a commitment to join one of these groups and attend once a week can be a great way to meet people and get involved in your local community.

4. Grow your own vegetables

Set a target to grow a particular type of vegetable this year to eat in season instead of buying it in. Salad leaves are a great option to fill sandwiches instead of shop-bought lettuce – many salad plants are ‘cut and come again’, meaning you can harvest the leaves and they’ll grow back without needing to plant more seeds! If you don’t have much outdoor space, growing windowsill herbs can be a great way to introduce fresh home-grown flavours into your cooking. Gardening is also good for your mental health.

5. Wear secondhand clothes

Whether you swap your old clothes with your friend’s, or buy clothes vintage and in charity shops, wearing secondhand outfits is a great way to be ethical in 2022. Fashion is damaging to the environment, in terms of the natural resources and emissions it involves, but less sustainable clothing (which is normally cheaper too) can also involve bad labour practices and exploitation of people. Buying affordable secondhand clothes in charity shops, or swapping clothes with your friends, is a cheap way to be sustainable and hold companies with damaging practices to account.

James is the Chief Executive officer of Ormiston Trust. He has worked as an organisation advisor in the private, public and voluntary sectors, helping organisations to grow sustainably over the medium to long term. He has helped charities for over 20 years in the fields of strategic development, partnership setup, programme and project delivery.

Poppy is the Youth Engagement and Partnership Officer at Ormiston Trust, responsible for coordinating our team of Young Advisors and developing effective working relationships with external organisations. She is currently studying ‘Politics, International Studies and Global Sustainable Development’ at Warwick University and previously worked as Board Advisor for a non-profit youth-focused organisation in Croydon. She has experience in activism work – attending COP26 with environmental education company Force of Nature and had been a member of the UK Youth Parliament for many years, speaking on environmental issues in the House of Commons for its ‘Make Your Mark’ campaign.

Genéa is the Communications and Events Coordinator at Ormiston Trust. She plays an integral role in overseeing the communications and media strategy – along with leading the content development for internal and external comms and PR across the Trust and the #WeWill programme. As well as supporting all event planning across campaigns, including the delivery of comms workshops with the Youth Advisory Council. 

She has worked predominantly in broadcasting PR, comms and editorial and now works as a narrative designer alongside her work since completing her MA in Narrative Environments at Central Saint Martins. 

Fiona is the Grants Assistant at Ormiston Trust and in her role she supports the Grants team. Previously, she worked in the City for 10 years, firstly as a dealer on the floor of the London Stock Exchange and then as an equity salestrader.  

Samia is a business and ICT Teacher with over 20 years of leadership experience in Education, working with leaders from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 5. Her experience has ranged from working as an Acting Head Teacher to a Deputy for an Education Trust. Some of the key highlights from her education career have included building schools and setting up education provisions, including a teaching school, and winning several National awards. Samia is passionate about ensuring the young people in her care have the best possible experience and has always led by example by sending her own children to the schools she has been a part of.

Ray leads the youth engagement, partnerships and fundraising work streams at Ormiston Trust, in particular having strategic oversight of how we as an organisation can embed the voices of our young people in everything we do, and how we can work with partner organisations to maximise shared outcomes and opportunities.

His background is in community project development and funding, having worked with charities, schools, and local authorities in East Anglia to develop a plethora of projects including primary-secondary school transition, award-winning youth amateur theatre, social prescribing in rural GP practices, and youth commissioning boards, for which he was recognised as a Prime Minister’s Point of Light.

Ray is a global health and medicine graduate, alongside his work at Ormiston, he is a hospital doctor and public health academic. He is also an #iWill Ambassador and national #iWill Partnership Board member.

Anne is Finance Manager at Ormiston Trust and has worked for Ormiston Trust for over 30 years, overseeing the property portfolio and asset management. She combines her work at the Trust with voluntary community work and has raised thousands of pounds to enhance leisure and education opportunities for young people in disadvantaged communities. 

Karlene is Finance Manager at Ormiston Trust and has been handling the Financial Management of Ormiston Trust since 2014. Her background is in Financial Services with 20 years working in the industry and she has a passion for systems, processes and spreadsheets to enable good finance management. 

Aneela is the Head of Education at Ormiston Trust. Prior to joining Ormiston Trust, she was Head of Professional Development and School Improvement at Beaconhouse Group, overseeing the professional development of over 8000 teachers and implementing systems for school improvement across 200 international schools, in the Southeast region. Prior to this, she worked at Universities in the UAE, where she taught on the Bachelor of Education and Diploma programmes, and previous to this she was a Lead Advisor for Nord Anglia Education services, working with head teachers and principals to raise educational standards across schools in Abu Dhabi.

Melissa is a Programme Management Officer at Ormiston Trust. In her role she supports the #WeWill programme management, and works closely with the monitoring & evaluation, social action toolkit & skills, and youth engagement teams. She completed her undergraduate degree in International Development at the University of Sussex, and her postgraduate degree in Global Health and Development at UCL. Over the last eight years, she has dedicated much of her time to working with non-profit organisations in the UK, Nigeria, China, and Tanzania.