Simple Changes to Make Today For a More Sustainable, Healthy Lifestyle
Are you tired of endless posts urging you to make New Year Resolutions for 2022?
Sometimes the thought of creating new year resolutions and the inevitable prospect of not living up to them might be another source of stress - yet another line on our to-do list! Here is another way of approaching the year ahead.
Rather than imposing New Year resolutions at the start of the year, ask yourself: what story will you be telling at the end of 2022?
We believe there are so many ways your 2022 story could be a better one, especially if you are trying to create a healthier, more sustainable way of life for you and your family.
Ways to Build a Better Story in 2022
Here at Airfield, we continue to be inspired by Letitia and Naomi Overend who left Airfield Estate in trust to the people of Ireland in 1974. These trailblazing sisters understood the importance of being self-sufficient and sustainable – and not just with food. These ladies rolled up their sleeves to take on everything from farming and cattle trading to car maintenance.
Being part of an active vibrant community, engaging in small everyday habits, exploring what nature has to offer, learning new techniques and opening ourselves up to new inspirations - these are all effective approaches to making changes.
Look at some of the ways you can turn 2022 into a year of positive, meaningful change.
Find Ways to Stop Food Waste
Did you know that simple and easy-to-execute household habits are the best start to reducing food waste? These habits will reduce your carbon footprint and help you to make savings when it comes to your grocery bills:
Catalogue your Current Habits
Start by taking note of what you’re eating and throwing out in a week.
You could be buying more food than you actually need. For example, you can be tempted to buy perishable food in bulk but then end up throwing these items out later. This exercise will help make small changes that are easy to spot and act on immediately.
Plan your Meals and Shopping Lists in Advance
Where to begin? Start with the cupboard challenge! Go through your cupboards, fridge and freezer and make a list of all the food you have in your house.
Then use that list to create a menu for the coming weeks. This simple exercise could help you save money. It just takes a little creativity with your ingredients. With Google at your disposal, you’ll always be able to find an easy recipe. We’ll bet there's even an app for that!
As a result, you’ll soon be making shopping lists in advance and making better food choices instead of buying on impulse. We have created free Seasonal Meal Planners that are available every month. You can download them here.
Find Inspiration with our Food Waste Videos
If you need a friendly hand to get you into the right frame of mind, we have a series of Food Waste Educational Videos that will help you with planning, cooking and composting. This advice was drawn from a variety of experts in the field.
The Food Waste Fighters Project
Find a handy overview of food waste Discussions, Articles and Resources HERE.
Here at Airfield, we’ve also been working with local focus groups on interventions to reduce food waste. Our Food Waste Fighters project aims to help consumers and householders reduce their food waste by 50% by 2030.
We‘re currently exploring new ways of eating more sustainably and are actively trying new ways to reduce the environmental challenge of food waste.
Keep in touch as we continue to find new simple solutions to help address food waste with our community.
Think Local. Buy Local. Buy In Season
We’ve all heard of the impact that air miles can have on our carbon footprint.
This is exacerbated by our consumption of food that is air-freighted into our stores when out of season here. The act of buying your food in season and locally makes a huge difference on many fronts.
● We help our planet by reducing the unnecessary transport and inevitable wastage of food by buying healthy food grown locally.
● We help our local economies by supporting more sustainable local micro-businesses, independent traders and producers. Have you heard of the multiplier effect of spending local money?
● We will inevitably be buying fresher and less industrially processed foods by supporting our local producers.
● When buying food that is in season, we will be practising more conscious eating with our families in tune with the rhythms of nature. In practical terms, you will be relying less on industrially preserved and excessively packaged foods.
Go one step further!
Why not try growing more of your own fruits, herbs and vegetables. If you need inspiration, take some time to discover our Airfield Gardens and keep in touch for gardening related supports, workshops and events in the future.
Check out our Community Food Hub for video inspiration. Our Community Food Hub aims to help people make better food choices by planning and cooking healthy, nutritious meals on a budget of less than €10 per family meal.
Start by Supporting your Local Farmer’s Market
If you’re in Dublin, you’re spoilt for choice. Whether it’s Temple Bar on a Saturday, once a month in Farmleigh or even in the People’s Park in Dun Laoghaire, there’s always a farmers’ market on any given weekend.
There are many reasons Farmer’s Markets are enjoyable. You get to sample the produce on offer and get to know the people and families behind your food.
Here at Airfield Estate, our Farmers Market is open every Friday and Saturday with produce ranging from locally grown fruit and veg, preserves, chutneys, jams, bread, pastries, meats, fish and more.
It’s open from 9.00 am - 2.30 pm and it's free entry! There is bike parking available and car parking on a first-come-first-served basis.
Recycle More and Waste Less
When it comes to recycling there’s always room to change and utilise better ways to dispose of our waste.
Of course, the easiest way to generate less waste is by consuming less. However, this can be challenging when buying at supermarkets as we are often at the mercy of standard industrial packaging practices.
This further makes the argument for buying locally at farmer’s markets where excessive packaging is not the norm.
There are also stores that allow you to buy via dispensers.
In addition, using reusable simple muslin bread bags or vegetable bags can go a long way to reducing those incidental plastic or paper bags in the supermarket.
Make More with What You Have
Recycling is not always about looking to someone else. Or paying someone else. This could be the year when you start making more and buying less.
A cursory look on the internet for upcycling projects is a brilliant way to begin. There are craft projects that the kids will love to get stuck into.
Like this one - HEXIE PATCHWORK FLOWERS! It is a great way to generate patchwork pieces like blankets or cushion covers, whilst using up scraps of leftover textiles and clothes that you already have.
More Sun, Sky and Fresh Air. Less Screen Time
Has there ever been a better time to make this a regular habit?
Just like the act of buying local, this simple habit will provide multiple benefits and bring you closer to a more sustainable and healthier lifestyle.
We’ve spent the last two years of this pandemic cooped up at home . Now that events can come to life again and the days have become brighter, there is no excuse.
Do this for the whole family.
Do it for your children. Get them out there to interact with others without the Xbox. It isn’t enough to tell them to stop or limit the screen time. Nothing works better than actively providing them with opportunities to get out in the fresh air and get their hands dirty in the best possible way.
Do it for yourself. Especially if you are working from home. Taking part in community events can be such a stress reliever and antidote to those Zoom meetings. There are so many ways to engage.
Rediscover new skills at our workshops. Find like minds in our community hub. Or just take a lovely walk in the gardens followed up by lunch with friends. You have so much catching up to do with life in general.
● Looking for ways to spend quality family time outdoors? The kids will love a day out in the Airfield Farm. You'll get to see a perfect working example of environmentally sustainable agriculture in Ireland. Explore and experience farm life up close and even get hands-on if you like. What’s more, you don’t have to leave the city!
● Gifting yourself an Annual Airfield Estate Pass will make it easy to commit more quality time, close to home and create a host of new memories in the outdoors.
● Interested in an outdoor activity in partnership with your local school? Look at our child-centred Education Programmes at Airfield Estate.
● Need to find more activities for yourself? Subscribe to our newsletter (at the bottom of this page) for more news and drop into our Events page for upcoming workshops and classes.
Ready to Manifest Your Story?
If you aren’t fond of resolutions, the best way to kick off this year is to follow what inspires you. Why not embark on 2022 with a desire for discovery and a heart full of intentions ready to be manifested?
Start little by little with small practical everyday steps. Find people of like mind with the same interests. Immerse yourself in the right environment - one that encourages you to do all the things you’ve been wanting to do.
Before you know it…the story you’ve been waiting to tell will start to unfold.