Sustainable switches

We asked Britain’s largest organic dairy brand to share ways to reduce your impact this Earth Day

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Published: 21 April 2022

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This article first appeared in our Earth Day 2022 issue of My Green Pod Magazine, printed on 22 April 2022. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

The team at Yeo Valley Organic – Britain’s largest organic dairy brand – frequently comments on the importance of organic and nature-friendly farming.

It also believes small positive acts can help make a difference to the planet – from what you buy to how you spend your time.

To mark Earth Day 2022 (22 April), Yeo Valley Organic has asked some of the brightest minds in sustainability for simple lifestyle hacks that can reduce anyone’s carbon footprint.

The goal is to help you feel empowered to make a positive difference – whether it’s in your wardrobe, your kitchen or your garden.

Tips from Kalkidan Legesse

Social entrepreneur; founder of Sancho’s and Schwap circular fashion

Get organised

Really understand what you have now; get to know your clothes, your furniture and the drawers full of barely used things. Get it all organised (this time of year is perfect). Donate or sell what you don’t use on platforms like Shwap or eBay, and recycle the rest.

Plan your style

Moodboard the style you want (for interiors or your personal wardrobe), use Pinterest or simply take screenshots of what you like and draw up a style you want. Now compare what you actually have with what you want. The difference is your shopping list.

Consider your shopping habits

Shop small – find small businesses or creators near you online or on the high street.

When shopping ask yourself whether the person who made the item was paid fairly, whether you will use it more than 30 times and whether, when you have finished using it, you will be able to resell or recycle it.

If you feel comfortable with all of the answers, buy it.

Tips from Dr Lucy Williamson

Nutritionist

You are what you eat

People don’t tend to think about sustainability in relation to their own health and wellbeing, but if you are what you eat, it stands to reason that the healthier the food you put in, the better you’ll feel.

Go with your gut

There are 100 billion microbes in your gut and they are key for a long, healthy life.

The best way to look after them is by sourcing and eating real, nutrient-rich food and making sure you have plenty of fibre from a variety of veg, fruit, grains, pulses and seeds for natural prebiotics.

Probiotic, gut-friendly foods are those with natural cultures present, like milk and yoghurt; other fermented foods for natural probiotics are cheese, kefir, kombucha, kimchi and sourdough.

Spend time in nature

Science is showing that time spent in nature, up close with our land, also benefits our gut health because healthy soils provide many of the same microbes we have in our own gut!

In general, being outside and connecting with the natural world, plants, insects, birds and bees has a positive effect on our overall mental health and wellbeing.

Tips from Tom White

Yeo Valley’s ‘soil detective’

Create your own compost

Homemade compost is a fantastic way to recycle plant material, feed plants and lock carbon back into the ground.

Keep your veg peelings, apple cores and mouldy fruit – when added to a compost bin they will mulch down over time, encouraging worms and insects to digest the food and create a pile of nutrient-rich compost to spread on your soil.

The best way to speed up your compost is to have a 50/50 split of green and brown waste including paper and cardboard, which presents a great opportunity to recycle other household waste.

Make a wormery

Whether you have a garden or not, you can build your own wormery using a glass jar; watch how soil – and the worms and organisms that live in it – can turn old vegetable peelings into compost, which will be perfect to grow some vegetables yourself!

Worms can eat a huge variety of things including cooked food scraps, fruit and vegetable peelings, tea leaves, coffee grounds, egg shells, bread, pasta and rice.

Switch to organic
If you’re on a mission to make a difference, a really simple step you can make is to swap some of your current groceries – like milk, cheese and yoghurt – with organic alternatives, and to buy grass-fed meat, little and often.

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