Ever wondered what else we can be doing to be sustainable? We interviewed Aimee and Sonia from Couch to Carbon Zero – they’re on a mission to make smart climate action easy for all of us, no matter how busy we are!
1. One of the biggest issues with the conversation around sustainability is overwhelm. The problem is so huge it can feel paralysing. How do you address that?
Yes, absolutely. It’s big, it’s scary and we can feel totally insignificant. Plus, there’s the big issue of time. Life is crazy enough without having to try and save the planet on top. But nothing solves anxiety like ACTION.
Enter Couch to Carbon Zero – the 10 day sprint. It works because it’s impactful AND time bound. In just a few minutes a day you hit the biggies you’ve probably been meaning to getting around to for ages, you up the ante on the rest, and feel equipped and informed for the everyday decisions that make a big difference.
All the content is delivered in sub 5 minute videos and comes with the cheat sheets and links you need to take immediate action – all the practical details done for you, like whether you should buy Atlantic or Pacific salmon or which clothes labels you can trust. At the end of the 10 days, you’ll feel confident you’ve maxed your impact and can get on with your life feeling empowered, proud and actually a bit relieved!
And what’s really exciting is when we help organisations to engage their staff in doing the sprint together. There’s nothing better to tackle the feeling of being too small to make a difference when you’re doing it with lots of other people at the same time. We’re not alone in this fight and, together, we’re unstoppable.
2. What sorts of changes can participants expect to make in the sprint?
We go beyond the obvious and make it super practical. Who are the truly renewable energy suppliers and what exactly IS sustainable fish? Stuff that shifts the needle but is actionable fast. And it looks not just at how to reduce emissions but, crucially, also how to restore biodiversity and our precious ecosystems. One-off changes, informed daily choices, bite-sized, memorable. And satisfying.
3. Obviously, here at Uniformerly, we believe being sustainable doesn’t have to cost a lot of money but cost is often quoted as the reason people don’t take action. Aside from sharing school uniforms, what other top tips are there for actions people can take that don’t cost the earth (so to speak!)?
There’s heaps we can do to save money and the planet at the same time. Whether it’s buying second hand, aiming for zero waste in all things or using our voice to call for the government policy change we need. We all have a choice, a voice and a wallet and all of these aspects have tremendous power.
Here’s three top tips on how you can take action without it costing anything (it might even save you money!):
- Food waste – around a third of all food produced goes to waste, which is tragic because so much of our food is grown using pesticides (which destroys the soil and rivers), involves cutting down trees and destroying habitats for the land to grow it on, and generates carbon emissions to package and ship it to us. So if we throw it away, all of that was for nothing. We can often have food languishing at the back of the fridge until it shrivels up and we don’t know what to do with it, so check out the brilliant Kate Hall on Instagram where she has bucket loads of tips and tricks. She’s helped us become food waste and freezer savvy – saving everything from lemons and limes, to tomato puree and red onions. And all of that saves us money too!
- Turn the thermostat down 1 degree – for every degree we turn it down we’d save 10% off our energy bills – much needed in these times of spiralling prices. The goal is to be somewhere between 18-21 degrees Celsius. Aim to start at 18 degrees and then turn up slowly til you find a comfortable temperature. Remember layers are our friend (and expected!) in the winter.
- Switch up your money – one of the most powerful things we can do is swap banks. The large high street banks are major funders of fossil fuels, so while we are diligently doing our recycling and hopping on our bikes, we’re inadvertently funding the destruction of the world we want to save! It costs nothing to switch (so long as you are in credit) and the Switch Guarantee makes it easy and actionable in minutes. See how your bank is doing by visiting bank.green.
4. If people want to find out more, where can they find you?
We’d love you to join in with our next Couch to Carbon Zero sprint – we’re opening it up to the public for free for COP27 (the next big climate conference) – it starts 7th November and you can sign up here.
We’re also on Instagram, where we do our weekly ‘Friday Eco-Off’ where we go live on Insta to battle it out for the title of eco-win or fail of the week!
And if you enjoy our work, please tell your school, your fellow parent community, your employer and your friends – the more of us who take action, the faster we can restore our precious planet for our children, their children and beyond.
Aimee & Sonia are co-founders of Everyone of Us, the climate action movement for busy people. Their initiative Couch to Carbon Zero is a 10 day climate sprint that cuts through the noise around sustainability and helps everyone of us to take action in key areas of our lives, helping to shift the climate needle. With sustainability at the heart of Uniformerly’s core values, we love the simplicity and habitual element to this initiative. In just a few minutes a day we are more informed and better equipped to make sustainable changes in our everyday lives.