One Planet Living

One Planet Living

I alluded in my last post to having a goal for 2017 that I wanted to share with you all, and this is it – One Planet Living.
Wanting to live more sustainably has been a real driver for me ever since we embarked on our year buying nothing new, but it’s a pretty big (and at times overwhelming) goal. What does it even mean?
It’s too big. It’s too vague. It encompasses everything, all areas of my life, and it’s hard to even know where to start. And I figured if I feel like this, then maybe other people do too.
So I started thinking about how to break it down, to make it more manageable, and therefore easier to take action on, and I stumbled across this concept of ‘One Planet Living’.

From time to time I get asked to do talks and presentations about our year buying nothing new, or about mending and repair, and I often quote these two facts:

  • As a global humanity, we are using up 1.6 planet’s worth of resources each year
  • Here in the UK, we each use up 2.4 planet’s worth of resources each year (some sources say 3)

These are pretty startling statistics, and no-one needs me to tell them that we have only one planet.
And while these stats are good for their shock value, and as a way to encourage people to think about their own resource use, they have also got me mulling over what it would look like, to live a life that only used up one planet’s worth of resources. How far away from that are we as a family at the moment? What changes would we need to make? Would our quality of life suffer? Is it even possible to live a ‘normal’ life in a modern, Western society and live within the resource constraints of our planet?

I don’t know the answers to these questions, but it’s a theme that I’m really curious to explore over the coming year.
And I’d love for you guys to join me!

I had a think about all the different components of sustainable living, and after consulting the lovely members of my Facebook group I’ve come up with 12 categories, one for each month of the year:

January – A Making Do month, or Love What you Have
– making best use of what we’ve already got, from food and leftovers, to our craft stashes and our clothes
February – One Planet Buying
–  This is all about buying stuff slowly, thoughtfully and with consideration for the impact that it has on the resources used, and the people who made it. It encompasses buying secondhand, fair-trade, ethical, the sharing economy and much much more.
March – One Planet Food
– I’ll be sharing some of my favourite recipes for cooking from scratch, discussing sourcing local and zero waste food, and how we can minimise the impact of the food we eat on the environment, as well as some Grow Your Own tips and advice.
April – One Planet Fashion 
– Clothes are always going to be a big part of our lives, even for someone like me who isn’t really that bothered by them. The fashion industry is the second most polluting sector, with only the oil industry causing more damage to the planet, and it’s an area where we all can, and should, make a really big difference.
May – Mending and Repair
– Mend it May was so much fun last year it seemed only sensible to do it all over again. During May we will be focussing on repair and mending, and the gentle activism of fixing your stuff.
June – One Planet Home
– ways to conserve resources in our homes, so expect lots of tips for saving every and water, as well as recipes for homemade cleaning products.
July – Plastic Free
– Plastic Free July has been running for several years now as an annual month long event focussing on simple steps we can all take to reduce the amount of plastic we are using. I’ll be joining in this year as part of One Planet Living and I know that plastic is an issue that lots of us struggle with, so I’m hoping we can all help each other work out strategies to cut down our use.
August – One Planet Travel and Transport
– August is traditionally holiday month here in the UK, and I’ll be looking at eco-friendly ways to get around, both when jetting off on holiday and also from day to day.
September – Zero Waste
– Zero Waste Week has been a regular feature of the sustainability calendar in September, so I’ll be joining in and extending the ‘war on waste’ into the whole month.
October – One Planet Body and Soul
– there’s no point having a beautiful planet to live on if we aren’t able to appreciate it. This month I’ll be looking at self-care, mental health and also some recipes for DIY toiletries and beauty products.
November – One Planet Celebrations
– in the run up to Christmas I’ll be looking into how to minimise the impact of our celebrations and our gift giving on the planet. There will be ideas for homemade and upcycled gifts, but also discussions around why we gift, and whether we still should.
December – One Community
– I’ll be investigating and highlighting community projects and initiatives that help us all to tread more lightly, and also be thinking about ways we can have ‘those conversations’ with friends and family and how we can spread the word about the changes we all need to make.

Phew – That’s a whole lot of stuff!
As I said, I’d love for you guys to join me in this. No pressure, I’m aiming for it to be fun and light-hearted and for people to be able to dip in and out, or cherry-pick the bits that they want to work on. But by doing it together we can help to support and motivate each other, pool resources and ideas, and have a far bigger collective impact than each slogging away on our own.

I’ll be back tomorrow with another post explaining a little bit about how to join in and how to set specific goals for each month that are both impactful and achievable, but for now, do let me know if you’ll be joining in! Leave a comment or come and join in the conversation in our Facebook group 🙂

To make sure you stay up to date and get all the One Planet Living info, sign up to the newsletter, where I will be rounding up all the best bits each month.

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  • Reply Francesca January 7, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Brilliant idea, I’ll be definitely joining this 🙂

    • Reply Jen January 9, 2017 at 12:01 pm

      Yay! That’s great to hear Francesa 🙂

  • Reply Annie January 6, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    Great idea! Looking forward to joining in.

    • Reply Jen January 6, 2017 at 8:56 pm

      Thanks Annie!

  • Reply Elderberry January 6, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    This is a fantastic idea, and timely too! I already have tons of ideas for this month’s theme, I can’t wait to get started…

    • Reply Jen January 6, 2017 at 1:16 pm

      Brillo, can’t wait to hear them!

  • Reply Tass Smith January 6, 2017 at 9:07 am

    My 2017 One Word Resolution was ‘focusing’. I need to use it in all aspects of my life to combat my often overwhelming desire to procrastinate! Your post is well timed as you’ve done the hard work of bringing a monthly focus for my family / home life. I’ll share the blog with some friends too.
    Thanks Jen.

    • Reply Jen January 6, 2017 at 1:16 pm

      So pleased it’s helpful Tass! Sometimes with really big stuff it’s hard to know where to focus and therefore where to start!

  • Reply Teresa January 5, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    I love this structure, it breaks it down over the year and makes things more achievable. A few new things to consider each month rather than being overwhelmed and not knowing what to tackle first. It’s great thank you and am really looking forward to taking part!

    • Reply Jen January 6, 2017 at 1:15 pm

      Hi Teresa!
      Yes, hopefully it will feel much more achievable for all of us!

  • Reply Rachel Bridgeman January 5, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    I will be joining this! Great ideas thank you Jen!

    • Reply Jen January 6, 2017 at 1:15 pm

      Brillo, welcome aboard Rachel!

  • Reply Tasha January 5, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    I like this idea of a structure, and a focus for each month! I’ll be glad to see what ideas everyone has around these topics.

    • Reply Jen January 6, 2017 at 1:14 pm

      Thanks Tasha! Yes, it will be fascinating to do it as a community and see what different things different people bring to it 🙂

  • Reply OmniRunner January 5, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    Great idea. I did get some new sweaters for Christmas. I plan to wear them over older shirts that may be showing some wear. That way I can get a little more life out of my old shirts.
    And the sweaters will last me for 10 years.

  • Reply debbieruppenthal January 5, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    Hand up. I’m interested Jen!

    • Reply Jen January 6, 2017 at 1:13 pm

      Yay! That’s great Debbie 🙂

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