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The Community’s fifth 21 Day Challenge - Sustainable resolutions in January 2022

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Hello everyone and welcome to the Community’s fifth 21 day challenge! 


What is a 21 day challenge I hear you ask? Well, apparently it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. And we’d like to try and make some more sustainable habits in our everyday lives. So, members of the Community are teaming up each month to tackle a new challenge. And hopefully, some of the changes will stick! In December we completed our fifth 21 day challenge where we paused for thought to focus on mindfulness to end the year on a high, thanks to everyone who participated! You can read more about the idea here, too.

This month’s challenge is a little different - you can choose your own sustainable goal for January - in honour of the classic New Year’s resolution. 

We’ll use the replies section below to all post our progress, including plenty of pictures and updates. We cannot wait to see what resolutions you choose and how they go. 

Incase you’re in need of a little inspiration here’s some ideas:

  • Reduce plastic use 
  • Lose the car
  • Reduce water use
  • Shop locally 
  • Go veggie 

It’s a New Year and a new challenge, and we’re ready to go! :smiley:

32 replies

Userlevel 7
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I am smiling from 👂to 👂our Mads, cos I ADORE embracing these PP challenges, but was certain the December one would be the last. Soooooooooo glad it’s not! This January one is a fab one! 👍👍👍👍👍

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Since one of the earlier PP challenges, I am finding myself, without thinking, continuing to check all my fruit and veg when it’s about to go in the 🛒, to see if it’s British and local 😁. It was such great fun to do that for that early challenge, as I hadn’t thought too much about it when in supermarkets. Altho it was just for one month, it’s amazing how it fast became the norm 😳. It was automatic, and has now become something I try to do all the time. It’s harder at this time of year for sure, but it’s definitely doable, and even if everything isn’t local (asparagus Peru this week), the bulk of it still can be 👍👏🇬🇧. 

So that is a big one for me that I truly want to continue doing, and supporting as many, not just British, but LOCAL farmers. 

Sadly the broken foot💥 meant I couldn’t always walk as often, so resulted in using Uber’s and Ocado at times, but now it’s starting to knit and heal, I will always aim to walk wherever possible, not only for the planet, but health and fitness too. 

Now, this time last year, after thirty odd years of being vegetarian, I wanted to learn more about becoming vegan. Pleased to say, fully embraced it, and altho initially a bit tricky with foods containing eggs, I am now 99% there. Really pleased and proud, BUT the 1% is the vegan 🧀🧀🧀🧀. Not quite been able to embrace that yet, one year on, so guess for 2022 the big one for me would be to aim, by Dec 2022, to have moved to vegan cheeses, plus continue fully with my walking, and eating local seasonal foods where possible, all to help local businesses and the planet. 


Userlevel 4

Wow @Bev, it sounds like you’ve made some amazing progress in 2021 towards living more sustainably - you’re an inspiration!

I know what you mean about vegan cheese though… I’m not vegan myself, but have a lactose intolerance so have tried quite a few of the vegan alternatives, most of which don’t live up to the real thing for me. 

But, there are a couple of brands I’ve found that I really like. Follow Your Heart do smoked gouda style cheese slices, which melt nicely on a meatless burger and taste great. You can buy them on Ocado, and they have a few other flavours which I’m excited to try. I’ve also enjoyed the Applewood vegan smoked cheddar.

Let me know if you discover any others which hit the spot for you :cheese::cheese::cheese:

Userlevel 4

This month I’m going to make a concerted effort to reduce the amount of plastic I use/buy. I wrote a blog post as part of Plastic Free July last year, and was shocked at some of the statistics I found during my research - like how we bought 10.8 billion plastic bottles in the UK in 2018 alone, or how we use 129 billion face masks globally each month, many of which contain plastic microfibres. 

I’ve already made the swap to reusable face masks, and have a reusable water bottle to use when I’m on the go, but I know there’s a lot more I could be doing. 

I’m moving house later on this month, and am really going to try to get off on the right foot, choosing plastic-free and reusable alternatives where I need to replace things.

I’m really interested in trying some of the refillable planet-friendly cleaning products now available, and am going to invest in some glass tupperware and beeswax wraps to replace my discoloured and warped plastic containers and cling film. I’ll let you know how I get on!

Is anyone else looking to reduce their plastic use this month?

Userlevel 7
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Thanks soooooo much re the 🧀🧀🧀🧀Alex. Seriously my Asda only does one brand, which was awful, can’t even remember the brand, but was not pleasant and nothing like cheese. I didn’t even think to search Ocado, just tend to stick to favourites on line don’t we when food shopping, for the ease 😁😁😁😁BUT I SOOOOOOOOOO truly love veggie Applewood so am thrilled they do a vegan beauty! The other brand you say, which melts nicely, will be perfect as tend to use most of my cheeses, come to think of it, when cooking. I truly love Gouda, ate loads over Christmas. Ah that’s music to my ears, especially re Ocado. Sooooooo gonna try that for my challenge, and will update here 👏👍

I remember your bloggy thingy Alex last summer. It’s staggering isn’t it when you see all the figures 😳. Like you, I browsed hard to find the right facemask, knowing this pandemic was going nowhere. It’s refreshing to see soooo many more now wearing the reusable types👏👏👍👍👍. 

Yes, once you get fully settled into you’re new abode, it will be interesting to hear how you get on. It’s funny isn’t it how a new year, new abode, new situation, or whatever, gives us that little motivational push 👍😁🤷‍♀️but it does! 

Userlevel 6

I’m so here for the vegan cheese chat!  I’m not vegan (though I have tried so hard to go plant based for years) but I had a vegan pizza in Brighton in 2017, which I still dream about!  It had smoked vegan mozzarella, and it was the best pizza I have ever eaten.  And I’ve eaten a LOT of pizzas.  I think the place I had it was called Purezza.  I just went back and checked their menu again and OMG it looks so good.  Where I live, you just don’t get that kind of food!

ANYWAY, onto my resolutions…

  1. I’m going to start taking showers more than baths to save water
  2. I’m going to stop eating red meat completely
  3. I’m going to try and shop local as much as I can
  4. I’m going to try and eat more local fruit and veg

I’m in such a good place for a total overhaul, so there’s loads of little things I can do, and all the little things add up don’t they!

Userlevel 7
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They do indeed our Jen, and loving all four of yours! 😳👏👏👏👏

Especially love the 🚿one. I adore my showers, and never ever ever take baths, way too 1970s hee 😉😁but yes, also thinking of the planet too 👍. 

Oh wow, love love love 🍕🍕🍕🍕as a treat, and your Brighton one sounds amazing! 😳I am soooooo salivating at that new M&S advert, on most evenings, for their new plant based range! That new vegan 🍕for five notes looks sooooooooooooo truly scrumptious! Mmmmmm 💕😁👍

Reducing plastic is a fabulous choice @AlexHep! I think I might focus on going veggie and staying seasonal when I can. @Bev I’ll be coming to you for all of my veggie tips! 

This is my plan for dinner tonight - Ottolenghi’s green Shakshouka, my friend made it for me recently and I thought it was divine. :heart_eyes:

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Too too spooky our Mads, as I used to make and love Shakshouka. Spooky cos a friend of mine made it for her family, and they all loved it soooo much so she told me about it and I regularly made it and loved it too. 

For the last year, I haven’t made it, to try to be fully vegan, but it’s a truly wonderful meal for veggies. Truly wonderful. Loving all your aims too. Somehow I don’t think you’ll be needing any ideas of mine hee, as your chef days and now your fab soup kitchen, will give you a great headstart into vegetarianism our Mads 👏👏👏👏👏👍

Thanks very much @Bev! The Shakshouka was so lovely, I’m so happy to hear you used to enjoy it too. 

Maybe you could still make it now with vegan cheese and no eggs? Could add some extra veggies to bulk it up! :smiley:

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Going to embrace the veggie cheeses Alex has told me about, our Mads, from Ocado, then deffo going to try my regular veggie recipes which have used eggs in the past, with the cheeses hopefully. Looking forward to really trying hard re vegan this year. Last year was a massive start, but just need this last little 1% now to fully do it 👍🤞🧀. 

Sooooooo thrilled your shak was a big fat yes, you could soooooo do that for your homeless project. No, better not, they’ll never get off the streets 🤣🤣🤣🤣, your recipes will be too too good hee! 

Hahaha @Bev you’re too kind to me - maybe if you tried my food you’d eat your words! 

Last night was homemade dahl and rice, it went down a treat. 

Mushroom ragu was last nights veggie number! Here’s the recipe.  

I spent an hour in Asda looking for polenta with different lovely Asda team members - to no avail - so I gave up and went for Spaghetti instead. It was delicious though!

Here’s a couple of before and after cheese pictures:


Userlevel 7
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Looks really really lovely our Mads 😳👍👍👍👏👏👏👏👏👏, nice recipe too, I like the look of that a lot. 🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄soooooooooooo nutritious too, be a good one for your homeless our Mads 👍

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Talking of Asda 🙃, over Christmas and NY, their vegan stuff sold sooooooooo fast😳😳😳! Today, they’re fully stocked up again with Richmond sausage, and the gorge Richmond bacon, so was really chuffed, as love both🛒👍. Think without a doubt, Richmond have got it spot on with their vegan range 👍👍👏👏

Userlevel 4

Have you tried the THIS Isn’t Bacon @Bev? I was really impressed with that. The Beyond Meat burgers are my favourite meat replacement though - better than the real thing in many ways :yum:

I’m finding the 21 day challenge quite hard so far. I do most of my food shopping online these days and finding plastic-free packaging is near impossible. I did pop into a health food store though, and picked up some of the nuts and seeds I enjoy in bulk, so reducing plastic a bit. I’ve also invested in some glass tupperware - I found a whole set for under £20 which I was really chuffed with - so I’m recycling all the old plastic ones, which are well past their sell buy date anyway. 

Next up is cleaning products. Some of the Pure Planet team have recommended a company called Smol which looks interesting. All their packaging is recyclable, refillable and returnable, and they send you tablets on subscription which you dissolve in water to make cleaning sprays. I’ll let you know how I get on! 

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Oh Alex! Get this! I tried it indeed, just before Christmas. Initially I thought I loved it, and I emailed them Alex, on life, to say it was lovely BUT was more kippers than bacon hee. They larfed and loved my comments, BUT when I had it again, I decided no, way too kippers, if you love smoked kippers it’s ideal. I don’t DISLIKE it as such, BUT I want bacon, not fish, so stick to Richmond now always, Alex. How spooky! 

Hey Alex, I did notice in Asda yesterday, for the first time, they are selling reusable white mesh bags sitting with the fruit and veg, so you buy it once, then take it each time to put loose fruit veg in. Way back, they did the plastic bags of course with each fruit, but no more. Of course, that leads peeps (including me ☺️) to head for pre packed. So, the shops ARE trying now, but hopefully more customers will start to embrace. 

I larfed to myself as I specifically went for fruit and veg yesterday, and was constantly checking if local and British hee. Think it’s inbulit now hee. 

You use Ocado Alex, and soooooo annoying when it all arrives in carriers INSIDE the crates! I ask every time, what’s the point?. I immediately take my goods out the crates, leaving bags behind, which they refund of course, but why not put straight in crates! It’s nearly all packaged or boxed anyway. Always outstanding drivers tho, and they always agree. 

Userlevel 4

You know @Bev, I do really like smoky flavours, so perhaps that’s why I like it! Especially with pancakes and maple syrup :yum:  I need to give Richmond’s a go though too. 

That’s amazing that Asda have started doing that. I’ll have to pop in and support the initiative! 

It’s great that checking where all your fruit and veg comes from comes naturally to you now - it’s the same for me but with sugar! Shocking how much can be in some things, puts you right off.

Got to agree with you on Ocado - doesn’t make a whole lots of sense with the bags and crates, but their service is amazing every time. When I lived in a flat, they’d always carry it right up to my door. 

Userlevel 7
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That’s what I like Alex, as live first floor. It allows notes for driver as you know. Hee, I gave instructions re which floor and door etc, then added had broken foot so please bear with etc. They have gone out of their way to get it right to my door, and make sure it’s all OK before leaving. Can truly see why you pay a bit more, but absolutely worth it 👏👏👏👏

I am sooooo like you, in when I see a new initiative like that, I tend to go purely to support it! Lovely how lots of us are soooo like minded here Alex 👍👍👍👍

Userlevel 4

And it also means you can have the M&S vegan range delivered right to your door :heart_eyes::yum::heart_eyes:

You’re absolutely right @Bev - it does seem like we have lots in common :heart_eyes: I’ve only been a part of the Community properly for a week or so, but I’ve learnt and talked about so many different things already - mostly food and puppy -related of course, my two favourite things!

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(Sooooooo keen to look for the vegan M and S pizza indeed, Alex, with next Ocado order!)

Hey! Thought I would post this, as just this second watched it on ITV news. Psychologist from  University speaking about NY resolutions, saying we always tend to say “I am going to stop eating meat” or “I am eating no more sweets” etc, then when we do, we beat ourselves up for having meat or a sweet etc. She is encouraging us to say “!ets go smoke free” for example, basically cutting down on whatever we want to quit, but if we do have a cigarette for eg, that’s fine, just like some have meat once twice a week as they gradually cut down. Prob likely to be more successful. Nice approach to it. 

Think last year, I kinda did that, as instead of thinking I will go vegan, I realised it was more realistic to say “I will eat a plant based diet” so altho it was fully veggie, the new wording and making it more 21st century (and doable) was to say that as opposed to full vegan. 

Userlevel 4

That’s a really interesting approach @Bev, and one we could do with embracing I think after the couple of years we’ve all had to endure!

Alongside my cutting down on plastic, I’ve also promised myself that I will use the ‘nice’ stuff I have. I always save things for a special occasion - candles, face masks, things like that - and they end up getting dusty or going out of date. In doing so, I’m slowing down and taking a bit more care of myself.

It’s fantastic you’ve managed to sustain a plant based diet all this time. Hopefully this time next year I can say I’ve reduced my plastic use too!

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This is no lie Alex, (I am larfing to myself as I type), but you saying re saving things for special occasions, I was sooooooo like that, then when took a break from work, my wardrobe all rolled into one, no longer had work clothes, and “best” clothes😄, and now it’s loungewear all the way 👍🤣for sure! Can’t bear clothes now hee. BUT what made me larf, was the similarity, proved on Saturday. Our Alex, I love my  🚿🚿🚿🚿🚿🚿, and on life, realised no soap😳😳😳 (trying hard to not buy shower gel bottles at all now you see, just bars of vegan soaps👍👏, which I am loving btw), but used to buy and store lots of shower gels when at supermarket etc, with my towels, but with bars of soap, I hadn’t noticed I was running out, and there were none left! 😳👎

So, anyway, remembered, when I first moved in, I used soap to fragrance my drawers (you know how they did back in the old days hee 🤣) and when moved in, just to freshen everything up after the move, I put a bar or two, fully wrapped, in with socks🧦🧦🧦, pants👙, jumpers 👚etc. Well, soooooo couldn’t believe it Saturday, when found one bar left, still at very back of socks😳😳😳, perfectly wrapped! It was “Body Shop” that, back then, I thought was really special🤣 and didn’t want to use willy nilly. I was sooooo relieved, and I am now using it. I’ve since checked drawers, and found, on life, a “FCUK” which back then, was very very special 😍, so I hadn’t used it either! 

So yes, 25 years on, and soaps are still as special as when new, and proud to say they’re now in full use👍. It’s a thing we all do isn’t it, Alex, thinking save for rainy day☔️, save for special occasion, save for best etc, but again, thru the pandemic, it’s made us more mindful of using what we already have, don’t keep buying more, and appreciate what we already have indeed. 

Again, don’t larf, I did a pamper Saturday, and like you say, Alex, thought it’s lovely to take time and care, not for any special occasion, but just because 👍👍👍👍👍👍😊

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I was going to post this in the TV thread, but thought no, let’s post it here hee. 

Reason being, not only is it a “hobby” programme, so may encourage those thinking of taking up something new for 2022, but it’s also a good way to switch the mind off 👍for one hour, totally relax and embrace the calmness hee🛋. 

It’s 1600hrs on Channel 5, and it’s called Watercolours. Fern Britain presents, from Cornwall. Lighthearted competition between new everyday artists wanting to have a go and learn. 

Userlevel 6

Popping my head in to report that I bit the bullet and opened the fancy soap that one of my friends gave me for Christmas!  It’s a lovely vegan soap from Bomb cosmetics and it smells SO GOOD.  It’s got such a lovely design on it, it’s almost a shame to use it, but I’m fully on board with this idea of using the things we keep “for good”.