Given the current climate crisis, many of us are looking to make changes to our lifestyles and follow a more sustainable approach to life. This is particularly the case when it comes to our diets and eating habits. We know that eating sustainably is often perceived to be more expensive, which puts it out of reach for many across the UK who are already struggling to make ends meet.

But eating more sustainably can mean spending less too. That is why I’ve teamed up with housing provider Abri, to bridge the gap between sustainability and affordability. We’ve launched the Living Well campaign together, to focus on providing practical support to Abri customers, showing them how sustainable and affordable lifestyles can go hand in hand.

The campaign grew out of research Abri conducted with YouGov, which revealed that many UK adults want to make their own positive contribution to fighting climate change, but they often feel they’re powerless to do so. This feeling of climate apathy can prevent us from looking up and acknowledging the climate crisis. Most of us can and must play our part in protecting our planet. Our small steps towards a healthier world are essential, and we’ve got a clear journey ahead when it comes to addressing climate change.

 

The research in a snapshot 

  • 71 per cent of UK adults think we’re in a large climate emergency.
  • 37 per cent of UK adults feel ‘powerless’; 32 per cent ‘frustrated’ and 29 per cent ‘anxious’ about climate change.
  • 68 per cent of UK adults think that global action to tackle climate change needs to begin immediately and 43 per cent say they have a large personal responsibility.
  • In the next five years, 41 per cent of UK adults said they would be willing to reduce how often they eat meat and animal products on a weekly basis to help lower their carbon footprint.

 

Bringing Abri’s customers into the campaign

This campaign, and my work with Abri, is about bringing people together with one shared goal: finding ways to eat more sustainably, while keeping costs affordable. This is something we believe many of us can achieve with the right advice and ideas. This and our drive to help as many people as possible, is why we’re getting some of Abri’s customers involved in the campaign.

We’ll be producing a series of easy recipes for you to try out at home, as well as sharing some top tips to help you start making those small (but impactful) changes. We’re also creating a guide for Abri’s communities to help people understand some of the easy steps they can take.

 

Some pointers to take away

  • Eat local-seasonal produce
  • Eat mostly fruit and vegetables and reduce meat/dairy
  • Reduce waste and use up, freeze and preserve excess ingredients and leftovers 

Eating sustainably is the easiest and most effective way to lower your personal carbon footprint. Making small adjustments such as reducing food waste, buying local, seasonal produce and eating more whole grains, fruit and vegetables can have a really positive impact.

This isn’t about cutting out meat and dairy or adopting a strict vegetarian or vegan diet. Climate-friendly eating is about embracing the wonderful diversity of delicious foods the world has to offer, in a way that reduces our carbon footprint and costs less. 

Making more environmentally friendly choices can be achieved by making subtle, straightforward changes. I’m keen, as are Abri, to help a significant number of people make positive changes to what they eat – changes that are easy, healthy, good for the environment and that will save them a few pounds too.

 

Understanding the bigger picture

One of Abri’s core priorities is to address the challenge of a generation – climate change. We want to make positive climate action accessible to all. 

That’s why, alongside the work they’re undertaking on the Living Well campaign, and its Future Home Standard, Abri has introduced its own Design Toolkit that looks at the inter-related challenges of building and living sustainably as a whole. The four key themes within it cover not just the quality and sustainability of the bricks and mortar but also the environment, connectivity and sense of place that the site delivers, the opportunities for community involvement and cohesion and – critically, the way the home supports healthier, more sustainable lifestyles.

This is all about working together to make positive change happen more quickly.

We’re looking forward to working with as many people as possible to improve access to healthy, affordable meals, that also go a long way to reducing our carbon footprint.

Can you save money, save the planet and eat really well? Absolutely.

Tom cooking at Abri’s Grub Club initiative.

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Eating
for
Pleasure,
People &
Planet

By TOM HUNT

Tom's manifesto, 'Root to Fruit' demonstrates how we can all become part of the solution, supporting a delicious, biodiverse and regenerative food system, giving us the skills and knowledge to shop, eat and cook sustainably, whilst eating healthier, better-tasting food for no extra cost.

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