4 Nov 2019

5 Tips for Your Most Sustainable Winter Yet

The mornings are getting darker and the jumpers are getting thicker. With winter just around the corner, we will be sipping glögg before you know and then it will be time for our 4 day Sustainability Boot Camp in January! But while we stock up on candles and vitamin D tablets, what can we do to prepare for a more sustainable winter too? Not every action towards a sustainable future needs to be a grand gesture so we have collected 5 small tips to help this winter be your most sustainable yet!

Think through the winter coat. The shop windows are full of this year’s must have winter coats; but before we choose our most important clothing item for the time of year, we have a couple of extra questions for you to think about other than just how cosy it is.

First up, what is wrong with last year’s coat? If it is just missing a button or looking a bit tired, think about getting the sewing kit out and giving it a bit of TLC to get one more year out of it! If that is not doing the trick, have you thought about choosing something second hand? Don’t just check out the stores, ask friends if they have any old coats and want to do a clothes swap session to give you more options. Keeping products in circulation as long as possible is a great way to be more sustainable.

Still not got any luck? Do some research and see if you can find your dream coat from a company using recycled or sustainably sourced materials. Weekday and Patagonia are just a handful of big brands now stocking recycled & sustainably sourced lines in store. And don’t forget to drop off your old coat at a collection/recycling point once you’ve got your new one!

Choose local comfort food. We all want nourishing, hot food to comfort us through the dark nights and that can easily be sustainable food too! The best way to make more sustainable food choices this winter is to buy locally as much as possible, which isn’t as hard as you think here in Sweden, just ask our partners at LRF! ICA, Hemköp and Arla are some of the big names that have great recipes using food grown in Sweden for each season.

For things that you can’t buy from Sweden, think about the durability of the product before you buy: hardy foods like bananas are shipped to Sweden with lower carbon emissions compared to, for example, fresh berries which need to be flown in.

Once you’ve stocked up on all your sustainable ingredients, make sure you’re not throwing any of it away unnecessarily! You can always cook up a few meals with any fresh ingredients that are on their way out and freeze them for a healthy instant meal on those days when cooking is too much of a chore.

Get some fresh air. Here in Sweden on an average day, roughly 77% of all the kilometres we cover is done by car[1]. Choosing to walk or bike wherever possible instead will not only help you feel more energetic through the long winter months, but is also a great way to cut your emissions. Check out #walktowork and #commutebybike on Instagram to get inspired by the beautiful hidden spots that you could discover on the way too!

Bring your own cup. Coffee, hot chocolate, or tea: whatever your hot drink of choice is to comfort you through the cold, avoid unnecessary waste and bring a keep cup with you this winter. Many places like Espresso House stock keep cups, and Indiska even stock bamboo mugs to avoid plastic as well.

Educate yourself! Instead of binging another episode of your favourite series while cuddling up on the sofa, why not take 20 minutes to get yourself clued up on a local sustainability problem or initiative. It can be from how your waste is processed in your local area to checking out some sustainable life hacks. There are loads of great accounts on Instagram to get you started from @ekotipset to your local kommun: @stadutvecklinggoteborg and @umeakommun. And of course if you haven’t already, sign yourself up for ASAP’s sustainability tour for the opportunity to learn relevant skills in sustainability from experts in the field this winter!

[1] https://www.trafikverket.se/resa-och-trafik/Dina-val-gor-skillnad/