Save money, save the planet: boiling up fag butts, inoculating against Black Friday and free gardening gold…

In our founder Sue’s Save Money; Save the Planet LinkedIn newsletter this month she’s been recounting a truly vile (or hysterical) incident (depending on your disposition), that set her on the path to sustainability. Extraordinary what people used to do before the days of health and safety. But anyway, if you want a glimpse of penny-pinching sustainability, vintage style, do take a look at the gory details.

She’s also looking at the drug that is Black Friday (and Cyber Monday): the psychology behind it – and some powerful tips on how to ‘just say ‘no’ – for the planet AND for your pocket.

And then, despite this wet and murky November, Sue’s gleefully channelling her inner Monty Don. She’s looking at how to turn trash into gardening gold – so you can get planning for a bumper grow-your-own crop next year. And cultivate your cash saving into the bargain.

If you’d like to hear more about how to saving money AND saving the planet, but this time for your work place colleagues, drop us a line for a chat.

Talking drinking & driving (in a good way), plus a half term ‘how to’ for the kids

In the second of her ‘Save Money; Save the Planet’ series of LinkedIn newsletters 100 Ways’ founder Sue Skeats says she’s just read about a single mum in Norwich who’s juggling five different jobs to keep her and her daughter in ‘heating and eating’. And another story of a man who’d rather feed his dog than himself with the little money he has to live on. With the burden of rising bills and political chaos top of mind she argues it can be easy to forget there’s a looming climate crisis too.

But in the newsletter, Sue goes on to suggest easily achievable sustainability ideas to help people start making a difference – to their pockets as well as the planet. It includes one for parents or carers to share with the kids when they’re off school next week. We share them below.

Our wonderful psychology PhD researcher Claire Gregory says that making small changes like these, that fit easily into your life and are easy to maintain, can actually help change our behaviour. And help us all be that little bit greener. But she points out : “It’s important that we gather information before trying to change habits, to think about WHY you want to change your habits and why it’s important (in this case to do our bit in fighting climate change).

So, here we reprint the tips. They combine thought-provoking facts with handy [money-saving] hacks that also help us do better by the planet…

Putting the brakes on bad driving

Road travel accounts for three-quarters of transport emissions. Most of this comes from passenger vehicles – cars and buses – which contribute 45.1%.  So, apart from keeping to the speed limit for safety (obviously!) slower speeds make for better driving.  Did you know that driving at 50mph uses 25% LESS fuel than 70mph.  Slam dunk. £££ saved!

Drink tap water, not bottled

Still drinking commercially bottled water rather than good old tap water? Professor Darren Reynolds, Health and Environment, Centre for Research in Biosciences and the Institute for Bio-Sensing Technology, University of the West of England, Bristol says: “‘Bottled water is no better for our health – and it’s 500 times more expensive than tap water.  That’s the equivalent of paying £2,000 – £2,500 for a pint of beer!”

Top tap tip: keep your refillable water bottle with your phone and keys – and never forget to take it with you.

A stitch in time really can save nine (try it with the kids this half term!)

A shocking 336,000 tonnes of clothing gets thrown away every year in the UK while globally, every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or burned.

But enough of the doom and gloom. In a sneak preview of one of our 100 Ways we teamed up with Emma Mathews, founder of ethical sock brand Socko. Here she gives a quick video tutorial on how a stitch in time really can save nine; how your much-loved old garments can live to see another day. Drum roll please for… Darning for Dummies.

For the parents amongst you, why not grab all your old woollies and teach the kids some fun life skills this half term!

We hope you like these tips (please let us know what you think) – and let’s all get meaner and greener!

100 Ways wins Employer of the Year award

OMG. We only went and WON!!!

100 Ways in 100 Days™ has just scooped the ‘Newcomer Employer of the Year’ at the Brunel University Summer Internship Programme Awards (BSIP), beating, among others, Innocent Drinks.

At the ceremony, Brunel praised 100 Ways for going above and beyond to provide the best internship experience for the two students we engaged. It said they were helped with tasks not previously undertaken with an approachable, kind and easy-going manner and that we ensured everyone was comfortable with the projects assigned to them. The nomination said that any issues, work or non-work-related could easily be raised and that our founder Sue Skeats was a great mentor.

The BSIP programme is a superb initiative that works with Level 1 students across all academic cohorts who meet a set of under-represented criteria.

It offers eligible students the opportunity to gain eight weeks of relevant paid work experience over their first summer break. The internships are aimed at building students’ skills, knowledge and personal attributes and increasing their self confidence. They also build their knowledge of graduate recruitment and explore more about a particular industry, while adding to their CVs.

Participating students get a chance to start building their professional (and often social) networks too, make valuable contacts and potentially even get to know their future employer!

Huge thanks to Shamai Monnaie and Airin Alexandre (Reen to us) for being Grade A placement students (we miss you!). Shamai, a psychology student helped research, plan, brainstorm and build our social media schedule. Reen, who’s studying film production and theatre developed some amazing videos for the 100 Ways syllabus, even teaching herself brand new animation software into the bargain.

Thanks too to Jenny Manzi at the University for her supreme efficiency and her help in making it all happen.

Reen was also shortlisted for ‘Intern of the Year’ for her inspired production work for us.

The BSIP programme has been a real business asset for 100 Ways in 100 Days and we’d highly recommend it to other employers. For anyone interested in hearing more about our own experience, do drop Sue a line at sue.skeats@100ways.eco.

Why going green is a bit of a bargain

Save money while saving the planet

When our founder Sue Skeats conceived 100 Ways in 100 Days™, it was all about doing good for the planet.

But, together with our PhD researchers at the University of Surrey, who’ve been assisting in its development, we found that many of our ‘Ways’ (easy and achievable bite-sized modules that help people live more ‘greenly’), are actually money saving as well. In fact it turned out the majority are.

Some in little ways, but others are truly jawdropping. The Theory of Marginal Gains (which sits at the core of 100 Ways in 100 Days), shows that every little really does help.  Both for sustainability AND for the wallet.  If we ALL make small changes, many times over, it can have significant impact.

The energy and cost of living crisis is affecting us all, right across the public, private and third sectors, or simply in our personal lives. So Sue has just launched a regular new personal LinkedIn newsletter (you can subscribe here). Entitled: Save Money; Save the Planet, she’s keen to share some of the savvy tips and thoughts we’ve unearthed while producing 100 Ways. Or heard from wise heads or innovative organisations around the globe. Or even mental ‘AHA!’ moments that’ve jolted us out of slumber at three o’clock in the morning.  All have positive impact, not only on our precious earth, but on the bottom line too.

Here we reprint the rest of the content…

Get green and start cost-cutting today!

Here are three tips, chosen at random, to get you started:

Singing the praises of carpool karaoke

A University of California, Berkeley study proves that carpooling reduces energy consumption, emissions, pollution, congestion AND demand for parking. Plus obliterating fares of course (but that’s a debate for another day). Whether a daily commute or seeing granny for the weekend, it can be a gamechanger. One regular Edinburgh-Glasgow traveller saves £2,500 a year. PLUS ride-sharers often become firm friends and form new communities.

Try out apps such as www.liftshare.com or your neighbourhood, or workplace WhatsApp group to get started.

Love your leftovers

In the UK we needlessly waste enough food every year to fill 38 MILLION wheelie bins, or 90 Royal Albert Halls. Various surveys have found that bagged salads are a top victim, so here’s one canny hack to help.

Don’t bin slightly wilty salad. Peel off any brown leaves and refresh the rest in a bowl of very cold water for five to 20 minutes. They’ll bounce back through osmosis.  Drain on the draining board or a clean tea towel. Eat straight away or store back in the fridge (but don’t pack the leaves too tightly, as this encourages the decomposing process).

Bring Your Coffee to Work Day

Despite many of us now working from home, the high street café culture boom continues. 80% of people who visit coffee shops do so at least once a week, whilst 16% of us visit on a daily basis.  Shockingly, around 5 billion disposable coffee cups are used around the world every year, yet less than 1% are recycled.

A recent study suggested the average cost of a latté was £2.76. So, a visit three times a week, excluding holidays, would cost you almost £400. Soooo much cheaper to just bring your own from home, in an insulated, reusable travel mug.

Alternatively some cafés offer discounts if you bring your own cup. At Starbucks and Costa, for example, you’ll save 25p. Some don’t advertise this discount though, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Still sceptical about how small steps can make a difference?

If you’re still sceptical about how small steps can make a difference, take a listen to Professor David Halpern, CEO at the influential The Behavioural Insights Team (AKA The Nudge Unit). His witty interview on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme this week (listen from 2:44:17) is packed with great money saving ideas that are eco-friendly too. He even claims that if we ALL reduce our energy consumption it would actually reduce wholesale prices too. Now, there’s something!

As a valued reader of this blog we have a couple of questions for you, to help in further editions…

We’d love to hear your thoughts about great ways to illustrate the Save Money; Save the Planet newsletter. Pictures of piggy banks and piles of cash can be so clichéd. We’d love your suggestions on fun and inspiring imagery and wordage combining money saving and planet saving (submit here). There’s nothing like diversity of thought. In fact some of the ‘Ways’ were initially going to be sub-branded Pennywise until our psychology colleague Claire Gregory, MBPsS pointed out that it’s also the moniker of the murderous clown. Whoops!

Thanks in advance for your inspired ideas.

Happy reading – and happy cost-cutting!

Team mugshots

A lightning quick post today…

There’s nothing like a cup of something steaming hot to get you going… on a surprisingly hot September morning. And there’s nothing like a brand new, branded 100 Ways in 100 Days team cup to drink it out of.

Thanks to the team for the mugshots and thanks to DragoninaDress on Etsy for the short run #reusable mugs.

Cheers!

100 Ways in 100 Days™ chosen by Aster Foundation for Inc. social incubator

We are excited and proud to announce that 100 Ways in 100 Days™ has just been selected, against tough competition, to be part of the prestigious 2022/23 Inc. social incubator. The brainchild of the charitable Aster Foundation, Inc.’s raison d’etre is to build businesses that can change the world.

The Foundation’s wider purpose is to invest in communities and their future. Its mission is to enable better lives for at least 40,000 people by 2030, through its impact programmes and proactive approach to tackling social challenges. The Inc. accelerator is an extension of that collaborative, social vision.

Inc.’s reason for being is to build businesses that can change the world.

Being a part of Inc. will give us extra, rich opportunities to shape 100 Ways and gain insights for projects run within the foundation’s parent organisation, the Aster Group and its communities. Plus, in order to help develop ideas, there’ll be a doorway to its 100,000 diverse customers.

This equates to a potentially massive new audience for 100 Ways; both to enable people to live more sustainably, fast (with a spin-off benefit that many ‘Ways’ help save money) and as a enviable research base.

The Inc. programme offers access to funding and investment too – and introductions to Aster partners and networks.

100 Ways is based on psychology – and also the theory of marginal gains, where, many, many small actions, enacted en masse, can bring about significant change. So the wider we can spread the programme, the greater an impact it can make. 100 Ways brings people together, empowering them to make bite-sized, achievable changes, in fun, positive ways, to help save the planet. It’s therefore a perfect fit with Aster.

We can’t wait to work with the rest of the cohort and the wider Aster Group family to start helping to make a difference. 

See more here very soon!

The Changemakers: Sarah Whale, Profit Impact

In this, the first of an occasional series of interviews, we talk to pioneers conducting epic work in the sustainability sector. Our first guest is changemaker Sarah Whale, founder of Profit Impact. Sarah guides business leaders to increase the value they create through a strong triple bottom line. Here we put her in our 100 Ways hot seat…

Q: Can you explain what Profit Impact is, what it does and who it’s for? How do they benefit?

A: Profit Impact is here to guide small and medium-sized businesses to move to a sustainable future by understanding the impact on people, the planet, and their profit.

We support people to benchmark themselves against similar organisations and map out plans for their next steps. Services include B Corp certification support (B Corp is the non-profit network transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities and the planet), calculating your carbon emissions today (baselining), strategies to achieve net zero and education – plus ongoing measures and coaching.

Q: What did you do prior to setting up Profit Impact – and what motivated you to turn your back on that career?

A: After a long career in finance leadership roles within industry, I had become disillusioned with short-term decision-making driven by requirements to satisfy shareholders. I took some time out to reflect on what I wanted to do next.

Through coaching, I realised that I wanted a role that enabled me to ‘do the right thing’. Research led me to B Corp and the rest is, as you say, history.

Q: What’s your typical day like?

A: My role is incredibly varied and I have to be disciplined to keep structure within my day. I plan to spend mornings on client delivery work and then in the afternoons focusing on my team, strategy, partners, and product development. I do not always achieve this plan!I have a number of non-negotiables in my day and that is to ensure I have an element of either yoga, cardio work, or Nordic walking – this is my self-care. If for whatever reason I haven’t achieved this I really notice the impact of not looking after myself.

Q: As a young start-up in sustainability, what have been your biggest challenges?

A: Uncertainty is the biggest challenge. Who will work with you, how will the sustainability landscape change, and at what point will things become mandatory? The breadth and complexity of the subject is difficult to cover with a small team.

Q: And biggest successes?

A: Definitely Profit Impact being awarded the Best For The World™ for Employees, by B Lab. We are in the top 5% of B Corps globally in our size business (1-9 employees). We are number one in the UK.

Q: Funniest or weirdest moment?

A: We get to laugh every day, but the strangest thing that happened was the landmark ruling whilst the UK was experiencing one of its hottest days on record; the High Court ruled that the Government’s Net Zero strategy breached the climate change act. The Government was given eight months to update its Net Zero strategies to include a quantified account of how its policies will actually achieve climate targets.

Q: What keeps you going when you fear everyone’s journey to Net Zero is going far too slowly?

A: Action is definitely slower than I would like to see but my approach in life has always been you can only impact things within your own control. We have designed services and processes to help businesses build business resilience and protect the planet. Without action society has no future – and for this reason alone I’m confident businesses will step forward.

Q: What’s your top tip for easily achievable things people can do either at work, at home or at play to be more sustainable?

A: Travel is the area where we can have a big environmental impact. We can make small changes for incremental gains. Set yourself a goal to change one of your trips each week to a more sustainable one; lift shares, walking, EV couriers, use public transport for instance.

Q: What’s the most exciting sustainability development you’ve heard about recently?

The Green Salon Hair Collective. It is encouraging sustainable working practices in the hairdressing industry. The collective ‘recycles the unrecyclable’ from its member salons: everything from bleach and dye to people’s actual hair. In fact their recycled hair is even used in special ‘booms’ which are deployed to clean up oil spills in rivers and seas.

Confused with all the jargon around Net Zero, Better Business and B Corp, and want to go into the next few business months with a clearer vision? Profit Impact is running a series of informal, but invaluable, FREE webinars.

Sign up for Sarah and her team’s next session here.

100 Ways in 100 Days™ now in beta – and free ‘Believability™ psychological report out today

We’re thrilled that 100 Ways in 100 Days™ is now in beta – and we’re ready to start partnering with selected organisations. 100 Ways in 100 Days helps employees learn how to live more sustainability at work, at home and at play.

Rather than being doomy or preachy (to which people don’t respond well), our vision for 100 Ways is to do the opposite. To bring colleagues together in the battle against climate change through positive and colourful social interactions. It’s one of the most effective techniques for changing habits.

To ensure the programme deploys the most believable and motivating planet-friendly messages we decided collaboration was the way forward.

Partnership with University of Surrey

We’d felt the world is entering a ‘new age of scepticism’, especially considering the Wild West of social media and fake news, so we called in expert help to get to the bottom of it. We’re extremely proud therefore, to publish a brand new academic study, The Psychological Underpinnings of Believability’. Commissioned specially by us, it informs all the ‘Ways’.

This fascinating and insightful report was written by Claire Gregory, psychology PhD researcher at the University of Surrey and Emeritus Professor Karen Pine. It sets a framework for great climate change communication and it’s available to download free here.

Claire explains: “The study examines how the human mind goes about finding information believable nowadays. In cognitive psychology for instance there are two routes to believability, with intuition and analytics both having a role, but effective persuasion involves a combination of both, so we looked at these and much, much more, including how we use ‘heuristics (mental shortcuts), the role of emotion and how to replace old beliefs with new ones.

“All findings have been harnessed to encourage incremental positive daily behaviour changes in individuals to help promote sustainability.”

The research advises that tactics such as using plain English, rather than jargon or long words, using case studies with real people rather than statistics, and affirming an individual’s self esteem can all positively impact on how messages are absorbed and acted upon.

All ‘Ways’ are checked against the 100 Ways 15 point ‘Believability Index’, an instrument for the measurement of believability in communications, devised by Pine and Gregory.

Overwhelming messages can lead to paralysis and demoralisation, so it’s vital that the 100 Ways messaging focuses on hope, empowerment – and personal responsibility.

At 100 Ways, we instinctively knew, but academics in the report confirmed that people tend to avoid information that makes them feel uncomfortable. Or where it’s complicated and they feel they have little control over it. The climate emergency falls into that category.  Overwhelming messages can lead to paralysis and demoralisation, so it’s vital that the 100 Ways messaging focuses on hope, empowerment – and personal responsibility.

The Believability report helps guide us along just the right lines. Thanks so much to Claire and to Karen for their amazingly intelligent yet practical work.

If that wasn’t enough, each ‘Way’ on the 100 Ways programme is also underpinned by evidence from highly credible, trusted and knowledgeable organisations, such as NGOs, academics, charities and other reputable sources. They’re all evidence checked by our wonderful Gilang Majid, also a PhD researcher at the University of Surrey.

And each helps towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (the SDGs: its blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all).

The power of a great team Mk III

Alex Teng is the latest recruit to the wider 100 Ways in 100 Days team. 

A PhD researcher at the University of Surrey, Alex will support 100 Ways throughout 2022 as business operations and strategy consultant. 

He is a man of many, many talents. Having previously secured a first class degree at the University in electronic engineering he’s now doing his PhD.

He’s immensely creative too. His eclectic kaleidoscope of experiences also spans a production role at The National Gallery and as a costume supervisor at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

We’re so excited to have him on board to help power 100 Ways’ employee engagement sustainability training programme forward.

Not so fantastic plastic: waste results in

Some sobering news from The Big Plastic Count (an initiative from Everyday Plastic and Greenpeace). Nearly 100 billion pieces of plastic packaging are thrown away by UK households every year, with just 12% recycled in the UK. The research revealed that 88% our household waste is being burnt, buried and dumped overseas.

We were shocked when we counted our own plastic waste during the survey, back in May. So much is hard to avoid, even for people who intrinsically care for environment. Sometimes it really can be hard to be green.

Recycling issues notwithstanding, every little helps in terms of changing our behaviours more widely. For instance, in our 100 Ways employee engagement sustainability training programme we look at ways of forgoing use of the gazillions of [mainly unrecyclable] plastic pens that head for landfill every year.

Yep, we all have them don’t we :-(? Drying out in our desks, going blobby in the kitchen drawer, gathering dusk in our cars. Within the programme we present a host of easily achievable, everyday ideas of channelling your inner Hemingway, that are kinder to the planet – and much, much more. Plastic waste begone.

Please get in touch if you’d like to find out more.