Around the world in 100 Ways…

100 Ways in 100 Days founder Sue Skeats and behavioural psychologist Claire Gregory, MBPsS, from the University of Surrey were thrilled to guest on educational publishing group Sage’s recent international employee webinar. Our topic? One of our favourites: ‘Save Money, Save the Planet’.

But when you have an audience that stretches from Devon to Delhi and Italy to Indonesia, one-size-fits-all green tips and tricks don’t work. Take into account climate for instance (you wouldn’t tell someone in Saudi Arabia to turn down the heating), the maturity of sustainability in each region, then status of political governance, infrastructure, and always, always culture.

But at 100 Ways we love a challenge. We had a fun, fact-packed hour of green power. On environmental and sustainability issues that are familiar to everyone. Where everybody can do something, while cutting costs for themselves and/or their employer.

Vampire energy

We talked about ‘Vampire energy’, the unseen power sucked by electrical equipment on standby, or not in use. Halving it, in the US alone, would be equivalent to turning off the carbon emissions of Jordan or the Lebanon.

We suggested easy ways of seizing our metaphorical garlic to hunt it down and turn it off. It can make such a difference. One journalist from tech magazine Wired recently reported saving 30% on his energy bills.

Food waste

Then onto food waste, one of the world’s biggest greenhouse gas offenders. Our 100 Ways kitchen hacks gave ideas to revive bagged salad and breathe luscious new life into battered bananas and stale bread.

Developing ‘green’ habits – easily

Claire explained how, if we all work at making small changes, there’s a bigger impact than if a few people make large changes (though they help too). All totally in keeping with 100 Ways’ marginal gains theory.

In fact focusing on small changes is easier to maintain – and doing them in a group encourages social accountability, so we’re more likely to stick to them. They can start to change culture as whole.

Many of our super-engaged audience turned out to be keen sharing community members, for unwanted food – and non-food items too; avoiding wastage and often bagging free goodies into the bargain.

Back to the future

There was animated chat around green habits we can learn from our parents and grandparents, some of which are seeing a resurgence today.

We got excited about clay flagons from India and Nigeria, that cool water, naturally, with no need for a fridge. (They’re on Etsy and other sites now!)

A colleague’s photo, sent from Indonesia that morning, showed the time-honoured custom of using leaves as plates. No washing up; yay! Ditto ‘leaf’ drinking cups from India. Other people tipped precious water saved from washing rice into pot plants, while in China they used eggshells in theirs, as free fertiliser.

A hugely interactive and inspired melting pot of actionable ideas. What a glorious green global village.

Thank you Sage. What an awesome employer!

Five top tips for planet-friendly penny pinching

Our founder Sue is a regular guest (talking about easy sustainability) on Danny Pike’s entertaining BBC Radio Sussex and Surrey Sound Advice slot. This month, as the cost of living crisis continues to bite, she and Danny had a banter not only around unnecessary consumption, but the unnecessary spending that goes along with it.

We thought it was indeed such sound advice that we’d share it a little wider, with 100 Ways in 100 Days blog visitors. So, here we go with…

Five awesome tricks to cut down on splashing the cash – and be a planet-saving superstar

*Thanks to Kevin Karaca, No Spend Club for inspiring this list – and to our own wonderful 100 Ways psychologist, Claire Gregory, whose expertise is in the field of decision making, for her own take on the topic.

Before reaching for your phone or wallet, just ask yourself these questions:

1. Do you already own something that does the same thing?

Or more or less the same thing, that will see you through? Do you already have an Alexa, but have a separate Bluetooth speaker on your wish list?

2. Can you borrow one?

Try friends and family first. If not joy there, try the Library of Things? It’s the brilliant social enterprise that helps people save money and reduce waste by affordably renting out useful items like drills, sound systems and sewing machines from local spaces – and by helping neighbours share practical skills. It’s THE bricks & mortar destination to borrow useful things for your home, projects and adventures.

Typical items for hire (especially pertinent as we enter yet another week of back to back rainstorms (thanks ‘stuck’ jet stream) are dehumidifyers and wet & dry vaccuums. Or for those who can’t bear to venture outside – maybe snap up a sewing machine for some cosy crafting or running clothes repairs at home.

Then there’s Olio. Originally a food sharing app it’s now brilliant to seek out non-food household items too (for borrowing or buying, pre-loved).

With two in three Olio-ers saying sharing has improved their mental health too it’s no surprise it’s become a runaway success. In fact it’s now in over 60 countries and new communities are being welcomed with open arms.

Then there are local WhatsApp groups for friends, communities and work colleagues to borrow almost anything you can imagine (Sue’s own local group came to the rescue with children’s World Book Day costumes earlier this year).

“My partner went out to buy vegetables for dinner and came home with a kayak. He forgot the vegetables and the kayak has never been used.”

3. How many times will you use it?

Quite. How about misplaced generosity. Will the recipient really use and enjoy it? We’re thinking foot spas and pasta makers here. We found some cracking examples on Buzzfeed, including this one: “My partner went out to buy vegetables for dinner and came home with a kayak. He forgot the vegetables and the kayak has never been used.”

Here’s another; one that may be more familiar, either because life was just too busy, or because, urgh, ongoing torrential rain precluded them being planted: “$75 in plants only to let them die because I forgot about them.”

4. Is it a “hell yeah!”?

Er, self-explanatory, this one

5. Is it in the budget?


SO, the golden rule is: if you still want it, put a reminder in for 30 days from now – then ask the same questions again

THEN, the all important follow-up questions

If you DO decide you want to make the purchase:

1. Will it last for a long time?

Check out reviews (though appreciate many people only review something they’ve just bought, not something they’ve had for 10 years!) And do look at the website Buy Me Once. It has some innovative, if [ouch] expensive products, but on the basis that these will DEFINITELY last for a long, long, long time, they can be really good investments.

Then, thinking about the garden… choose perennial plants (those that keep on coming; year after year, without too much ado). Once planted, they’ll avoid such hellish annual horticultural happenings as you’ve seen above.

2. Is it versatile?

The fashion editors’ favourite in the versatility department is the timeless ‘capsule collection’ of classic clothing that can be worn for years. A black polo neck and skinny jeans with loafers, a much loved Britpop bucket hat, a vintage blouse, a trenchcoat – or anything plain and neutral, jazzed up for different occasions with your [existing, secondhand, or swapped] accessories or jewellery.

The same principle goes with paint. Make your budget go further (and avoid having half tins left over) – by buying an economy sized, neutral shade of paint – for decorating multiple areas or rooms. To stop it looking ‘samey’, add a different vibe for each area with coloured cushions, bowls, lampshades. Even fruit can lend an amazing pop of colour and bring a room to life!

3. Is it made by a good business?

Check out It’s the ‘green version’ of Which?, an easy to use, incredibly well-researched eco shopping guide. Covering more than 100 products and services, it helps you buy ethically, and avoid unethical products and companies.

4. Can you repair it if it breaks?

After so many years of ‘built in obsolescence’, with not very old electrical appliances being landfilled or worse (1.5 million tonnes of electrical waste is generated each year), new ‘right to repair’ laws have been introduced. It means the life of some household appliances can be extended, but not all, so make sure to check before you buy.

But some consumer and fashion brands have always been legends in terms of repairs (though they do tend to be at the premium end, meaning they’re out of reach of many). But they can offer superb lifetime value. Sue had her 21 year old Dualit toaster repaired (a present from back in the day); now it’s good for another 21. Check out chilled clothing brand Toast too. It offers free repairs for ANY of its clothing, no matter when and where it was bought.

100 Ways graduates from Aster Foundation’s Inc. incubator and wins Engagement Award

Yesterday was a very special day. After 10 months of 100 Ways being part of the 2022/23 cohort of the Aster Foundation’s groundbreaking Inc. incubator, yesterday we graduated.

Although it was a bittersweet moment, with the current programme drawing to a close, it was uplifting too. 100 Ways in 100 Days was honoured and humbled to scoop Aster’s ‘Colleagues & Customers Engagement Award’ for our internal employee and external home renter programmes.

And when we say humbled, we mean properly, properly humbled. The cohort are all social impact businesses, single mindedly focused on making a positive difference in the world. It’s been a privilege to meet such warm and driven human beings, all with incredible ideas, energy and stories to tell.

They span technology that empowers independent living for older adults, to a monitor that measures invisible air pollution – and a platform for those with co-occurring addiction and mental health issues. Another platform is diversifying the cybersecurity industry. Then we have social gardeners who are pre-empting and combatting loneliness – and a practice of placemakers (architects creating vibrant, people-centred spaces that foster community and a sense of belonging).  A groundbreaking theatre project, for those with dementia, is jawdropping in its ambition.

A quarter of the ventures are dedicated to sustainability and helping save the planet.

We’ve just profiled Elle McIntosh (inventor of Twipes, the world’s first truly flushable wet wipes) on our website. Together with co-founder Al they are cleaning up, both here and in the US. Tze Ching Yeung on the other hand runs a community project aimed at getting young people into sustainable fashion. Ben Gibbons (who, incidentally, along with Compair’s Guy Monson, are two of the most elegant communicators we know) is founder of the extraordinary Circular11. It turns low-grade, otherwise unrecyclable plastic waste into building materials and home products.

So, thank you Aster Inc, and everyone who has made the last 10 months possible. Personal gratitude goes to: the wonderful Tamsin ‘the glue who holds it all together’ Southby; our sponsor, ball of strategic energy Aster COO Emma O’Shea, ‘The Chrisses’: Chris Bond, and, especially Chris Stenlake who encouraged us to apply in the first place. More thanks to remarkable Aster director Cam Kinsella and Aster’s financial wizard Toby Wernham. Mega-gratitude too, to superstar mentor Olya Yakzhina, head of people at the award winning social landlord data innovation, Switchee. Her razor sharp insights, practical advice and infectious enthusiasm have been an utter joy.

100 Ways in 100 Days is now a member of the ongoing Aster Inc. alumni group, meaning, together, we’ll deliver more impact, as a partnership across communities. We couldn’t be prouder.

The 100 Ways approach to food waste: Love your Leftovers!

Did you know that 33 per cent of food produced globally is wasted? And that uneaten and discarded food is one of the planet’s biggest offenders in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. They account for around 8-10 per cent.

If global food waste were a country, it would be THIRD LARGEST emitter after China and the US

That’s beyond shocking, isn’t it?

Various surveys have found that the top three wasted foods are bread, bananas and bagged salads, so for a slightly different, mini-blog, today we share some typically canny 100 Ways hacks to ensure your surplus grub is gobbled by YOU, not by your bin!

There are plenty of quick and easy ways to avoid waste. In our downloadable PDF, we’ve conjured up some delicious dishes for some of the most common groceries that get thrown away. Our Love your Leftovers micro-magazine has some super-easy tips to: revive wilty lettuce leaves, transform brown and bashed bananas into fancy French toast (fit for a boutique hotel) and to magic stale bread into crunchy, seriously scrumptious croutons.

Why not try them out? Just click the button below – and enjoy!

In today’s cost of living crisis it’s a relief to have ways of not only being kind to the planet, but being kind to your wallet as well.

You’re welcome!

French toast from Love your Leftovers - sustainable ideas in 100 Ways in 100 Days

Free tasty treat ideas to download