Ellie from The Greenish
Last week we caught up with Ellie Besley-Gould from The Greenish, a website and lifestyle blog for people who want to live their lives, but greener. Ellie had worked in climate change for years before setting out to become greener herself. She has created a community of people sharing ideas, tips and tricks for a greener lifestyle.
Ellie, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us today. We love your idea behind The Greenish of trying to live greener without losing our personalities.
Can you give us a few simple, practical ways of cutting carbon that we can weave into our daily lives?
For me it’s got to be about picking your battles. Being sustainable is so intrinsically (and wrongly) linked to guilt and shame, but we can’t be angels all the time. I like to pick off the big and easy things first - like flying less and switching energy supplier or bank, before worrying too much about plastic bags or vegan shoes. But it does all add up, so it’s worth taking a look at your lifestyle and picking a few things that work for you which are high impact and giving yourself a break on other bits of the puzzle. Everyone has a role to play and space at the table and it’s unfair that some people feel excluded because we’re not your typical ‘greenie’.
What tips do you have for shopping sustainably?
When we’re talking about food, I try to make most of my food locally sourced and seasonally grown - to avoid air freight (asparagus in January anyone?!?) and also hot houses (which will always be involved when you’re getting, say, a British tomato in the winter). I like to choose ugly veg and use up all the food we have at home to avoid food waste before heading to the shops.
With fashion, I run through a list - (1) do I need it/do I already have the same thing (2) can I get it 2nd hand (3) if not, can I hire it? (4) then I look at buying sustainable - either with brands who lead on sustainability credentials like Bird Song, People Tree or Ninety Percent, or with interesting shopping approaches, like what you’re doing with EarlyBird - that use stock already in circulation.
What can we all be doing to reduce our fashion carbon footprint?
Almost without fail, we can fly a bit less. Most of us would find that flights make up the lion’s share of our footprint. Otherwise, try moving to a greener bank - like Triodos, or moving to a renewable energy company like Bulb, Octopus or GEUK.
What lead you to start the Greenish?
I was a hyper-consumer, and I still love to get new stuff, but it was all getting a bit much and I wanted to look at how to live a bit more consciously without having to change who I was completely. I couldn’t find a resource that gave me easy tips and ideas without getting a load of preaching alongside it, or without feeling like the content just wasn’t *me* - so I set it up! We’ve been growing the community for 12 months and have an amazing group thousands of (mostly) women who swap ideas, tips and support each other.
It’s all about stepping up to big events in the next few years - bringing sustainability into spaces we’re not used to seeing it in. From London Fashion Week to the Brit Awards to cinema trips and restaurant meals - watch this space!