12 eco-friendly changes you can make in 2022

Left Oliver and Theresa Walters Right Lucy Storey

Left: Oliver and Theresa Walters opened 'Bonitas Wholesfoods', a new wholefood and vegan shop in Stowmarket Right: Lucy Storey opened the zero-waste shop Lucy's Unwrapped & Refill in Woodbridge Road, Ipswich - Credit: Archant

Eco-friendly business owners from across Suffolk have shared their achievable tips for making environmentally friendly changes in 2022.  

This year refill shop Bonitas Wholefoods opened in Stowmarket and Ipswich mum Lucy Storey launched her new business, Lucy’s Unwrapped & Refill, in Woodbridge Road.  

These are just two of the eco-friendly businesses trying to help families in Suffolk lead greener lives.  

Here are 12 simple changes you can make in 2022 

Mel Menhams from Cupboard Love

Mel Menhams runs eco-friendly business Cupboard Love who helps shoppers in Suffolk cut down on their usage of single-use plastics - Credit: Mel Menhams

January – buy a reusable water bottle or coffee cup 

Mel Menhams runs Cupboard Love, a mobile van which regularly pops up at markets in Woodbridge and Framlingham.  

Cupboard love sells food and household products which customers can take home in reusable containers – reducing the need for items wrapped in single use plastics.  

Mrs Menhams said: “Look at one area of your life and see what current products you use that could be switched for a reusable alternative – a water bottle or coffee cup are obvious ones here.” 

The Cupboard Love refill van

Mel Menham's Cupboard Love van pops up at markets in Woodbridge and Framlingham and across East Suffolk, offering plastic-free shopping - Credit: Mel Menhams

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February – give reusable make up remover wipes a try 

For those that may already have reusable bottles and cups, Mrs Menhams suggests you try out a reusable safety razor or make up remover wipes. 

March – try a shampoo or conditioner bar  

Jo Rainbird set up her eco-friendly mobile refill shop - Choose Refills in May 2021 and said she has been “amazed by the support ever since”.  

One of Jo’s tips is: “Swap your bottled shampoo and conditioner for a natural shampoo and conditioner bar - our bars are made locally in Stowmarket and each one is equivalent to 2/3 bottles of shampoo making it better value as well as reducing single use plastics.” 

 Conditioner and shampoo bars sold by Choose Refills 

Made in Stowmarket - conditioner and shampoo bars sold by Choose Refills - Credit: Jo Rainbird

April – refill instead of buying new products   

Instead of adding another product to your shopping trolley refill your existing bottles.  

Jo said: “Refills are available for all your laundry, cleaning and self-care requirements. Eco-friendly products are kinder to your skin whilst reducing plastic waste.”  

May - let your garden go wild

Oliver and Theresa Walters have opened 'Bonitas Wholesfoods', a new wholefood and vegan shop in Stow

Oliver and Theresa Walters opened 'Bonitas Wholesfoods', a new wholefood and vegan shop in Stowmarket in 2021 - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Oliver Walters, from Bonitas Wholefoods in Stowmarket said when it comes to eco-friendly lifestyle "don't beat yourself up for not doing loads" and said people are welcome to chat to him in the shop if they after ideas.

Mr Walters said: "A really easy change you can make doesn't cost anything, if you are lucky enough to have a garden let a small patch of grass grow wild.

"The benefits to insects and other wildlife would be huge if we all did that. And we think it looks great." 

June - try a product with fewer chemicals 

Another tip from Mr and Mrs Walters is to try just one eco-friendly product - for example an eco-washing up liquid which doesn't contain all the chemicals a non-eco one does. 

July - waste less food 

Lucy Storey has opened the zero-waste shop Lucy's Unwrapped & Refill in Woodbridge Road, Ipswich.

Lucy Storey opened the zero-waste shop Lucy's Unwrapped & Refill in Woodbridge Road, Ipswich in 2021 - Credit: Archant

Lucy Storey, a single mum of two boys opened her refill shop in Woodbridge Road, Ipswich earlier this year, selling everything from pasta to sweets and chocolate.

Lucy's top tip is to shop locally, supporting greengrocers and butchers and only buying what you need for each recipe. 

A weekly meal plan might come in handy here. 

August - think about what you are putting your sandwiches in

Beautiful picnic products from Little home-eco based in Suffolk 

Beautiful picnic products from Little home-eco based in Suffolk - Credit: Kale Cole

Kala Cole who lives in Suffolk sells her colourful reusable Little home-eco products on Etsy including sandwich bags and sandwich wraps. 

Her tip is: "Reuse whatever you can, keep bread bags and reuse instead of clingfilm or take them to your butchers and put your meat in them." 

September - buy or reuse gift bags

Little home-eco also sell washable and reusable birthday and Christmas gift bags on Etsy. 

But if you don't want to buy new, remember to dig out gift bags you've been given previously to use again, you could even give them a new lease of life by adding a new label. 

October -  buy it preloved

Another top tip from Kala: "If my kids ask for a toy at Christmas or for birthdays I always check eBay and secondhand sites to see if I can get it pre-loved. 

"It saves money and gives that toy a second life. The same goes for clothes, fast fashion isn't good for the planet or your bank account, shop secondhand when you can." 

November - buy someone an eco-friendly gift 

Tammy from the Ruby and the Eco store in Debenham said the team at the shop are committed to doing their bit to protect the environment. 

She said: "The new shop stocks a range of planet-loving, sustainably-produced gifts and household products."

December - donate to a food bank 

Many of us donate to food banks before Christmas but don't forget you can do it after the festivities have ended as well. 

Unwanted food, drinks and even some gifts such as toiletries, will be warmly welcomed by food banks and will help you reduce waste.