DAYLESFORD’S FOUNDER SHARES HER thoughts on living more sustainably

“Although January has not yet presented us with the changes that perhaps we’d hoped it would, I do feel a strong sense of optimism about 2021.  Last year proved to us how individuals, corporations and governments have the ability and the will to shift their behaviours for a common aim, and as somebody who has fought so long to help drive change in our attitudes and behaviour towards our planet, one of my greatest hopes is that this year we embrace that responsibility and take vital steps to help set the planet on a new course.

“As a business we’ve also received some wonderful news this week. The Michelin Guide awarded Daylesford’s restaurants one of their new Green Stars, which recognises restaurants for their sustainable and environmental practices. Aside from the honour of receiving such a distinction, what it demonstrates is that organisations such as Michelin are acknowledging the importance of the work that needs to be done in this area, and encouraging the industry to examine its environmental footprint, and that is cause for great hope.

“Among many of our own goals and objectives at Daylesford, one of the things we will be looking at closely this year is our carbon footprint. We’ve started work on auditing our carbon emissions to work out where we can reduce them, but also assessing how our organic farmland and soils are enabling us to absorb carbon from the atmosphere. This not only helps improve soil health, it balances out our carbon output. I’ll look forward to sharing more on this over the course of the year.

“As many people often use January to rethink habits, at Daylesford we are also using this time to help share the tools we feel can help you in your endeavours. With that in mind our team asked me to put together some of my thoughts on living more sustainably, and the foods and resources I’m turning to this month in my own pursuit of driving change.

REDUCING FOOD WASTE

Reducing food waste needs to be a huge focus in the fight against the climate emergency. It is one of the world’s largest contributors to climate change, and it is something that is easily preventable. It’s something that is a strong focus for us and I believe also needs to be for everybody. We’re continually re-examining processes throughout the business to ensure that not a scrap of food goes to waste.

One of our latest initiatives is our new whey protein sourdough made using leftover whey from our creamery. Bread is in fact the most wasted product in the UK – over 24 million slices are thrown away each day, so we’d urge you to slice and freeze any you’re not going to use immediately – all our loaves make wonderful toast. Making your own bread also means that you’re less likely to waste it or throw it away, so we sell jars of sourdough starter for those who want to try their hand at the trend that overtook many kitchens during lockdown last year. And for those looking to nourish themselves, our organic bone broths made by boiling the bones of our chicken carcasses, are full of nutrients and help support gut health.

STORIES TO INSPIRE

Seed is the magazine that I edit, which is devoted to sustainable living. It aims to share the stories of artists, makers and thinkers who live and work in a mindful way in order to inspire readers to consider and rethink their own choices. The latest volume is now available.

RESPONSIBLE CLEANING

Many of us think carefully about the provenance of our food or clothing, but the simple act of washing our dishes or polishing our windows can have wide-reaching repercussions – affecting the health of our soil, our water, our homes and our bodies. It’s something I’m very passionate about and is why we chose to create Daylesford’s own range of cleaning products. We wanted to ensure our products are safe and responsible. ⁠

The range is made from plant-derived ingredients and essential oils; the products are biodegradable, are free from petrochemicals and the packaging is fully recyclable. ⁠We’ve also now made the products available in bulk sizes to reduce the amount of packaging we create. ⁠