It’s time to think outside the 9 to 5 box. If you want to improve workplace culture, your employee engagement strategy needs to be 24/7, focused not just on work, but on enhancing employees’ whole lives. Because people who feel fundamentally happy, healthy and satisfied are best placed to bring their best selves to work every day.
When it comes to motivation, the world has moved on from a simplistic focus on performance targets to a smarter appreciation of what really makes the difference to how people feel and behave. Today it’s about encouraging and enabling enjoyable experiences with a purpose – for self-worth, sociability and personal satisfaction.
At Avinity we not only subscribe to this new vision for powerful employee engagement, we’ve also developed a pioneering platform to make it happen. Avinity Alive presents employees with a variety of life-enriching challenges – fun, meaningful experiences – to choose from which unite company and personal values and change workplace culture for the better.
Here’s a selection of 101 Avinity Alive challenges – we hope they will inspire you to get started with 24/7 employee engagement!
The Quest for Wellbeing
Wellbeing has been the big buzzword for a few years now and some of you may have started to think it’s just a passing trend or too intangible or difficult to realise in your business. The truth is, there’s a compelling body of research proving that wellbeing really is a wellspring of positivity and productivity. We recommend a range of physical activities, novel experiences and new ways of thinking to encourage people to develop personal wellbeing in and out of work. Here are a few challenges to help employees feel life is good.
1. GO AND SEE A LIVE COMEDY SHOW
Having a laugh doesn’t just make us feel good, it does us good too. It strengthens the immune system, boosts energy, diminishes pain and protects against the damaging effects of stress. Best of all, this multi-purpose medicine has no side effects – apart perhaps from painful cheeks after all that laughing!
2. EAT 3 SUPERFOODS A DAY FOR 7 DAYS
This might involve getting to know one’s Swiss chard from one’s chia seeds but it’s definitely worth the effort. All those extra-large doses of vitamins and minerals will help you ward off diseases and live a longer, healthier life.
3. ATTEND DANCE CLASSES
With the average person checking their smartphone around 150 times in a typical 16hour day it’s clear that turning a barrage of emails, calls, Snapchats and special offers into blissful silence has got to be good news for your peace of mind.
4. TURN YOUR PHONE TO SILENT AT HOME FOR 21 DAYS
With the average person checking their smartphone around 150 times in a typical 16-hour day it’s clear that turning a barrage of emails, calls, Snapchats and special offers into blissful silence has got to be good news for your peace of mind.
5. PLAN SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO
Having something nice to look forward to creates hope, positive feelings about the future and a surge of motivation to make sure it happens. No wonder many of us find the weeks before a holiday almost as exciting as the trip itself.
6. MAKE A MEAL RICH IN SPINACH
The humble leafy green known as spinach, or goosefoot, packs a powerful punch, primarily because it’s so rich in iron. This gives it a remarkable ability to restore energy, increase vitality and improve blood quality.
7. ABSTAIN FROM CAFFEINE FOR 7 DAYS
We think of a cup of coffee as giving us a boost but drink too much and it can have a negative effect on the body, causing insomnia, nervousness, restlessness and irritability. Although the latter might be a side effect of giving up too!
8. DO 30 MINUTES OF EXERCISE A DAY FOR 14 DAYS
Research shows that as little as 30 minutes of exercise a day can boost our general health and wellbeing. Scientists even go as far as saying it can improve creativity, self confidence and memory. Who knew a walk in the park could be quite so productive?
9. STOP SMOKING FOR 14 DAYS
For smokers, quitting for a fortnight might seem impossibly tough. But it’s never going to be as bad as the alternative is it? Tobacco is the single biggest avoidable cause of cancer in the world and accounts for 28% of cancer deaths in the UK.
10. TAKE UP CYCLING
One of the easiest ways to get fit and reduce stress, cycling is also one of the nicest ways to get from A to B, be kind to the environment and save money (unless, that is, obsession takes over and a fortune is spent on the latest lycra gear).
11. GET A FULL BODY HEALTH CHECK
Having a comprehensive body MOT can play a part in helping us live a longer, healthier life, giving confidence that all’s fine, identifying problems at an early stage and encouraging a proactive approach to our overall health.
12. SPEND 2 HOURS A WEEK IN THE GARDEN
It probably won’t come as a surprise to the gardeners among us that 95% of people interviewed by mental health charity Mind about the impact of gardening on their mood said it changes from depressed, stressed or anxious to more calm and balanced.
13. GO TO A YOGA CLASS
Originating in India 5,000 years ago, yoga is as popular as ever and as effective as ever at focusing on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental wellbeing.
14. STOP DRINKING ALCOHOL FOR 7 DAYS
Taking regular breaks from alcohol can help to break habitual patterns of drinking. It might help the cause to know that within 24 hours blood sugar normalises and the head clears and within a week sleep is less fitful.
15. GET YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE CHECKED
High blood pressure is the hidden problem we can all keep on top of quickly and easily by arranging to have a blood pressure test.
16. LEARN HOW TO PRACTICE MINDFULNESS
It’s the scientifically-backed way to find peace in a frantic world, a simple form of meditation based on the understanding that thoughts and feelings are transient which is proven to reduce exhaustion, pain and stress and improve mood and memory.
17. GO TO THE GYM FOR AN HOUR
For the uninitiated, hitting the gym can be a revelation, kick-starting a love affair with cross trainers and dumb bells that lasts a lifetime. And it’s not just cardiovascular health and muscle strength that will benefit. Exercising boosts brain function too.
18. MAKE EATING OUT A HEALTHY OPTION
Surveys have found that the food we typically eat at a restaurant is nutritionally worse than the meals we cook at home. It doesn’t have to be. Ask how food is prepared, swap fries for veg, request less meat and a double salad or order two light starters as a main.
19. DANCE WITH YOUR PARTNER
It’s a double-whammy of wellbeing – exercise and romance. And if sedate ballroom dancing can burn up to 400 calories an hour just imagine the benefits of a hot and steamy salsa or samba!
20. ATTEND A FITNESS BOOTCAMP
Bootcamps are much more than a whole-body workout. OK so they can be excruciatingly tough, but they’re also held outdoors in the fresh air and they’re sociable, uniting three factors that enhance wellbeing.
21. TAKE AN OPEN UNIVERSITY COURSE
Life-long learning is like a health club for the brain, opening up the mind, keeping things working well, providing a sense of fulfilment and, who knows, bringing economic benefits if what’s learnt can be applied
22. TAKE THE 1000 MILES CHALLENGE
This challenge can really change lives: it’s about running 1000 miles in a year and helping you overcome the usual training ups and downs to achieve health and fitness consistency across 12 months. Sign up here:
23. WRITE A 1 MINUTE DIARY EVERY DAY
Tuning out from the world for a moment and writing about our daily activities and thoughts has been linked to a state of mindfulness where past frustrations and future anxieties lose their edge – and even to strengthening immune cells and self confidence.
24. LEARN SOMETHING NEW EVERY DAY FOR A MONTH
With the world’s knowledge bank just a few mouse clicks away, it’s never been easier to spend a few quiet moments exploring a subject that fascinates, discovering a new passion or simply expanding your mind and feeling invigorated.
25. TAKE 20 MINUTES TO EAT YOUR LUNCH OR DINNER
Our rushed lives don’t work well when it comes to eating. It takes 20 minutes from starting to eat for the brain to send out signals of fullness. Eating more slowly allows ample time to trigger the full signal, which translates into eating less.
26. RUN A HALF MARATHON
Come on, it’s only 13 miles, we’re not asking for the full 26+. Imagine your sense of accomplishment at the finish line. And the boost to your body’s immunity to colds and other viruses and protection from heart disease and high blood pressure.
27. GO MEATLESS ON MONDAYS
An American concept introduced into the UK by Paul McCartney, Meatless Mondays are a great way of discovering that skipping meat one day a week is do-able and that the health benefits are desirable.
28. TAKE 10 MINUTES TO BE BY YOURSELF EVERY MORNING
Getting up 10 minutes early to just be, alone with your thoughts, can be vital for introverts who refuel by spending time alone and useful for extroverts, whose store of energy is usually filled by social interaction, to clear their minds for the day ahead.
The Quest for Happiness
Happiness is having a moment right now. Employees are enthusiastically looking for a working life that involves more than a desk and a chain. And employers are desperately doing what they think it takes to attract and keep the best talent – throwing perks and salary increases at the problem. In fact, research shows that the sustainable solution lies elsewhere – in helping employees live a happy life.
We believe that happiness comes from a daily mix of pleasure and purpose and that personal growth, choice and health play a part too. The challenges here will help keep happiness levels high.
29. HOST A WALKING MEETING
Taking a meeting outside and changing the view makes everyone involved feel more energised, alert and happy – just what’s needed for fresher thinking and more creative solutions. It certainly seems to have done the trick for walking-meeting fans Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg.
31. SMILE AT EVERYONE AT WORK FOR A WEEK
This challenge might generate the odd look, but that’s nothing compared to how good it feels. Our smile is a powerful tool. We smile because we feel happy of course, but it goes the other way too: we feel happy because we smile.
30. MAKE TWO LUNCHES AND GIVE ONE TO A COLLEAGUE
Here’s a way to double your dogooding – making home-prepared meals (likely to be healthier than shop-bought) and kindly offering one to a colleague. They do say giving is the path to happiness.
31. SMILE AT EVERYONE AT WORK FOR A WEEK
This challenge might generate the odd look, but that’s nothing compared to how good it feels. Our smile is a powerful tool. We smile because we feel happy of course, but it goes the other way too: we feel happy because we smile.
32. ARRANGE A TREAT FOR A TEAM MEMBER
Rally round when a colleague is having a tough time at work or home, arranging a gift or activity that shows you understand and care. Everyone involved will feel better and happier – and the team as a whole will be stronger.
33. HAVE A GAMES WEEK AT WORK
Jenga on Monday, Articulate on Tuesday, Scrabble on Wednesday – whatever floats a team’s boat will bring competitive spirit and some fun and laughter to lunch breaks, encouraging the kind of bonhomie and bonding that make everyone feel happier.
34. GIVE WAY TO ANOTHER DRIVER ON YOUR COMMUTE
It’s a little thing. But it can have a big impact. Particularly if it becomes a habit. Science confirms that people who are generally generous and altruistic tend to be happier and healthier than those who aren’t.
35. TALK TO A ‘STRANGER’ AT WORK
Stepping outside your comfort zone and being a little bit forward can be unsettling and energising in equal measure. But it can be worth it, for the buzz it gives, the insight you gain and, perhaps, the helpful colleague you get to know.
36. START A SUPPER CLUB
Sociable suppers are a great way to share the hosting and cooking across the team and turn colleagues into friends. Research shows we’re happier when we have friends at work, with people saying their jobs are more enjoyable, worthwhile and satisfying.
37. EAT YOUR 10 A DAY FOR A WEEK
New research says we should all be eating 10 rather than 5 fruit and vegetables a day. That’s quite a challenge. Those who aren’t big veggie fans could maybe think of them simply as low-calorie vehicles for flavours like pesto, curry sauce, dips and dressings.
38. GO TO THE GYM IN YOUR LUNCHBREAK
For recharging batteries ready for a busy afternoon or re-setting state of mind after a tough morning, a blast of lunch time exercise can be just the thing. Time might be tight but a 30-minute workout is better than nothing.
39. ASK A COLLEAGUE ABOUT THEMSELVES
We’re all happier when we’re around people who ‘get’ us, so making a point of finding out about the interests, concerns and dreams of someone we work with day in day out can be a great way of strengthening bonds and generating happiness.
40. THANK THE OFFICE CLEANER FOR THEIR WORK
Expressing our gratitude is good manners, a sign of respect – and a creator of contentment. For both parties. It doesn’t have to cost a thing, although a thoughtful or humorous card or gift never goes amiss.
41. BAKE A CAKE FOR YOUR COLLEAGUES
It doesn’t have to be in The Great British Bake Off league, just sweet and edible. A focal point for a moment of friendship and frosting in a busy day.
42. LEARN THE LYRICS OF YOUR FAVOURITE SONG
Neuroscience proves that singing makes us happier and healthier by releasing endorphins, the feel-good chemicals in the brain, and acting as a natural stress-reducer. Good reason to learn some lyrics and sing your heart out.
43. INSTITUTE A ‘BRING YOUR TALENT’ TO WORK DAY
Who knew Adam in accounts is into astrology? Or that Julie’s a judo black belt? Giving people the opportunity to ‘show and tell’ their team about their talent is a great way of breaking the ice and making people feel good.
44. WRITE A REFERENCE ON LINKEDIN FOR A COLLEAGUE
Don’t wait to be asked. Just do it. How thoughtful is that. How positive does that make someone else feel. It’s one of those nice little things, in the long list of nice little things, that add up to a warm feeling and a happy life.
45. GO TO A MUSEUM
In a survey of 20,000 people undertaken by two UK universities on what makes us happy, going to a museum or exhibition ranked a rather surprising third. (Behind going to a concert and having sex).
46. FILL A BAG FOR THE CHARITY SHOP
Researchers have discovered that making a donation to charity makes the brain act in a similar way to eating chocolate. Basically, we get a warm glow. If more of an incentive is needed, the house might be tidier after a good sort out too.
47. DONATE BLOOD
A single donation can save the lives of up to three people according to the Red Cross. And it feels great to be so helpful. There are health perks for donors too: they get a mini blood check-up and their blood may flow better afterwards too.
48. GIVE UP YOUR SEAT ON THE WAY TO WORK
Be aware of who might need a seat more than you and do a little bit of good. As Desmond Tutu said, ‘It’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world’.
49. BUY AN INSPIRATIONAL BOOK FOR A COLLEAGUE
Wanting the best for others is a happy way to live and giving someone a book you believe will interest them and enrich their life makes a strong statement about how much you think of them.
50. GIVE YOUR TIME AS A MENTOR
Step up and offer your time as a mentor to a junior employee at work or a young person via a charity, helping them realise their potential and helping yourself to a good dollop of personal satisfaction along the way.
51. SEND A THOUGHTFUL EMAIL TO A COLLEAGUE
When someone’s having a hard time at work or home or has completed a great piece of work, turn that everyday form of brief business communication, the email, into a much-appreciated source of warm words and support.
52. BREAK A GUINNESS WORLD RECORD
Employ the power of record-breaking to unite and inspire colleagues to be the world’s best! Whether you break the record or not, the important result will be the same: high spirits and a stronger team. www.guinnessworldrecords.com
53. MAKE TEA FOR EVERYONE IN THE TEAM FOR A WEEK
In many workplaces, the same people do the ‘tea run’ every single day. Who knows if they take sugar or milk? Who looks after them? Taking on tea making duties for just seven days will be noted and enjoyed.
54. WALK 10,000 STEPS WITH A COLLEAGUE
People might question the wisdom of the 10,000 steps-a-day goal. But the bottom line is that walking more brings a host of benefits, from a stronger heart to personal growth. Walking with someone else adds another happiness-inducing factor: good company.
55. WRITE DOWN 3 THINGS YOU’RE GRATEFUL FOR
It takes just a few seconds each morning. It can enrich life. For those who adopt an ‘attitude of gratitude’ as a permanent state of mind find it takes them towards solutions rather than complaints and contentment rather than dissatisfaction.
56. KEEP YOUR WORKSPACE TIDY FOR 14 DAYS
Decluttering a disorganised workspace makes it easier to be calm, productive and in control – and it could also help you save the 1.5 working days a study found we all lose every year looking for missing documents!
57. DRINK A FRESH SMOOTHIE EVERY DAY
Become a modern-day healthfood alchemist and concoct nutrient-rich smoothies that take less time than most meals to prepare, nourish the body, reduce cravings, help with weight loss, improve digestion and supply energy.
58. INVEST IN A FITNESS TRACKER
Track your exercise, calorie consumption, heartbeat and sleep quality so you can take control of your own wellbeing and take action where needed. Feeling better and seeing progress bring a sense of personal accomplishment on which happiness relies.
59. SPEND AT LEAST 1 LUNCHBREAK A WEEK OUTSIDE
Only one in five office workers take a lunch break, yet even 15-20 minutes can help sustain concentration and energy through the day. Aim for green spaces for maximum impact as a natural view has the effect of reducing stress levels and muscle tension.
60. COME UP WITH AN INNOVATIVE IMPROVEMENT IDEA FOR WORK
Experts say there’s a strong connection between creative expression, whether that’s painting, cooking or improving a business process, and overall wellbeing. Coming up with new ideas requires an open-mindedness and produces a warm, happy feeling.
61. DO MORE OF WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY FOR A MONTH
Many studies dealing with life satisfaction show that regular small pleasures have a bigger impact on happiness than fewer larger ones. Choose one simple activity that gives you pleasure – a soak in a hot bath, a call to an old friend – and do it more often.
62. SHOW YOUR APPRECIATION FOR A JOB WELL DONE
Showing someone how grateful you are boosts happiness by a noticeable level – 25% according to one study by the University of California. Take a colleague for a coffee and tell them how impressed and thankful you are for their work and commitment.
63. DO SOMETHING YOU’VE BEEN PUTTING OFF AT WORK
There’s a link between procrastination and depression that suggests getting stuff done that’s been on the ‘to do’ list for way too long makes us feel lighter. Whether it’s cleaning up document files or updating your contacts list, do it.
64. MAKE A RESOLUTION ABOUT YOUR WORKING LIFE
Setting goals is one part of the happiness equation, giving us a long-term vision and the short-term motivation to organise our resources and get the knowledge we need to make the most of our life.
65. SIGN UP FOR A COURSE
When we’re learning new things happiness can blossom. We’re exposed to new ideas, stay curious and gain a sense of accomplishment. And when learning will help us realise our career ambitions there’s the added bonus of greater satisfaction with life.
The Quest for Kindness
Few things have as big a payback as kindness. The unique emotional uplift we all experience when we are kind makes us feel good – and work better. The simple act of giving and demonstrating empathy can enhance collaboration and effectiveness at work, while helping and supporting friends, family and those in need boosts happiness, healthier hearts and feelings of connected ness. The world works better with kindness and the great thing is it’s contagious, with those who experience it more likely to pass it on. Here are some of the ways employees can do their bit and start spreading the love.
66. DO SOMETHING NICE FOR A NEIGHBOURS
In a world where 70% of us don’t know our neighbours full names and 33% wouldn’t recognise them, isn’t it time to climb out of our bubble and make a neighbour’s day with a small act of kindness?
67. ASK FOR CHARITY DONATIONS FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY
It’s understandable we might think foregoing birthday presents will be a bit sad, but research shows that in fact being kind makes us happier. How wonderful to know you’ve helped restore someone’s sight, provide cancer care or feed a refugee family.
68. FILL UP YOUR PARTNER’S PETROL TANK
Research shows that kindness is the most important predictor of satisfaction and stability in marriage. Lots of little kindnesses add up to a lot of love. Who said cars couldn’t be romantic.
69. OFFER YOUR SERVICES TO YOUR LOCAL HOSPICE
Instead of putting your hand in your pocket to help a hospice how about finding out if they could put your skills to use. Whether you’re an administrator, painter or manager, you could show how much you care by joining the UK’s 125,000 hospice volunteers.
70. ORGANISE A CAKE SALE AT WORK
Cake sales raise around £185 million a year for charities in the UK and in a recent survey 58% of people said bake sales make fundraising fun. So put on your pinny and take your best creations into work – a kindness to your waistline perhaps.
71. TALK TO YOUR LOCAL BIG ISSUE SELLER
They smile and try to look happy and always tell people to have a nice day. But it’s a tough life selling magazines on city streets. So why not turn the tables for once and smile and ask how they’re feeling?
72. PAY FOR A STRANGER’S MEAL AT A RESTAURANT
Ah, the kindness of strangers. Why not choose to exemplify it, in a random but delicious way by quietly – or ostentatiously if you’re so inclined – paying the bill of someone you don’t know dining in the same restaurant.
73. TAKE YOUR PARENTS OUT FOR LUNCH
However much we love them, chances are there have been times when we’ve taken our parents’ support and sacrifices, not to mention tidying and cooking, for granted. Bowl them over with an unexpected invitation to lunch – and a serving of gratitude.
74. PUT AN EXTRA £5 INTO A CHARITY BOX
The UK is the most generous in Europe when it comes to donating money to charity – something 69% of us do – but there’s always room to be a little kinder. Stick an extra fiver in the charity box and you’ll be struck by how handsomely you’re rewarded with happiness.
75. SIGN UP FOR MICRO-VOLUNTEERING
There’s now a manageable way most of us can help good causes no matter how busy our lives – micro-volunteering. By breaking a task down into smaller chunks, it offers volunteers a series of easy tasks that can be done anytime and anywhere.
76. GET IN TOUCH WITH A TEACHER WHO WAS IMPORTANT TO YOU
Many of us remember that one special teacher who made a big difference to our life. Perhaps by spotting a nascent talent. Or being a good listener. What did your favourite teacher do for you?
77. BE A FRIEND TO THE ELDERLY
Loneliness is having a devastating impact on the lives of more than five million older people in the UK. Brighten someone’s day, by doing their gardening, looking at their photo albums, inviting them for tea or driving them into town.
78. CREATE A PLAYLIST FOR SOMEONE
Creating a personal music album for someone else is high up in the kindness stakes. Not least because selecting the tracks you think they’ll like will take much longer than you ever expected and you’ll wish you’d chosen a different good deed of the day!
79. DONATE TO YOUR LOCAL FOOD BANK
Over one million three-day emergency food supplies were given to people in crisis in the last year. Where does all that food come from if not from kind people like you? Find your nearest food bank at: www.trusselltrust.org
80. GIVE A HOMELESS PERSON A PACKED LUNCH
It’s estimated that over 4,000 people are sleeping rough in the UK and while kindness alone clearly can’t solve their problems the small act of a freshly made sandwich being freely given by a stranger can momentarily shift perceptions.
81. GIVE SOMEONE A COMPLIMENT
We can usually always find the time to point out what’s wrong and take for granted what’s right. Unleash kindness on what often goes unacknowledged and you’ll not only boost someone else’s self esteem but your own positivity too.
82. MAKE UP WITH ANYONE YOU’VE FALLEN OUT WITH
Still bearing a grudge about something someone did or said ages ago? If imagining how you’d feel if the situation were reversed or getting a peacemaker to help you patch things up haven’t done the trick, default to big, open hearted kindness.
83. SEND A KIND EMAIL EVERY MONDAY FOR A MONTH
Get your week off to a flying start by firing off an email that sets in motion a feedback loop of positive energy creation. Or, to put it more simply, send a kind message whose every word you really mean and rarely express.
The Quest to help our Environment
Taking action to protect our environment is good for business in a number of ways, from cost savings to sustainability and brand reputation. Critically, it matters to employees – and employee retention – too, with many people keen to work for organisations that show they really do care about giving back to their community and to the planet. We believe that of all the approaches that can be taken, encouraging and empowering employees to be proactive on a personal level and make a difference through small attainable steps has the most significant and sustainable impact of all.
84. DRINK ORGANIC BEER
Turn Friday nights at the pub into environmentally-friendly evenings by choosing to drink organic beer, made from hops and barley grown without the pesticides and artificial fertilisers that kill honey bees and can contaminate water sources.
85. SHOWER RATHER THAN BATH FOR A MONTH
Taking a five-minute shower uses about a third of the water of a bath. So switching to showers means you’ll be protecting water supplies and the wildlife of rivers and wetlands while also protecting your skin from that crinkly thing it does when you spend too long in the bath.
86. USE A CARBON FOOTPRINT CALCULATOR
Support carbon offsetting projects that tackle climate change and support impoverished communities across the world by calculating your carbon footprint and making a pledge to offset at www.carbonfootprint.com
87. GO VEGETARIAN FOR A WEEK
This can be tough for diehard meat-eaters, with even some hardcore vegetarians admitting to carnivorous cravings for bacon, so it may be necessary to keep front of mind that 51% of global greenhouse gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture.
88. BUY A LOCALLY-PRODUCED FOOD ITEM
Food that’s produced, bought, cooked and enjoyed within one area is fresher, healthier and tastier than typical fresh and processed supermarket food. The fact that it’s less welltravelled is big plus too of course.
89. ARRANGE SKYPE MEETINGS FOR A MONTH
While we wait for so-called ‘everpresent’ video conferencing technology to hit the market, making face-to-face meetings a simple matter of pressing a button, Skype can play its part in reducing business travel and greenhouse gas emissions from planes, trains and automobiles.
90. DONATE MONEY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CAUSES
It’s easy to find and donate to causes you care about thanks to sites like www.charitychoice.co.uk, which lists hundreds of environmental charitable organisations, and easyfundraising.org.uk, a free service that enables environmental charities to raise money when their supporters shop online.
91. SWITCH TO AN ECO-FRIENDLY ENERGY PROVIDER
There are now a number of suppliers of green energy from renewable sources in the UK and while there’s no way to ensure the green energy you pay for makes it to your home you can be confident you’re helping to add more energy from renewable sources into the overall mix.
92. STOP BUYING BOTTLED DRINKS FOR A FORTNIGHT
We use around 15 million plastic bottles a day in the UK. Plastic can take up to 500 years to decompose. Be part of the solution by getting out of the habit of buying plastic bottled drinks.
93. BUY SOME HOUSEHOLD HENS
There’s been a surge in the number of backyard hens in Britain in recent years as people aspire to reconnect with food production and put fresh eggs on the table each week, with experts saying there are now over 750,000 amateur keepers.
94. ORGANISE A NEIGHBOURHOOD CLEAN UP
Almost £1 billion is spent on street cleaning in the UK but we all know of ‘grot spots’ that could still do with some attention. Pinpoint the area for your clean up, talk to your local authority’s environment department and get local residents and groups involved.
95. CAR SHARE FOR A WEEK
Despite the fact that it’s a friendly way to get to work – in both the personal and environmental senses – only three out of 10 of us have ever shared a car for our commute. It’s not just about going green – think of the gold in your pocket too!
96. MAKE YOUR OWN ECO-FRIENDLY CLEANING PRODUCTS
Knitting, baking and quilting have made a come-back, so why not home-made cleaning products? Substitute commercial, chemical-based cleaning products for natural alternatives made from inexpensive ingredients like vinegar, baking soda and lemons.
97. ONLY BOIL THE WATER YOU NEED
Overfilling the kettle and boiling more water than we need wastes energy, water and money. Incredibly, the habit adds nearly £150 million to the nation’s energy bill each year. Time to stop?
98. SELL OLD CLOTHES ON EBAY
Unwanted clothes in your wardrobe need no longer be fodder for landfill but clobber to flog on eBay. If one British student can make £30,000 from selling cast-offs from her cluttered cupboard online, there’s every reason to give it a go.
99. SHOW A CHILD HOW TO GROW VEGETABLES
Help the next generation get into gardening and healthy eating, starting with vegetables that can be harvested swiftly, sticking to larger seeds that are easier for little fingers, having some fun with quirky and colourful varieties – and enjoying the end result.
100. FIX SOMETHING RATHER THAN BUYING NEW
Repairing an item does not only help reduce waste, it also gives you a great sense of personal achievement, a testimonial to your abilities and resourcefulness. Not to mention saving you money, which is always a welcome added bonus.
101. BUY A BAG FOR LIFE
Annually approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide. More than one million bags are used every minute. Reduce your personal carbon footprint by reusing an eco friendly shopping bag.
Avinity has re-imagined the traditional employee engagement programme, making use of social technology and the latest behavioural science to create Avinity Alive, a reward and recognition platform that is refreshingly purposeful, infectiously positive and uncommonly powerful.