You can’t get far in conversation without someone bringing up Covid. There’s no doubt it has had a huge impact on every part of our society. However, focusing on the positives, lockdown has given most of us time to reflect on the way we live and has created some behaviours that could actually be beneficial.
It is often said it takes 40 days to change a habit – to retrain the mental process and nervous system. So on an individual level, the prolonged period of ‘home time’, whether hellish or heaven, forced a shift in our behavioural patterns. Day-to-day life as we currently know it – work, eat, family, relaxation, exercise, stress, joy, boredom, exhaustion – were all confined to one space, forcing behavioural change. The way we consume, what we consume and what we truly value was all questioned over this time.
Personally, there were positive, profound shifts in our household too. We questioned and improved our recycling, limited our waste, rekindled a love for buying local, found the joy of gardening, leant on neighbours and creatively made the most of what we had.
Across the UK, with more time at home, there has been a drop in household food waste and an increase in home recycling. This excites me greatly as these new norms create new expectations and desires in every part of society.
If our actions at home are anything to go by, the consumer is changing and will in turn want to see social and environmental improvements incorporated into services and products.
This asks the question to us all, not just on an individual basis but as companies and policy makers: What new habits have been created and how can we adapt and come back better?
At Rubies, we provide a refillable bottle to our restaurant partners rather than sachets or single-use packaging and it’s been awesome seeing customers holding true to their values, questioning the norm of non-recyclable packaging and simply sanitising the bottles between servings. It’s a small thing but it’s these simple switches to everyday actions that we all need to question in order to make change.
I am a firm believer that we all have the power to create the world we want to live in, and it is our individual changes in habit and actions that will make a difference.