Hello and Happy New Year from Alex

Hello and Happy New Year dear Simple Year readers!

I’m Alex from Bristol, UK, and it’s my great honour to take over here for Year Seven (!) and document my own Simple Year journey. Today I’ll keep it short, with a little about me, and about why and how I will achieve my goal.

I live in Bristol, UK, although I am not British. I was born in Vienna, Austria, grew up in Warsaw, Poland, and moved to the UK about five years ago. As the first Simple Year blogger from Europe, I’ll do my best to not only tell but also show you what my life looks like (Instagram is my social media of choice, so make sure to follow us there).

I am an Event Manager by training but my career in digital marketing requires that I often wear many different hats. Although I’m in an office all day, I try to stay active and cycle wherever I can, but winter in the UK is not kind to cyclists. I’m into CrossFit, weightlifting and hiking, and I’m a passionate collector of plants (although I’m still learning how to keep them all alive and happy). In my free time, I read a LOT. Mostly sci-fi, nature and fiction books. I enjoy cooking and making beauty products from scratch. And, starting today, I’ll be blogging here weekly as well, an exciting new addition to my routine.

I have a deep passion for sustainability and, I believe, there are many factors responsible for this enthusiasm. One is certainly that I grew up in a home where recycling just happened, without much thought or real effort. This is partly due to the great local waste collection facilities in Warsaw. Since moving out of the home, in the various places I’ve lived, I’ve tried to recycle as well as possible, even when the curb collection didn’t offer that option. This disparity in local government services made me realize that my rubbish output needs to change, and I shouldn’t simply rely on somebody else to deal with my trash.

So, this Simply Year, I commit to buying nothing which is not 100% recyclable. I will extend that further to choices I can influence at work, campaigning for environmentally-friendly alternatives in events, products and transport.

However, I have to make two exceptions: medication and bike parts. As this is my primary mode of transport, whenever a part of my bike needs replacing I am not prepared to jeopardize my own or other people’s safety. I will naturally do my best to recycle the retired components.

I’m effectively embarking on a journey across the recycling industry in the UK, and beyond. In order to know if, and how particular items are recycled, I will have to conduct a lot of research and will document my triumphs and failures, so that we can hopefully all learn a thing or two.

And, finally, what will your next 52 weeks look like? The rest of the Simple Year family and I want to know. Tell me in comments below (or on Instagram or Facebook) if you would like me to investigate something you were always wondering about. Like, what actually happens to that Pringles can? Or, why does your recycling differ to your neighbours’ across the state line?

I will find out for you!