Your failure to stick to your New Year’s resolutions is contributing to climate crises

We show you how to stick to them!

New Year - new resolution. Can you even remember last year’s goals? We know it ourselves too well that sticking to resolutions can be a tough cookie, maybe even impossible at times. Often, they come with restrictions, and who likes to renounce indulgence? You’re not alone, the struggle is real, as 80% of us will fail to achieve our New Year’s Resolutions.

Among the most popular New Year’s resolutions are losing weight, improving fitness, eating healthier or being more climate-conscious. In the beginning of the year everybody is talking about their resolutions. Then, a few weeks in and you can call your goals passé as you book your cheap flight for a short trip to sunny Madrid, go for the meat-topped smørrebrød option for lunch or order your favourite pizza that has the two-for-one special.

But topics in the beginning of January aren’t only about changing our bad habits. The world is talking about Australia, about a fire that has already burned about 12.35 million acres of land, killed at least 27 people and millions of animals. Today the world is in shock, citizens donate money and climate activists are firing up nations to take action. But tomorrow, chances are high that climate crises, despite being so dangerously impactful it possibly has lasting effects on all our future lives, will be forgotten, as we move on to the “next big thing” that manages to capture our short attention span. In all of that, who’s still talking about the ongoing 4.5 million forest fires around the globe, which organisations like Global Forest Watch Fires continue to report? The Amazon was so 2019, and Australia is the new shit. Uurgh.

A forest on fire

But here’s the thing: Your failure to stick to your well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions might actually contribute to climate crises. 

The reasons fires start and take hold in the first place are complex. But experts are now pointing to a connection between the increasing risk of wildfires and warmer ocean temperatures as a result of climate change. Manmade greenhouse gases, largely deriving from agriculture (11%), transportation (15%), forestry and manufacturing (20%) heat up the oceans and lessen the amount of CO2 the water can absorb, causing extreme weather conditions that literally fire up the woods. 96% of the world's fires are now either deliberately lit or unintentionally caused by humans in order to clear areas for agriculture, livestock or industry, such as palm oil and paper.

In agriculture, wildfires are often related to a shifting cultivation as landowners and farmers use fires to quickly get rid of vegetation in their fields and make the soil fertile in the short term and make space for large, productive monocultures. It’s time to make 2020 the year when we finally stick to our resolutions! 

The fire and many other climate related catastrophes that happened in 2019 show that deforestation, climate change and the risk of wildfires are all directly linked. It also shows us that everyone has to start taking responsibility for their lifestyle and acknowledge the connection between the decisions we make and the impact they have on our planet - NOW! So New Year’s resolutions, which often involve better and healthier eating (and farming) practices, meat-free diets or less air travel DO matter, and not sticking to them makes us directly responsible for climate change. 

If everyone changes just one or two bad habits, it actually does make a difference. In this blog post, we show you how GRIM can be a solution to some of your goals and how getting a GRIM box makes it easier to stick to them.

“Grim is sustainable, eco friendly, punctual, environmental friendly, future oriented.” - Francesca & Marinella, Food bloggers at Mad & Delicacy and GRIM Chefs

Our resolution for 2020 at GRIM? Saving half a million tons of produce going to waste

In 2019, we’ve saved a little over 100.000 kg of produce, so this year, let’s more than triple that! Selling more GRIM boxes means saving more produce from going to waste, and we have set ourselves a measurable and ambitious goal. 

Globally about 21% of the world’s freshwater use and 28% of arable land goes to grow food we don’t eat, so not eating food we have grown is a large greenhouse gas emitter - so large that it would be equivalent to the emissions of the 3rd largest country on the planet. So you can see that selling more boxes is not just helping the planet but also making sure that we as a business continue to exist and grow in order to grow our positive climate impact. 

Another problem about New Year’s resolutions? We always set goals, but we don’t think about how to reach them. We lack actionable steps, and subscribing to a GRIM box could be YOUR way of actually reaching your goals. 

Let’s dig into it: We show you how to eat healthier, waste less, live plastic-free and save money

1. Buy organic - eat healthy 

We receive all our fruits and vegetables from 100% organic certified farms across Europe - mostly Danish farms, sometimes international. Organic means no pesticides and GMO. Chemicals such as fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides are widely used in conventional agriculture to prolong shelf life, where organic food is often fresher as it doesn’t contain these preservatives. Food systems contribute 21% to 37% of global greenhouse gases, and are significant contributors to deforestation, biodiversity loss and declining water tables. However, farming without pesticides reduces pollution and soil erosion, conserves water, increases soil fertility and uses less energy, but is also better for nearby birds and animals as well as people who live close to farms.

The three different sizes of GRIM veggie boxes

2. Support farms directly

Besides sourcing exclusively from organic and sometimes biodynamic farms, we tell our customers where exactly their fruits and veggies come from as well as the reason it is in our boxes. Too curvy, skin-damaged, overproduced, too small or big or simply too many, every week we get items that fail to pass the marketing standards for fresh produce that is set by the European Union and gives you a reality check about the failure of our current food system, which we at GRIM are trying to change. 

The marketing standards is a system of classifying the quality of fresh food simply by its physical appearance: the fruits and veggies you’ll normally get in a supermarket are “class extra and class one”, which means “uniform in size, shape and colour”. Only the slightest difference makes it hard for farmers to sell their harvest - in order to meet the restrictions about 20% is overproduced. The overproduction results in tons of wasted veggies and fruits and farmers lose vital income. 

The GRIM founders talk with a farmer who shows off his produce

“Before GRIM, we were wasting a certain amount of class 2 veggies as well as overproduced items because we weren’t able to sell or use them. Now that we collaborate with GRIM, we can definitely feel the difference: less veggies ending up in the compost, as animal feed or left unharvested in the fields. Although it requires resources to harvest, sort, pack and transport the GRIM veggies, working together has contributed to our economy. Still receiving money for veggies that would normally be wasted contributes positively to our farm.- Mar from Svanholm, one of GRIM’s farms.

By buying GRIM you can be sure that you support local farmers, which we pay at a fair price for all the time and resources they put into growing our food. We source straight from the farm, which makes it possible to pay fair prices, as we cut out many middlemen. As we go along, we get contacted more and more often by farms outside of Denmark saying they have lots of fruits and veggies that they cannot find buyers for. We now have over 50 farms working with us and have created over 130.000 Euros income for farms they would normally not have. 

3. Educate yourself (and your kids) about food waste in a fun way

Here, we think it’s best to let our customers and GRIM chefs who work with us, speak for why they love GRIM: 

“We talk more about not wasting food, and every time we are curious to find out why these products are “grim” - Francesca & Marinella, Food bloggers at Mad & Delicacy and GRIM Chefs

“Our family gets a GRIM box because it teaches our children that vegetables can be fun, exciting and colourful” - Neil, GRIM customer

“Back where we're from (Croatia), we loved to go to the market and buy fruits and veggies from the real farmers, because it was, most of the time, very much “grim”, funny shapes and you could also tell very much organic. Also, this stuff has the best taste, because it's real, raw, “off the field” taste. Now, we have GRIM :)” - Marcela Sambol, GRIM Chef

“I love the concept, and I love to spread it on my platforms. And because of the environmental issues. Grim veggies are as good as other veggies. And I’ve really gotten good responses from family members, friends, and my followers on insta/the blog.” - Camille Maja, food blogger and GRIM-Chef

Convinced? 

4. Save money and time through smarter shopping

Going to the supermarket you probably spend much time on deciding which kind of product to get. Cheap supermarket offers (3 for 1) encourages our impulse for buying, even though we know in retrospect that they are not the best products and we end up throwing half of it out as we cannot manage to eat up. By subscribing to a GRIM box you don’t need to shop so often (although we admit that you STILL need to go despite getting a box) and be exposed to the overwhelming supermarket offers.

5. Use less packaging and recycle more

Packaging and most of all, plastic, is a well-known problem, but still insufficient action is taken. Plastic causes cause major problems such as, littered water bodies and plastic particles polluting our oceans, which pose an existential threat to marine life. The extent of waste in the Atlantic and Pacific was already about 100 metric tons in 2013, 80 % of it consists of plastic. The problem is not necessarily plastic in itself, but that it is not being recycled in a correct manner, or not even being recycled at all. According to The Guardian, much of plastic that is exported to be recycled in countries, such as China, actually ends up being dumped or burned in open fires! When plastic is dumped, it can take hundreds of years to decompose, and burning it results in dangerous air and water pollution. So...decrease your use of plastic this 2020.

Image of GRIM packaging. A wooden box, bio-degradable plastic bags a tote bag etc.

At GRIM, we keep packaging at a minimum. We use wooden boxes and reuse them as many times as possible. Inside our boxes is a thin plastic bag to contain all the veggies and prevent them from getting into contact with germs during transportation, which is a requirement from the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark. One of our goals for 2020 is to have our packaging completely without plastic and we’re currently working on shifting towards completely plastic-free packaging alternative made of cardboard boxes that you can recycle.

“Since we received the first eatgrim box, we noticed 3 main changes in our family habits. Firstly, we have less plastic packages to throw away…” - Francesca & Marinella, GRIM chefs and food bloggers.

6. Zero waste kitchen 

We have heard before that receiving a box of veggies is great, but what if you lack inspiration of what to cook with them? Since last year, we’ve been working on getting or GRIM blog up and running and partnering with a bunch of amazing chefs who make delicious, plant-based recipes for you on an ongoing basis, such as Camille Maja, Cæcilie Gade, Oliver Blomqvist, Francesca & Marinella, and Marcela Sambol

Getting inspired helps our customers to make use of all their veggies, and apps like Plant Jammer help you empty your fridge by giving recipe ideas of what to cook from your leftover veggies, too. Other great ways for a zero waste kitchen are tricks like pickling, freezing or drying food. Use your leftover fruits for a jam or your veggies and herbs for a delicious pesto - in boiled glasses it will last almost forever. 

“When I first heard of GRIM I was so happy to see someone was thinking in this direction of fighting food waste because that is something I really hate. Even when I go to the store I always check the food with yellow stickers because it's still good and it's cheaper as well. When it comes to GRIM, just thinking about all that organic fruit and veggies going to waste is just unbelievable, so having a mission to save this food is just what the world needs.” - Marcela Sambol, GRIM-Chef

A big pile of wasted vegetables at a farm

7. Balanced diet through seasonal eating

“A new challenge for us is to find out how to cook ingredients we never tasted before and how to prepare new recipes.” - Francesca & Marinella (GRIM-Chefs)

By receiving a GRIM-box weekly or biweekly, as a customer you kind of “have to” use the veggies you’ll receive. If you have more fruits and veggies on your resolution list, GRIM is the perfect way of reaching this goal easily. When going to the supermarket, there is no guarantee you actually buy what you need to keep your promise of adding more veg to your diet, but by getting a GRIM box, there is no excuse. So you’ll end up getting the good kind of nutrients provided by a varying - and seasonal - box content from week to week. We bet you’ll get veggies you haven’t tasted before!  

A person chopping different vegetables at a cutting board, in front of a GRIM veggie box

“I think myself for a pretty creative person already, but Grim has taught me to think a bit more out of the box! I’ve gotten veggies that I’ve never tried cooking with (kinakål, glaskål etc), and it really opens my eyes for other options! And I leaned my boyfriends to eat more vegetarian ;)” - Camille Maja (GRIM-Chef) 

What’s GRIM in one sentence?

“In one word, I'd say GRIM is just a saver, in every meaning of the word.” - Marcela Sambol 

Conclusion

GRIM can be the solution for your New Year’s resolution, whether it is to eat more healthy, waste less, or becoming more environmentally-friendly, and there are a lot more opportunities for a more sustainable 2020. Today there are plenty of great companies fighting food waste, improving sustainability with their products, or organizations that make efforts to fight climate change. Just think about what really matters and evaluate what’s possible for you to reach instead of setting too many or too high goals. 

One person might not be able to change much - but as many, we can. GRIM alone can’t change the world, and that is why we need YOUR support so that together we can make a difference. Don’t let the next climate disaster come before you take action. We have to think about our behaviour, our bad habits, not only in the beginning of the year, but on a regular basis. 

Just jump on the train and support the projects, people and businesses you believe in! Living more sustainably has never been so effortless. Get ugly, stay ugly, let’s make 2020 and the years ahead more sustainable together!

If you’re not already a customer, order your GRIM box here and get 10% off your first box, using discount code “2020”. Offer expires January 31. Feel free to share this with your friends who should get GRIM as well!