Something missing?

How Ria Exworthy found her ‘something missing’ and three satisfyingly green ways you could too.

How Ria Exworthy found her ‘something missing’ and three satisfyingly green ways you could too. 

Sheffield. The UK’s greenest city, home of one of Aviva's offices, and workplace of Climate Action Project Management Officer, Ria.

‘There is no bigger issue on the planet – literally – than tackling climate change,’ Ria says. And, like a growing number of green citizens, she's more than just talk.

Ria Exworthy, Climate Action Project Management Officer
Ria Exworthy, Climate Action Project Management Officer

One: working green

According to Aviva's latest How we live report, 58% of workers would consider switching to a greener career, with engineering, finance, and IT workers among the keenest to switch. 15% would even be prepared to take a pay cut.

Ria made the switch six months ago and hasn’t looked back. She used to work for the Aviva Cloud programme, helping with governance and planning on IT change projects. It was interesting, she says, but there was something missing. It wasn’t an area she felt truly passionate about.

A role came up in the sustainability team. It’s made a huge difference to my working life, and the way I feel outside of work. I didn’t need to take a pay cut, but I would’ve been willing to.

would switch to a green career


would take a pay cut to do so

Two: eating green

The estimated percentage of UK adults choosing to become vegan has risen from 4% in 2021 to 6% in 2022.

By going vegan, Ria joins a small but growing green-eating community. And many more Brits are making smaller green-conscious food choices. 33% choose local seasonal fruit and vegetables to reduce food miles. 30% are reducing the amount of meat they eat.

My partner and I are vegan, and we get a lot of our basic food items and toiletries from a refill store to avoid excess packaging.

choose local seasonal foods



are eating less meat

Three: travelling green

Around two thirds of UK adults today are making conscious efforts to reduce their impact on the planet through their holiday and travel choices.

25% of UK adults are reducing how often they travel by plane in 2022, up from 17% in 2021. Only 13% are offsetting the carbon footprint of travels, but 48% said they would do so in the future.

I’d like not to fly but it was a bit of a sticking point with my partner, so we’ve limited to one return flight a year with at least double offsetting.

are already flying less


will fly less in future

A growing community

For Ria, green living is fundamental. She’s making small green steps and big green decisions.

‘I recently changed my bank account to one with a better climate investment policy. I’ve even decided I don’t want to have children because I don’t want to bring another generation into a world where I’m not confident about the future,’ she says. 

Ria is part of a growing community of people acting on climate change. After all, she says, 'If an opportunity arises to make a difference to the planet, and you can take it – why wouldn’t you?’ 


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How we live – a fascinating study

The research used in this article comes from Aviva’s latest How we live report. It’s a fascinating study of the environmental attitudes and aspirations of people across the UK. The report shines a light on how green thinking is leading to change in many aspects of our lives. From our homes, to how we get around, to our career choices. 

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